The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, also called Lewa Downs, is a 62,000 acre ranch and wildlife sanctuary. It is has been home to the Craig family since 1924 who by setting aside 5000 acres of their ranch in 1983, were instrumental in setting up a sanctuary to protect black rhinos. Fortunately this was so successful that in 1995 they dedicated their entire ranch to conservation and it now homes over 10% of Kenya’s entire black rhino population and 14% of their white rhino population.making it the perfect choice for your next safari if you want to catch the big 5, namely rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo all of which make their The snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya dominate the views to the south.
Notably Lewa Downs, where Ian Craig (who is the father of Jecca Craig one of Prince William’s closest friends) still resides, provided Prince William with the setting and privacy in October 2010 for him to propose to his girlfriend Kate Middleton. Prince William is a keen conservationist and has visited the area on numerous occasions and therefore it seemed the natural choice for him when it came to choosing the ideal location for an engagement.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, in addition to the big 5, is also a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife. It supports a myriad of plains game species all perfectly adapted for the semi desert environment and Grevy’s Zebra and the Reticulated Giraffe are common. Additionally, the lance-like horned Beisa Oryx and the rare Greater Kudu are seasonal visitors and the Guenther’s Dikdik, the giraffe-necked Gerenuk and the beautiful blue-legged Somali Ostrich are resident all year round.
The swamp has become a sanctuary in itself for the rare and fascinating semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelope and its primary predator, the Leopard. Birdlife is equally rich with numerous species of Bustard, Plover, Coursers and birds of prey. At night, leopard are frequently encountered along with bush-babies, aardvarks, bat-eared foxes, caracal and various mongooses, genets and civets – given all this a few days in Lewa will give you a unique combination of hospitality, spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is an award-winning catalyst and model for community conservation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Green List of successful protected areas.