The long awaited Lion Guardian Games has eventually taken place! It was a fantastic event, and the Lion Guardians had a brilliant time competing and getting to know each other. We would like to thank everyone who made a donation towards this event – it was a wonderful occasion, and really brought the Lion Guardians together. And here they all are!

Group photo

The games were held on the expansive Mbirikani plains , where Lion Guardians from all three Group Ranches converged with great anticipation and joy. And being Maasai morans from the same age-set, it took very little time to familiarize themselves with each other. As well as to get to know one another so that they can easily work together across ranch boundaries, and to swap stories of their lion conservation work, the event was also meant to congratulate all the Lion Guardians for the great work they did last year at the height of a severe drought and at the beginning of this year when carnivore-livestock conflicts were at their climax.

There were three main events – stick throwing, spear throwing and football. Stick throwing is a test of skill and strength, where you have to skim a stick along the dusty ground as far as possible. It was a spectacular show of might, with six Guardians competing to produce the overall winner – Lenkai, who works with the Lion Guardians on Eselenkei Group Ranch.

Lenkai_stick throwing

Spear throwing was next on the agenda. This was two events in one, designed to test accuracy and distance throwing. On spear accuracy, each Group Ranch selected two of the best hit men to compete. Mingati from Mbirikani Group Ranch did not miss the target on any single throw. He was a joy to watch and clearly his past reputation as a great lion killer has been gained through this exceptional skill.

Mingati_celebrating accuracy spear win

On spear distance throwing it was a very close to call. Eventually, Pilenanka from Mbirikani Group Ranch emerged the victor amid ululations and dancing from his colleagues, with Parkesian from Olgulului Group Ranch coming a close second.

Pilenanka_spear throwing distance

We’ll tell you the results of the Lion Guardians Football Tournament and more details of the evening celebrations soon!

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Showing 7 comments
  • Pauline

    Congratulations to all the participants. Great pictures!

  • Brenton H

    Wonderful that the Games have taken place. The Lion Guardians very much deserve such an event , especially to get together after all of their great efforts towards conserving the lion population. So pleased Lenkai won an award for Eselenkei!
    Looking forward to the next blog.

  • sauwah

    these wonderful warriors deserved such fun and game. laughter is very good.

  • Pirjo

    Awesome news that you were finally able to have the games! It looks so much fun, but also “fierce” competition between the guardians. It’s so important that the lion guardians get to meet each other and exchange views and thoughts about their work. These guys are at the frontline of saving this magnificient species from extinction.

  • Sonja

    That looks like it was a lot of fun! It’s great to build comraderie and team spirit among this wonderful group of dedicated men. Excellent! 🙂

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