Lion Guardian Kapande

Kapande is one of the humblest of the Lion Guardians. His ability to manage others when discussing tough issues, and to resolve conflicts is astounding. Kapande has been on many lion hunts and was successful in killing a male lion. For this he was given the ‘lion name’ Meitiaki. Lion names are given to any murran who kills a lion. Now Kapande conserves lions instead.


He is from a poor background and working as a Lion Guardian has helped him considerably. He used to herd cows for a wealthy man, and his only wage for such tough work was one heifer at the end of the year. His employer was unhappy when he volunteered for four months to become a Guardian, as was his father. This meant that he did not receive any support from them.


His favourite type of work is tracking lions. The collared lions that are often in his area at the moment are Nemasi, who has three young cubs, and Kesayou, a male. Kapande tracks these lions and any other carnivores and elephants that he comes across, and informs herders of their proximity to grazing fields.


The community he works for has great respect for him because he often helps young herders in the grazing fields. Kapande’s especially good relationship with other murrans has helped him to thwart lion hunts by murrans who were not local to his area. This has won him the heart of his community.


A few months ago Kapande was very ill with appendicitis, but has now recovered and has returned to working full time as a Lion Guardian again. He is married to one wife and has two young children; his daughter was born just a few months ago.

Listen to Kapande talking about his life and his family (this interview was recorded before the birth of his second child)!

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Listen to Kapande talking about being a Lion Guardian:

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  • Nancy from Tucson says:

    Thank you for the update & I am so pleased to hear that Kapande is now in good health. Best wishes to all of you Lion Guardians.

  • Christine C. says:

    Thank goodness Kapande is finally feeling better…and despite the lack of support from his family, he seems to be following his heart and doing a tremendous job of furthing the mission of the lion guardians…so kudos!!!

  • Annie says:

    Hi Kapande, wow……what an interesting blog about you…thank you for now working to conserve the beautiful lions of Africa! So nice to read about the work you are doing!

  • Bri says:

    You are doing such wonderful work! Thank you for working so hard to save the lions!

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