KENYA, LEWA CONSERVANCY
In depth guide to the seasons, animals, birds and wildlife habitats of the African safari region
of Lewa in Kenya.
request a private safari tour of Lewa
in Kenya, click here >>>
1995 the Craig family turned their entire
farm on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya into
the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, with a mandate
to protect and conserve the wildlife of Kenya.
They had to convince the local communities
to stop seeing animals as competition for
their cattle's grazing and instead see them
as a source of income. This was achieved and
many fences were taken down and old migration
routes were re-opened to the animals.
Downs is now an area of outstanding natural
beauty with the Lewa River giving life to
dense woodland and patches of open savannah
providing the perfect habitat for a whole
range of Kenya's animals.
Community development projects have also proved
successful, and nearby areas have benefited
from the Conservancy 's experience and support.
Il Ngwesi is a 16,500 acre (6,677ha) group
ranch, which now includes a lodge, is owned
and run by the Laikipiak Maasai. All profits
are returned to the community who are now
avid supporters of conservation.
Lewa has developed a range of activities for
its visitors, allowing people to get actively
involved in conservation and community projects.
the wildlife side these include day and night
game drives and nature walks, horse and camel
rides, visits to Lewa's orphaned animals and
horseback rhino patrol for experienced riders.
You can also accompany the lion tracker to collect
data on the resident lion population or head
for the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve in search
of black and white colobus monkeys. On the education/community
side you can visit schools, water schemes and
other community development projects or visit
Lewa's prehistoric archaeological site where
stone hand axes are common and date back approximately
800,000-1 million years.
leads the way in the transformation of private
farms into wildlife reserves and the safari
experience in these places is quite unique.
You are often hosted by the owners and welcomed
to a select lodge catering for a small number
of guests. Your guides are usually people who
know the area intimately, which gives a greater
depth to the whole experience.
The Conservancy has grown
and now supports an impressive array of wildlife,
much of it indigenous to the area. The 45,000
acre (18,211ha) area has more than 25% of the
world's threatened Grevy's zebra (there are
approximately only 3,000 left). At the end of
2002, eight new precious rhino calves were born
(4 white and 4 black rhino), bringing the steadily
increasing numbers to a healthy 32 indigenous
black rhino and 33 white rhino.
are of course a host of other animals native
to this part of East Africa including elephants
and reticulated giraffe who have bred so successfully,
that the Conservancy was faced with an over
population and had to relocate some of them.
There are thought to be only about 50 shy aquatic
sitatunga antelope in Kenya and Lewa Plains
has about 20 living in the swampy riverine areas
of the reserve. Other antelope to be seen in
some numbers are eland, oryx, impala and waterbuck.
Predators are not here in great numbers but
lion, leopard and hyena are around.
The days are usually hot and dry and the nights
quite cool. Typical Kenya seasons go something
Rainy Season: The long hot
and humid rainy period starts around April and
lasts until June, then the short rains come
during the warm months of November and December.
Dry Season: January through
to March are hot and dry, while July to October
are warm and dry. The warm dry season is the
best for game viewing and for personal comfort.
· Black and White rhino
· Grevy's zebras
· Aquatic sitatunga
· Rolling hills and
Lewa is malaria-free
Lewa is situated at 4,500 to 6,500 feet (1,400-2,000
metres) above sea level.
Follow the links below to Kenya's premier wildlife regions
and game reserves
Reserve Index | Wildlife