Participants running with zebras in Lewa Marathon

Running Wild Lewa Marathon on Animal Planet

One of the most outstanding things about Kenya is the beauty of its wildlife. That’s why the annual migration of the wildebeest from Tanzania’s Serengeti all the way to Kenya’s Maasai Mara has been declared one of the world’s greatest spectacles. If you like to see wild animals in their habitat, then you must watch Running Wild on Friday 26 June at 21:05 on Animal Planet (channel 183). This week, they feature the annual Lewa Marathon.

In this Marathon (at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy), participants get to run side by side with rhinos, zebras, gazelles, elephants, giraffes among others in the animal kingdom. I don't know about lions, cheetahs or other carnivores but running in the wild seems like a cool idea, even better if it's against a backdrop of Africa's most breath-taking scenery. Side note: this should be on your bucket list if you've never done it.


Now, if you were on a safari and you came face to face with several wild animals, there are four ways of going about it: fight, flight, fawn and freeze.

But let's cut to the chase and get fighting out of the way because well, who are we kidding here. You can't go head to head with a lion that's charging at you. Imagine that, you standing firm and frowning at the king of the jungle. This king doesn't like to be provoked.

In such circumstances, a lot of people would go with option number two - flight. It might seem like a reasonable idea but try beating a cheetah or a even lion to a sprinting match. Fleeing could only work if there are guards nearby so that you can run towards them. But running away is still risky, tempting but risky. Just don't run, unless you are running wild at Lewa Marathon.

Which brings us to option number three: fawning. Simply put, you need to try to gain favour by flattering that leopard until it falls for your charms. If you possess that rare gift of speaking to animals, that's a starting point to try and tame the animal. Who knows, maybe the lion is just looking for a neck rub to purr it to sleep. It is after all, a cat.

Option number four: freeze could also work in your favour if complemented with evasive eye contact. Never look at a leopard straight in the eyes or it might think you are trying to challenge it. Then just retreat slowly. The freeze method also works well with snakes.

Camouflaging could also work too. It may be uncomfortable trying to look like a bush or covering yourself in mud but at least you will live to tell the tale.

Finally, a fashion tip you'd want to consider - go easy on the perfume. According to research, Calvin Klein attracts wild cats and other animals. So when you go on a safari, you may want to let CK sit this one out. Go with something a little less alluring to the wild animals or maybe wear no perfume at all.



Wanna be part of the action at the famed Lewa Marathon? Remember to tune in to Running Wild on Animal Planet (Channel 181) this Friday 26 June at 22:05.