Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a wildlife sanctuary and a haven for rare wildlife species in Kenya located in northern Kenya, the conservancy also known as Lewa Conservancy is a prize winning example of the great conservation works by the local community.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located in Meru County, South of Isiolo town, north of Mount Kenya.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is an excellent sanctuary for vulnerable Black rhinos, the sanctuary was formed in 1995 and is a wildlife sanctuary incorporating the Ngare Ndare Forest covering over 62,000 acres (250 square kilometers).
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is formerly a cattle ranch during the colonial settlement scheme and it was set up by the Craig family, due to poaching, the population of black rhinos declined to below 300. This forced the portion of the ranch to be transformed into a home for them during the 1980s.
In 1955, the conservancy was established and the region was extended to integrate a section of Ngare Ndare Forest park plus the entire farm. The conservancy is a home to a wide variety of wildlife including the rare and endangered black rhinos, Grevy’s zebras and sitatungas. There is also lions, leopards, rhinos and cape buffaloes.
The Lewa Conservancy is hosts over 12% of Kenya’s Eastern black rhinoceros population and the largest single population of Grevy’s Zebras in the world with about 350 individuals.
The conservancy is also a home to the Northern Rangelands Trust, an innovative partnership with a number of communities to the north who have given land for the preservation of Wildlife. Lewa wildlife conservancy has its own education program that helps develop schools and students.
History of The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
In 1922, the Craig – Douglas family were allocated the land by the British Colonial government and managed it as a cattle ranch for over 50 years. The Craig s always valued the wildlife that they shared the land with the cattle and developed wildlife tourism as an additional activity at their ranch.
By the early 1980s the survival of the black rhinos in Kenya was uncertain as their population had declined due to poaching for horn, the only way to prevent their complete extinction was to create high security sanctuaries.
In 1983, the craigns and Anna Merz – who founded the program decided to establish the fence and guarded The Ngare Sergio Rhion Sanctuary at the western end of the Lewa Downs. The rhino sanctuary was stocked partly with animals from other reserve and partly by isolated individuals from northern Kenya whose likely survival was a matter of months at most. The black rhinos that were caught settled down and breed and the white rhinos were added.
After 10 years, it was clear that the rhinos needed more spaces and the sanctuary was expanded to cover the rest of the ranch and the adjoining Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve.
In 2001, Lewa partnered with Gerald Chamales to change his company’s name to Rhiontek Computer Products when the company began sending part of its annual revenue to support Lewa.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy’s perimeter was almost entirely fenced for security purposes and also to ensure that the elephants did not raid crops in neighboring farms but the ecological connections between Lewa and neighboring wildlife areas were maintained by leaving gaps in the fence for animal movements.
Lewa Airport is a home to Lewa Airport, it also hosts the Lewa Marathon which is hosted for fundraising purposes.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a unique Kenya wildlife destination and it became popular in 2010 when Prince William of Britain proposed to Catherine Middleton in the conservancy during their Kenya trip.
What to do and Attractions in Lewa
- Walking safaris in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Horseback safari in Lewa Conservancy
- The best place to view the white and black rhinos.
- Engage in educational trips on the conservancy’s daily operations,
- Game drives (wildlife viewing on a 4×4 safari jeep)
- View the Grevy’s zebras.
- Bush dinners
- Horse rides
- Engage in Camel plus horse riding across the tropical savannah.
- Night game drives M
- Maasai Cultural Village trips
Safari Experience in Lewa Conservancy
On a safari experience in Lewa Conservancy, visitors are accompanied by a tracker and a ranger with lots of experience during game drives in specifically suitable vehicle. Game viewing in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a remarkable experience offering you sights of black and white rhinos, Grevy’s zebras, lions, leopards among others.
You will also see several bird species and primates such as black and white colobus monkeys in the Ngare Ndare Forest park.
Lewa Conservancy actively engages with the community and conservation projects which is the excellent way to educate them about conservation, also the visitors can visit the local communities to learn more about African life, traditions and local norms.
Climate of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy experiences warm days with temperatures increasing to 30°C with humidity that is low and cold evenings. November and May are the months with the most rainfall with an annual 360mm average.
Best Time to Visit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy for safari
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is among the amazing tourist destinations in Kenya offering great wildlife viewing all year round, however the best time to visit is during the dry season. Rain season that is in the months of April and November should be avoided as it can interfere with tourism as the roads are almost impassable, the best time to visit for game drives is from June to October, the peak season begins from June to October and December to March.
The Low tourist Season begins in April, May and even in November, some lodges and camps close during this season.