On the same day as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced new incentives to boost inbound tourism to the country, a mother lioness in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Kenya showed off her six one-month old lion cubs to safari guides Vincent Ketuyio and John Kaelo for the very first time.
Ketuyio and Kaelo, who are guides in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Kenya, were on an afternoon game drive with conservationist Carel Verhoef and wildlife photographer Stuart Price at the time.
“This is the first time the mother has shown the cubs to any guests or guides from the area,” Vincent Ketuyio said.
Verhoef and Price, who are in the Mara conservancies this week conducting live streaming safari broadcasts as part of the #KenyaLive campaign, quickly setup their cameras to live stream the Msagata pride’s newest arrivals to internet users around the world.
Hundreds of people logged on and made delighted comments about seeing the cubs playing.
“The cubs played, stumbled and pounced on each other for over an hour just as dusk descended around us,” recalled Price later that evening. Price’s photos are the first ever taken of these lion cubs, set against a moody dark sky, with a thunderstorm rumbling across the plains in the distance.
The mother and cubs’ playful interactions took place on a ridge overlooking a river-lined valley. The purpose of the #KenyaLive campaign is to showcase Kenya’s rich travel offering on safari and at the coast to people around the world, using social media and cutting-edge technology night cameras.
The new tourism incentives announced by president Kenyatta include the wavering of visas fees for children under 16 and a 40% drop in KWS park fees for all visitors to the country’s popular wildlife reserves.
“The government is fully behind our ambition to restore Kenya’s tourism crown and we ask all tourism stakeholders to respond to our initiatives with the seriousness they deserve. It is time to maximise the heritage and natural gifts we possess and give the world’s travellers the experience they deserve.” said Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Hon. Najib Balala.
The #KenyaLive safari broadcasts continue until 18 January. Wildlife enthusiasts can watch the live streaming broadcasts – with informative and often amusing commentary – on HerdTracker’s Periscope channel.
And if you’re a wildlife enthusiast who missed this live stream, you can watch the footage by Herdtracker here: