Spanish Heart
Kenyan Soul

Jorge Alesanco - The Ray of hope for Kenyan Lions

The Great Migration

Kenya's Annual Wildlife Phenomenon

In the epic wilderness of Africa’s heartland, a spectacle of life unfolds annually. This is the great plains of Kenya, a biodiverse paradise pulsating with an ancient rhythm – the Great Migration. Over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and antelope undertake a remarkable odyssey spanning over 1,510 km². It resonates through the ecosystem, echoing nature’s primal call.

As July approaches, the grasslands of the Maasai Mara team with anticipation. The herds gather at the precipice of their greatest challenge, the Mara River. Lurking within the violent, swirling currents lie Nile crocodiles, Africa’s oldest and largest predator species, waiting with ominous patience.

The silence breaks as a wildebeest, driven by instinct, charges into the raging river. This act of courage triggers a chain reaction, transforming the static mass of animals into a living river, a surging tide of desperation and hope. Predators seize their chance – crocodiles emerge from the water’s shadowy depths, their massive jaws closing in on the unfortunate. On the banks, lions, hyenas, and leopards stalk the herds, capitalizing on the chaos.

Yet, within this chaos, the rhythm of life prevails. The survivors who cross the river are rewarded with the verdant plains of the Mara, lush with new grass nourished by seasonal rains. The landscape morphs into a sea of wildebeest, their braying a symphony of survival.

But the Great Migration is just one part of Kenya’s wildlife spectacle. The Maasai Mara is a portion of the larger Mara-Serengeti ecosystem and is renowned for its abundant wildlife. Home to over 95 species of mammals and over 570 recorded species of birds, it provides a wildlife experience that’s hard to match. Here, the famed ‘Big Five’ – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinoceros – roam freely, offering incredible sightings for visitors.

Besides the animals, we have The Maasai, a proud and distinctive ethnic group, is one of the most well-known indigenous communities in East Africa. They are primarily found in the Maasai Mara region, a vast savannah located in southwestern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Maasai Mara, named after the Maasai people and the Mara River that flows through the area, is renowned for its rich wildlife and annual wildebeest migration.

With safari options that include game drives at dawn, hot air balloon rides offering panoramic views, or bush dinners under the starlit African sky, the Maasai Mara provides an unforgettable journey into the wild. Its landscapes’ grandeur, abundance of wildlife, and its Maasai culture’s vibrancy make it an iconic destination, leaving every visitor with lasting memories and stories to tell.

The Impact of Human Retaliation

A Threat to Lion Populations

Despite the Maasai Mara being an oasis of wildlife seemingly Co-existing, a human factor has shifted the balance of the lion population within the Mara itself. This battle has occurred for decades between the Normadic people of the Maasai and the Lions.

The Maasai, who live in harmony with nature, reject hunting, fishing, and agriculture. Lions instinctively avoid attacking Maasai cattle. A behavior passed down through generations. However, nomadic lions tread a path fraught with danger in the heart of the African wilderness. Their survival hangs in the balance as territorial disputes make hunting difficult. These conflicts often spill over into the human world, leading to tragic consequences for the local lion pride.

Imagine being a subadult lion, left of adult guidance. The struggle to hunt becomes a desperate battle for survival. Their inexperience often leads them down a path of fatal encounters, and their lives are cut short in their prime.

The story is no different for young subadult lions, exiled prematurely due to territorial power played by older, more dominant lions. Forced to fend for themselves, they, too find themselves at odds with humans, their lives often ending in tragedy.

Then there are the old, dethroned kings of the jungle. Once mighty hunters, they now find themselves resorting to preying on livestock, their strength waning with age. This desperate act for survival inevitably leads to a clash with humans.

Lastly, imagine a scenario where the whims of nature play a cruel trick on the lion pride. Unusual weather patterns and mass migrations of their prey leave them with barren hunting grounds. Driven to desperation, they are forced to attack livestock, setting the stage for another tragic human-lion conflict.

This is the harsh reality of life in the wild, a constant struggle for survival where every day could be their last.

To put the conflict into perspective, here is a table from Jorge Alesanco to show the casualties on the lion’s end.











Save the Lion Masai Mara

A Ray of Hope for Endangered Lions

Despite these tragic events taking place, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel from various charities. The one who sticks out the most due to its years of experience is Save the Lion Masai Mara and its leader Jorge Alesanco.

