The Maasai have a long relationship with the lion that has gone back many generations. It was once a rite of passage for a warrior to kill a lion to prove his bravery. But now the relationship between lions and Maasai has changed and we live alongside them and help protect them.
Lions help by killing other predators like hyenas who prey on our domestic animals. Without lions, there will be no natural balance and other animals will die. They are an important part of the ecosystem.
Many guides are Maasai warriors who now protect lions and teach people about them. Lions are the natural heritage and pride of the Maasai and people all over the world come to see them. The tourism is now an important source of income.
For me, living with lions is beautiful — seeing them is a meditation (like yoga). I feel proud and I feel lucky to be born in such a beautiful land full of animals.
If lions were gone, it would be a tragedy. We want our children to see them in the wild.
The lions are Kenya’s pride. They make our wildness great.
The Maasai community has adopted conservation by teaching the new generation about the importance of lions and learning to live with them by not destroying their habitat and avoiding human-lion conflict. A wider breeding space for them has allowed lions to thrive in their natural home.
There are more lions here than anywhere else in the world. Less harassment of lions is good for everyone.
Lions are the most beautiful and amazing creatures.
Lions are a source of life.
Lions are part of us.
For more on lions and other mammals of the African wild watch Mommy Wildest.
Empaps (Meshack) Saiyalel is a guide at Porini Lion Camp in Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya. He is a Maasai warrior. He is an avid nature photographer. Follow his photography on social media platforms at #EmpapsPhotography