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What safari really means and other cool Kenyan facts

“I am really proud of the fact that Kenya has lots of wildlife including the big 5," says Middle Schooler Cymone. "I think it is pretty cool since I love animals, I am really fascinated by them. In the Southern part of Kenya where it borders Tanzania, there are two national parks, one in Kenya and one in Tanzania, and that's where the wildebeest migration happens. So if you go there at a specific time, you can watch them cross over, which I think is pretty cool. When I was younger, I really liked The Lion King, knowing that I could also go visit these types of things when I would go to Kenya. What’s also very interesting is that the setting of Lion King was inspired by Kenya's famous Masaai Mara National Park where the annual wildebeest migration takes place. Hakuna matata is one the most well-known Swahili phrases, and, yes, as the son in Lion King says, ‘it means no worries’. Speaking of Swahili: Safari is also a Swahili word, it means journey.

Really?! That’s cool!
“Yes.”

Did you take those photos yourself?
“My mama did.”

Did you see zebras in real life?
“Yes. And elephants and giraffes.”

Were you ever in a dangerous situation with animals?
“No, but on my parents' honeymoon, somehow a lion got close to the buggy at some point. The ones they use in Kenya are usually kind of like jeeps, there's no top so. It was at night and they were driving in a national preserve. Apparently, a lion was right next to it, so they had to be really quiet , but it didn't do anything. My dad said they assumed it must have been full. Obviously, if a lion sees you. it will probably run at you and eat you, but it just stood there and looked, and then they drove away.”

Wow! That’s quite a story! Is there a common misconception about Kenyans you’d like to set straight?
“A common misconception could be that all Kenyans are runners. I don't think that this is bad but some Kenyans probably don't like this assumption. I wouldn't be one of those Kenyans because I play basketball which requires lots of running. It's not a bad misconception, it's just something people hear about. I think a year ago we had the fastest marathon ever run, an hour and 59 minutes, and that was a Kenyan guy. And beforehand, in the Olympics, there are usually a lot of Kenyan runners. My friend who's also Kenyan is from a tribe that's known for running. My mum used to run when she was younger. I don't think my dad ran. He really likes bicycling. Both of them used to be in a choir.”