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As narrated to John Merishi by Guardian Lipap Ole Sayioki

“The journey was enjoyable and I learnt so many things from the trip. It was a real eye opener. In maa we say, “ Enkong’u naipang’a ninye eng’en” – Anyone who travels far and wide is wise and knowledgeable. Having never travelled outside of Kenya, I always thought that our country was the most beautiful and attractive country out of all its neighbors. However, today I have learnt that this is not the case. During the trip, I found Tanzania to be equally magnificent. Indeed the crater was the loveliest place that I have ever been to. It was so full of life – the animals and birds seemed to be having great moments and were enjoying every minute in the colorful place. I also noticed that the lions in Tanzania had plenty of food since there were a lot of wild animals both in Ngorongoro crater and Ndutu within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Seeing a rhino made the trip to the crater even more memorable. It was the first time that I saw a rhino. I had heard stories of rhinos from old people who were lucky to see them. And watching the rhino in the crater made me appreciate conservation even more. I realized that it is only through conservation that endangered species are protected from extinction. If conservation was fully practiced in previous years, then I would have been lucky to see a rhino in Osewan, my home area.

In Tanzania, I also got the chance to interact with the Ilchokuti and Lion Defenders. I learned that the Tanzanian communities are yet to full embrace conservation – as evidenced by the frequent hunts we heard about from our greater family. I felt that perhaps the communities still need a lot of awareness campaigns on the importance of wildlife.

I would also like to take this moment to thank the Lion Guardians directors and management team as I couldn’t have ever gone to Ngorongro on my own. I am honoured that the organization values hardwork and recognized my contribution. The entire planning process and communication regarding the trip was excellent. I have taken pictures of the whole trip and plan to share them with fellow Guardians who didn’t get an opportunity to travel.”

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