The 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 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 Britain's Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton there 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.
The Lewa Conservancy is located south of the town of Isiolo near the Laikipia Plateau. If you are travelling by road the conservancy is a 4 hour drive from Nairobi on the Thika Road.
Airport - 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.
The game viewing is fantastic and you will head out in one of the conservancies specially adapted safari vehicles in the company of an experienced ranger and tracker in search of wildlife including the Big Five. One of the attractions is the number of endangered Black and White Rhino that can be found in the Conservancy, as well as rare animals such as Grevy's Zebra and the Reticulated Giraffe.
One of the greatest attractions of the Lewa Conservancy is that it allows you the freedom to do different safari activities such as going on bush walks accompanied by local guides who will help you interpret the secrets of the bush. If you are looking for a more relaxing time, then spend some times in one of the hides overlooking the waterhole. The lodges also offer optional activities such as Horseback safaris and even safaris on Camel back.
You can also visit the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve and seek Black and White Colobus Monkeys as well as many species of birds. The Conservancy is actively involved 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 local culture and learn about life in Africa.