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Lewa Safari Camp - Laikipia, Kenya

Location
Situated on the northern foothills of Mt Kenya (276 km north of Nairobi), Lewa Safari Camp is set on the 45,000 acre privately owned Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa can be reached via daily scheduled flights (via Nanyuki) to Lewa Downs or by private air charter directly to Lewa Downs airstrip. Or by road, four hour drive from Nairobi.

Kenya safari hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of traditional safari lodges or tented camps, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camps options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

The Background
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a pioneer in wildlife preservation, which has gained a reputation for extending benefits of conservation beyond its borders. Visitors have privileged access to a scenically spectacular area, densely populated with wildlife. All income generated by the camp goes directly towards Lewa's conservation and community projects. Lewa Wilderness is situated within one of Kenya's major private conservation successes, Lewa Downs which is found at the foot of Mt Kenya. Lewa Downs has been the Craig family home since 1924 when the Craigs came from England and began raising cattle here. Lewa Wilderness is the original family home of the Craigs and is still home to Will and Emma Craig.

Lewa Downs has three extraordinary assets:
• Beautiful countryside, and as good a wildlife viewing as anywhere in Africa
• The endangered species - Rhino, both Black and White, Grevy's Zebra, and Sitatunga
• A major commitment to community development and participation.

Accommodation
Twelve permanent luxury tents with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water and flush lavatories. Nine comfortable thatched cottages with ensuite bathrooms and electric lighting which is provided by a 240V generator that runs during the morning and evening hours. Closed for the months of April and November.

Dining and bars
The food is wholesome, ranch style and organically grown - full board, including soft drinks, beer, house wines and bottled water with meals.

Conference and event facilities
Upon application.
Child-friendly
Children are welcome.

What to see and do
Activities

• Day and night game drives
• Bush walks
• Sundowners
• Educational talks on the history and day to day operation of the Conservancy
• Visits to a pre-historic archaeological site
• View the wildlife from game blinds
• Game viewing: - day and night in our open 4 wheel drive vehicles, on horseback, on camels, on escorted bush walks
• Bird watching
• Cultural visits with local communities
• Farm and craft tours
• Swimming, tennis and jogging for the active

Other attractions
Optional Extras
• Horse riding
• Camel riding
• Visit Il N'gwesi cultural village

A Typical day at Lewa Safari Camp
Activities include escorted game viewing drives in a four-wheel drive vehicle, escorted horseback rides amongst the plains animals, and local walks. You can learn to read animal spoor and approach game on foot for exciting pictures. The four-wheel drive safari vehicles are open-sided with an overhead canvas awning to provide shade. There is a prehistoric site on the ranch where rough-hewn Acheulian hand axes can be found scattered on the ground, perhaps a half million years old. There is also a picturesque waterfall on the property, where you can ramble among the rocks or enjoy a relaxing afternoon reading or bird watching.

Set amid yellow-barked acacia trees, the small swamp contains a breeding stock of sitatunga, a shy aquatic antelope with long splayed hooves, which enable it to traverse marshy areas. Also, a treetop game lookout nearby is a fine place to enjoy cocktails at sunset while observing wildlife. There is some magnificent country to be explored on the flat and in the hills and horseback riding is the perfect way to get right among the plains game . . . literally a few feet away from browsing giraffe, zebra and eland. The horses give enormous pleasure to many who have never ridden before. It may also be possible for you to take an escorted walk with a camel train, with the camels perhaps carrying the table, chairs and provisions for an impromptu picnic or afternoon tea.

Founded by Anna Mertz in 1983 to protect Kenya's few remaining black rhino, the 4,000-hectare Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary is also located on the conservancy. Since that time, black rhino have been caught and brought to Lewa either from the wild or from other private sanctuaries and there are currently over 30 rhinos protected here, including black rhino plus even the rare white rhino. The bird life is superb; vultures, eagles and other birds of prey can be photographed soaring within a few feet and you can also see numerous species of bustards, plovers, coursers, bee-eaters, weavers and many others. In the evening after dinner, you may be able to depart on a night drive with a spotlight, on the lookout for nocturnally active species such as leopard (frequently encountered), aardvark, caracal, bat-eared fox, civet cat, honey badger, porcupine, bush baby, various mongooses and various genet cats. You may also get to see the famed 3 - cheetah brothers. When the time comes to leave, you go away with memories of warm and friendly hospitality, spectacular scenery and the abundant wildlife.

 

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