The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (also known as Lewa Downs) is located in northern Kenya. It was formed in 1995. It is a wildlife sanctuary incorporating the Ngare Ndare Forest and covering over 62,000 acres (250 km2). The Conservancy is home to a wide variety of wildlife including the rare and endangered black rhino, Grevy's zebra and sitatunga. It also includes the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and African buffalo). Lewa holds over 12% of Kenya's black rhino population and the largest single population of Grevy's zebras in the world (approximately 350 individuals).
Getting to Lewa
The simplest way of reaching Lewa is by flying direct from Nairobi (Wilson Airport) with SafariLink or Air Kenya. There are daily scheduled flights to the Conservancy.
The Lewa airstrip also allows private or chartered planes to land & deliver guests. There are a few private charter companies you can contact in and around Nairobi
You can also get to Lewa by road. Only 4 hours drive from Nairobi, head out through the Thika road. Pass through Thika, Makuyu and Karatina. Turn right before Nyeri Town (about 16km before the town there are signs to Buffalo Springs and Samburu). Pass through Naro Moru, Nanyuki, and Timau. Approximately 15km after Timau is the Meru/Isiolo junction. Turn left at this junction heading towards Isiolo. Approx 3km further on at the bottom of the hill on the left hand side is the main entrance to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Transport & Safari Drives
To preserve the wildlife natural environment and keep our guests’ exclusive experience, minibuses are not permitted within the Conservancy. All game drives are done in four wheel drive vehicles provided by Lewa, or the selected safari companies accompanied by Lewa’s trained guides.
Although there is some flexibility the rains in this part of Kenya normally falls in April and in November.
During the rains the camps and lodges are closed:
- 1st of April to 1st of May
- 21st of October to the 1st of December
During this rainy season we will not permit any traffic through Lewa. This especially important for visitors who are driving to Il N'gwesi and Tassia
All the camps and lodges on Lewa are powered by 220V generators. You will be able to charge your camera batteries without any problems. The electric sockets are the British 3-pins standards sockets.
No immunizations are required by law to enter Kenya if you are traveling directly from Europe or the US. If you are traveling from a country where Yellow Fever is present you will need to prove you have had the innoculation.
Several vaccinations are highly recommended, they include:
- Yellow Fever
- Hepatitis A
It is also recommended that you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccinations. Contact a travel clinic at least 3 months before you plan to travel.
Lewa is situated at 4,500 to 6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 meters) above sea level. The days are usually hot and dry and the nights quite cool. Clothing should be light for the day and warm for the evening game drives and sundowners followed by the night game drive home. A windcheater or fleece is essential, as are good walking shoes.
Sun protection - hat, sunglasses and high factor sun cream is recommended.
In general people are extremely friendly in Kenya and you will be humbled by their hospitality. But, there is real poverty in Kenya and you will soon realise that you are far richer and more fortunate than most local people you meet. You will probably attract your fair share of souvenir hawkers and beggars, but try and take the time to meet ordinary people going about their day to day business too. The experience will be worth it. Don't be afraid to step out of that tour bus, just take some precautions.