Pashiet Lekina: Maasai Safari Guide at Campi ya Kanzi
My name is Pashiet Lekina. I work as a guide at Campi ya Kanzi in the Chyulu Hills of southern Kenya. I’ve been here since the camp was founded in 1996, so I’ve been guiding for nineteen years now. I am a proud member of the Maasai tribe, and I like to teach visitors about my culture.
My family lives close by in Iltilal village. I have one wife and five kids – three boys and two girls. My first-born, a boy, is twenty-one years old. He is starting college now to study tourism management. My oldest daughter is in high school. She will be finishing at the end of this year. The other ones are still young, so they attend Iltilal Primary School. The youngest one is almost five.
I like working at Campi ya Kanzi because I live so close to home. When I have off days, it’s very nice that I can walk to Iltilal in two hours or ride a motorbike just thirty minutes. I don’t need a car to take me to another village far away. There are some people working here that come from a great distance. They can spend up to four days travelling to get home. I am so happy to work close to my family.
I am very proud to live in Kenya. I’ve been to other places like Italy and I went to big cities there with lots of traffic and many people in the streets, and I think it would be quite difficult for me to survive there. I liked going there to fund-raise, but just to visit and then come back home. I am very happy to be here in my country!
Recently, there have been some problems in Kenya. Shameful actions caused great loss for our country. It’s very sad, and we are praying for change and recovery. Fewer tourists are coming to Kenya now, so many hotels have closed and many people have lost their jobs, especially on the coast.
I would like to encourage tourists to visit Kenya. Guests at Campi ya Kanzi have a positive impact on the local Maasai community through our partner non-profit, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. Before the trust was founded, we didn’t have a doctor in this area, which is home to 17,000 people. Now we have a professional doctor and nurses and many teachers as well. We also have game rangers who patrol the entire group ranch to prevent poaching, charcoal burning, and the diversion of water. We are so happy to welcome visitors because the money they spend on vacation provides critical support for our community.
Please consider a Kenya safari for your next holiday. Our livelihoods, our land, and our wildlife depend on you.