Who is Jorge Alesanco?

Meet Jorge Alesanco, the first man ever to be embraced by a pride of wild lions. This Spanish naturalist and ethologist has been living amidst the raw beauty of Masai Mara for nearly a decade and a half, dedicating his life to the study of majestic predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, and hyenas. His deep passion for wildlife and his exceptional communication skills have transformed him into a remarkable ambassador for the untamed wilderness.

Alesanco shot to fame with his captivating appearances in the documentary series “El Rey de la Sabana” (The King of the Savannah). Here, he vividly portrayed his thrilling encounters with the big cats, painting a picture of a man who could co-exist harmoniously with wild cats in their natural habitat. This series catapulted him into the limelight, turning him into a television personality admired by many.

His stunning photographs, which capture the essence of these magnificent creatures, have graced the pages of prestigious publications like The Times. In 2020, he took his commitment to wildlife conservation a step further by establishing the Save The Lion Masai Mara Foundation. This foundation is a testament to his dedication to protecting these majestic creatures and resolving the man-animal conflict.

What does Save the Lion Masai Mara do?

The Save The Lion Masai Mara Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the lions of the African savannah by resolving the human-animal conflict. Their work is centered in the Maasai Mara, a region in Kenya that is home to a significant population of lions.

The foundation’s approach to conservation is multifaceted. They understand that the primary threat to lions in the area is a conflict with the Maasai people, who depend on livestock for their livelihood. To mitigate this, the foundation compensates the Maasai for their cattle that are killed by lions, reducing the need for retaliation and fostering a more harmonious coexistence.

In addition to this, Jorge Alesanco and his foundation are involved in educational programs aimed at raising awareness about the importance of conservation and the unique environment in which the Maasai and the lions co-exist. They believe that by eliminating the cycle of revenge, they can open their minds to the importance of preserving the environment and its wildlife.The foundation also recognizes the economic benefits lions bring to the region through tourism. They work with local administrations to ensure that the economic benefits of lion conservation are understood and appreciated.

Their work is not just about protecting lions but also about ensuring the well-being of the Maasai people and promoting a peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife. They believe that by protecting the economy of the Maasai, they can help them see the lion not as a threat but as a respected companion, the King of the Savannah.

Holiday with a Heart

Kusini Beach Cottages and Save the Lions Safari

In 2009, a friendship was born between Pepo Miret, the owner of Kusini Beach Cottages, and Jorge Alesanco, the founder of Save The Lion Masai Mara Foundation. Their shared passion for wildlife conservation and high standards of hospitality led to a partnership that has been flourishing ever since.

Jorge Alesanco, who dedicates his life to studying and protecting the lions of the Maasai Mara, often chooses Kusini as his sanctuary when he visits Diani Beach. The serene beachfront cottages, nestled amidst lush tropical gardens, provide the perfect respite from his demanding work in the savannah.

Pepo, in turn, has been a steadfast supporter of Jorge’s conservation efforts. Kusini Beach Cottages has consistently contributed to Save The Lion Masai Mara Foundation, aiding in the protection of the lions and the preservation of the Maasai Mara ecosystem.

For you, the discerning traveler, this partnership offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the best of Kenya. After an exhilarating safari in the Maasai Mara, where you witness the majesty of the wild, you can retreat to the idyllic setting of Kusini Beach Cottages. Here, you can unwind on the pristine beaches of Diani, soak in the warm Indian Ocean, and reflect on your incredible encounters with nature.

The knowledge, that your stay contributes to the conservation of the very wildlife you’ve come to admire adds a layer of fulfillment to your holiday. It’s not just about the breathtaking landscapes, the thrilling wildlife encounters, or the tranquil beach retreat. It’s about being part of a larger story, a story of conservation, coexistence, and respect for nature.

So, come to Kusini Beach Cottages. Experience the thrill of the safari, the tranquility of the beach, and the joy of contributing to a noble cause. It’s more than a holiday. It’s an experience that will touch your soul and stay with you long after you’ve returned home.

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Kusini Beach Cottages
PO Box 5519
80401 Diani Beach

Office Phone from 8:00 - 17:00

Kusini Beach Cottages

PO Box 5519
80401 Diani Beach

Office Phone from
8:00 - 17:00


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