The little rescued lion cub returns to Governor’s Camp’s territory, and she’s all grown up.
Nestled into the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, the team at Governors’ Camp are constantly faced with the seemingly unfair reality that rules the wild there. It can be difficult to stand by and watch as nature takes it course.
Of course, every now and then, there comes a time when human intervention is necessary for the conservation of a species and once you’ve had personal interaction with a wild animal, it becomes nearly impossible not to feel somewhat emotionally involved in that animal’s life. This is how the team at Governors’ Camp feel about a little lioness called Akili.
Akili’s story starts in January 2014 when her mother, Lippy, and another lioness, Sila, went hunting and brought down a hippo. The two lionesses, three month old Akili and her two siblings were tucking into this hearty meal when they were approached and attacked by a group of lionesses from a neighbouring pride. During the chaos, Lippy, Sila and the other two cubs retreated but Akili ran in the opposite direction, getting herself separated and lost.
Life as a little lion can be tough and isn’t made any easier without the protection of a mother and pride. The chances of her surviving on her own were slim at best. However, after nine whole days and the occasional fleeting glimpse of the lion cub, guides at Governors’ Camp finally got a clear sighting of her and immediately alerted the Kenyan Wildlife Services. Taking swift and immediate action, the Kenyan Wildlife Services team managed to track her down, gather her up in a blanket and return her to her long lost family.
This was, of course, a huge relief to everyone at Governors’ Camp, who by now had become somewhat attached to the little cub. She was named ‘Akili by the Governors’ Camp guides, which means ‘wise’ and ‘resourceful’.
After her return, there was a split in the pride and, together with her mother and some of the other members, Akili crossed the Mara River and moved to the other side. From then on sightings of her were few and far between and Governors’ Camp lost contact with the rescued lion cub. Now, the team is thrilled to announce that the splinter group that broke off all those years ago has now returned and little Akili is now a beautifully healthy, fully grown lioness.
She has been spending time close to Governors’ Camp ever since, providing guests and staff with lots of lovely sightings of her, her mother Lippy, her aunts, brothers, cousins and her tiny cub sister.
For a cub with such an adventurous start to life, who knows what other excitement is in store for beloved Akili in the years to come in her Mara home. For now though, it’s good to be reunited with this very special lioness and her family again and to be able to appreciate her from afar.
A little more about Governors’ Camp
“The setting is magical. So much so that almost a century ago it was reserved, exclusively, for Kenya’s colonial Governors.” – Governors’ Camp
Poised along the winding banks of the mighty Mara River and tucked into the forest, Governors’ Camp boasts 37 luxury tented camps each with en-suite bathrooms and breath-taking views. The camp has also recently been awarded a Silver Eco Rating from Eco- Tourism Kenya for its sustainable tourism practices.