Lewa Wildlife Conservancy which is also known as the Lewa Downs, is located in the northern Kenya. It was formed in 1995 and is a wildlife sanctuary incorporating the Nagre Ndare Forest covering over 62,000 acres (250km2). The Lewa conservancy is a haven for the rare and wonderful Kenya wildlife of the region while simultaneously offering one of the most exclusive and invidualised safari experience in East Africa, including the rare and endangered black rhinos, Grevy’s zebras and the sitatungas. Lewa holds over the 12% of the Kenya’s eastern black rhinoceros and the largest single population of the Grevy’s zebras in the world (approximately 350 individuals)
Lewa Wildlife conservancy was a cattle ranch founded by the Craig family in the 1920’s through a colonial settlement program. In the 1980’s part of the ranch was converted into a sanctuary for the Black Rhino whose numbers had been reduced to less than 300 due to poaching. In 1995 the conservancy was founded and the area expanded to include the whole farm and part of the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve.
Lewa Downs has been an exclusive safari destination for many years, but was made famous when the Britain’s Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton in 2010. It is considered to be one of the greatest conservation success stories in the world and is a model for sustainable tourism. Another event the conservancy is famous for is the Safaricom Marathon, an annual event held to raise money for the conservancy’s environmental initiatives.
Climate of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
The days are warm, rising to maximum of 300 C, but comfortable with minimum humidity, and the evenings are cool with cost blankets on the beds. Rainfall is mostly in May and November with the average of 360mmm per year.
Attractions in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Lewa wildlife conservancy has got the thriving wildlife population, including the Big 5 like the leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino ( though the leopard sightings are still relatively unusual), rarities like the Grevy’s zebra. Naturally, both the black and the white rhinos are one of the main drawcards, and Lewa is one of the best places to view the two African rhino species. Not much compares to the sight of a critically endangered black rhino out in the open on Lewa’s grasslands, with the singular outline of Mount Kenya in the background.
Lewa wildlife conservancy has well has got the northern ‘’specials’’ are all present, including the reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Generuk, Somali Ostrich, Grevy zebra. The conservancy is a population stronghold of the endangered Grevy’s zebra, and the growing numbers have been translocated to bolster populations in the surrounding conservancies. Lions and cheetahs abound, and packs of African painted wolves occasionally make a fleeting appearance.
Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve.
Tourists during their safari in the Lewa conservancy can visit the Ngare Ndare forest reserve and seek Black and White Colobus Monkeys as well as many species of birds, the conservancy is actively involves in the community and guests are actively encouraged to participate in conservation and community projects. These are often a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about life in Africa. The Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve covers 62,000 acres. Ngare Ndare Forest is the main hike through the forest eventually leads to a waterfall, though the flow from the fall is seasonal, and they are at their strongest in the rainy season or just after. The pool below the falls is safe to swim in.
The snow-capped peak of Mount Kenya can be seen clearly in the distance at Lewa Wildlife conservancy. The conservancy itself is dominated by rolling, whaleback semi-arid plains dotted with the acacia trees. Large swamp area is fringed by the yellow trees and several hills also offer lookout points over the surrounding plains.
Activities in the Lewa wildlife Conservancy.
Tourists do enjoy the game drives done in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy with a team of the fully-qualified driver guides who supports the safari vehicles that allows the amazing viewing but it is also recognized as the richness of the game that the guests always like, the tourists are always able to view all the safari predators including the rare Grevy zebra, the black and white rhino can be viewed in plenty. There is also good elephant viewing near the lodge. On the other side Lewa Wildlife conservancy provides the night game driving to the tourists while using the spotlight and the full moon when it obliges, generally the conservancy is very nice to spot the Big 5.
Cultural visits to the Maasai villages.
The tourists who visit the Lewa wildlife conservancy do carryout the cultural visits to the Maasai villages as these are fascinating and enable you to see how the tribes live, as you will be greatness with a welcome ceremony including the dance even the participation of the tourists is encouraged. Although it can feel a touch voyeuristic, the Maasai people enjoy showing off their homes and the visits provide much-needed income for them, as well the tourists do tip as well as supporting them to buy the souvenirs from their art shops.
For the little something out of the ordinary, walking wild is the camel safari operation. The guest can opt for a short camel ride, or longer camel trek (2 nights minimum) where the guest walk across the African plains while the camels and Maasai guides transport the camp.
Bush gym is a fully equipped gym in a certain lodges that provides the guests with the most an incredible view over the Lewa plains.
Pepo la Tumaini.
The Lewa Wildlife conservancy has got and supports an HIV/AIDS orphanage, with both the clinic and the senior school, the Pepo la Tumaini, in the nearby town of Isiolo. The guests are always welcome to visit the school and meet the children.
Waterfalls and Picnics.
The tourists do always take a 10 minute walk from their lodges and see the waterfall safe to jump off and swim in the pools, as well as they are enjoying the picnic lunch under the trees and spend the afternoon in the bush.
Horse riding is the best way to explore the Lewa wildlife conservancy, it is one of the very popular ways to investigate and safari through the open lands to the east of the lodge, with everything levels and have become very accustomed to accommodating groups of mixed ability.
Walking safaris is another way of exploring the conservancy, as this is one in a more traditional fashion on the foot, this is done especially with the Maasai guides, who have lived in the place all their lives which get up close to many of the wild neighbors, The walking safari is the barrier and ground is covered very easily making the safari to be experienced for real, the walking safari can be done during the early morning and evening hours.
Lewa wildlife conservancy provides other activities like the hot air balloon trips at the dawn, bush breakfasts, sundowners in magical spots and many more.
Best time to visit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
The best time to visit Lewa conservancy is from June to September, and again from December to March, but with the climate change, the seasons have shifted and are less reliable so as long as the camps are open, there is likely to be good Kenya wildlife viewing. Most of the dry season in the year, that’s when the conditions are best for safari and sightings are more common due to wildlife gathering around water sources. However, the rains bring an extraordinary transformation in the landscape, when the arid, brown grasses burst with the greens and colour. Most Kenyans and most of the animals are delighted when the rains finally arrive.
The most unpredictable weather patterns are their during the main wet season are from April to June. This means that the excursions might be canceled at the last minute. The ‘’short rains’’ which occur between October and December can sometimes disrupt a safari, but generally are short and only last a few hours.
Where to stay in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Lewa Wildlife conservancy has got various accommodation facilities for the tourists who come to visit the conservancy that are categorized into the Budget, Mid-range and the Luxury accommodations, such as the Lewa House, Elewana Kirafu House, Lewa Safari camp, Lewa wilderness, Lewa safari lodge and many more.
How to get to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Lewa Wildlife conservancy can be reached by both the air and road transport from Nairobi the capital city to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
By road transport.
The Lewa Conservancy is located south of the town of the Isiolo near the Laikipia plateau. If you are travelling by road the conservancy is a 4 hour drive from Nairobi City on the Thika road.
By Air transport.
The easiest way to get to Lewa Downs is by air on a direct flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport into the conservancy’s private airstrip. There are daily scheduled flights. This takes you’re like more than 30 to 45 minutes. Safarilink and the Airkenya are the primary domestic flights operators. They run a reliable network connecting most of Kenya and will enable you to get to your onward destinations such as the coast.