Guardian Kikanai – Reflections on the Trip to Tanzania for the Lion Guardians Games

As narrated to John Merishi by Guardian Kikanai Likampa

The trip to Tanzania was excellent. I was delighted to have been chosen and also that the Lion Guardians team ensured that all was in place for a safe travel to and from Tanzania. I was also grateful that the Kope Lion team was so hospitable. Ingela and her team did their best in order to ensure that everyone was comfortable.

Kikanai participating in the fimbo skimming event….

The highlight of our trip into the Ngorongoro crater was the chance to see a rhino. It was the first time for me and most of my colleagues. I was also thrilled to see a hippo since it had been long time. The last time I saw a hippo was about ten years ago in Isinet when I was still a young boy. I was happy to observe that the animals in the crater looked healthy and in perfect mood and I loved the fact that there was plenty of grass and water.

Before the Games events started, I thought that our Guardians from Kenya would win a lot of races but I was surprised by the one we did win – the high jump.  We all did our best during the competition on the games day. I was also happy that the Lion Guardians and Ruaha Lion Defenders were taken on a game drive in order to see the Ndutu lions. I witnessed that the Ndutu lions were friendly (do not fear vehicles) just like the Amboseli lions. I  was fortunate to see Nayomi’s pride of seventeen.

Kikanai is all smiles even though he is a tail-ender in the heats for the 100m sprint!

During our three days in Tanzania, I had the chance to interact with both the Ilchokuti and the Lion Defenders and I learned many things about Tanzania. It was interesting to note that in general Tanzanians are yet to fully embrace conservation and this is making conservation a hard task. Given this, I would like to congratulate my counterparts from Tanzania (Ilchokuti and Defenders) for their great effort. I thank them again for ensuring the lions are safe despite the difficult circumstance they are working under.

Kikanai taking aim in the spear accuracy event…

Lastly I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Lion Guardians directors and the entire management team for the chance I  was given to travel to such a wonderful destination. This opportunity has encouraged me to work harder since it is clear that hard work is appreciated. I liked the fact that I was given adequate notice regarding the trip giving me ample time to prepare. I am also thankful that the managers who accompanied the team took good care of all of us Guardians during the whole trip and that all of us Guardians lived up to the faith they put in us.

And finally, Kikanai could not stop himself from cracking up in the fun afternoon limbo event!

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