Through the eyes of Lepayon Lekoitip

Q. What is your most exciting or memorable sighting?
A. It has to be one amazing day I had with some guests. We found a single teenage elephant walking alone then suddenly 12 wild dogs tried to attack it. Surrounding, yapping and biting in vain as the elephant used his weight to send them ‘packing’. Later that day we found a leopard with a dik dik kill up a tree and the same dogs surrounded the tree and forced the leopard to drop the dik dik!

Q. Why do you love Kenya?
A. I love Kenya because it is my homeland due to our beautiful landscape and natural beauty which is still unspoilt and full of wildlife.

Q. What’s the strangest / funniest thing you have ever been asked?
A. Wow we get a lot of these! A few children have asked why I wear more jewellery than their mother which always brings some laughter.

Q. When was the last time the wildlife of Samburu scared you?
A. Last year… I was walking home and I bumped into a female lioness who was hiding her cubs in the bush. I ended up in between the cubs and the mother – this is not a good place to be! I had to get my red clothing and flap it so the lions thinks there are more people and is confused!

Q. What motivated you to become a guide?
A. Two big reasons. I love talking with new people and I love wildlife! The perfect job for me.

Q. What makes Saruni different?
A. Saruni is very special because of our very special conservancy. No lights, no people. Also we work with local people and have extremely experienced local knowledge in every department.

Q. What is your favourite animal species in Samburu?
A. Elephant firstly because of their friendly personalities. They also have unique characteristics so you can get to know individuals very well. Secondly, dik – dik because they are very alive and everywhere here in Kalama. They are also far more intelligent than people think. They live in pairs with tiny territories which are fully self sustained by their own dung and marking patterns.