Extraordinary Africa> Kenya> Laikipia> Lewa Wilderness
One of the things we’ve always loved about safari in Kenya, and quite particularly about safari on the Laikipia Plateau, is that so many lodges are run by their owners, people who are passionate about the wildlife and land they work with. Lewa Wilderness is the epitome of these- wild, warm and utterly rustic.
What’s Lewa Wilderness really like?
Lewa Wilderness has a very distinctively Kenyan feel: laid-back, homely and rustic. There are rough stone walls, manicured lawns and thatched roofs. Bedrooms are either Garden Rooms (often used as family rooms as they’re built in pairs around a central sitting room) which are set close to the main lodge, and Hillside Cottages which are a bit more of a walk away, but have floor to ceiling windows and glorious views over the conservancy. The main house at Lewa Wilderness is home to Will and Emma Craig and feels especially warm and welcoming – when we dropped by for tea we felt like an extra member of the family. Meals are fun and communal and there’s a pool to splosh in when things get too hot. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a gym, tennis courts and wi-fi in the main areas if you really must keep in touch with the outside world.
What can I do at Lewa Wilderness?
Game drives at Lewa Wilderness are magnificent. From the moment we first visited we fell in love with this ravishing landscape, and as an added bonus, the game viewing is utterly brilliant. Look out in particular for rhino- Lewa is a stronghold for these endangered beasts. Walking safaris with Maasai guides offer an incredibly in-depth insight into the bush, and if you want a serious adventure, just ask us about the multi-day walks you can do on Lewa- utterly unforgettable! We’d also absolutely recommend Lewa’s riding safaris– the horses here cover the range from bombproof-for-beginners to something rather more adventurous (just as long as you weigh under 90kgs) and there is little that can beat the feeling of cantering alongside a tower of giraffe or a dazzle of zebra. And if horses aren’t your thing? Well, we can always arrange a slightly more sedate camel ride! Lastly, for the romantics amongst us, visiting Kenya with visions of Out of Africa, there are bi-plane flights over the conservancy- utterly wonderful and not to be forgotten in a hurry!
Giving back at Lewa Wilderness:
We have so much to say on this subject it’s almost impossible to fit it all in. Safe to say that Lewa is run as a very serious conservation project, protecting and promoting the wildlife and the local community in tandem. This 62,000 acre conservancy was converted from farmland for the protection of animals and is home to 12% of Kenya’s black rhino population as well as 20% of the world’s Grevy’s zebra. The animals cannot exist without the support of the local population and Lewa does much to help with education in the local area, as well as a whole range of micro-finance schemes and projects to improve healthcare and clean water supplies.
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