Lewa Downs is home to East Africa's largest rhino population and other endangered animals!
The Lewa Downs is a stunning valley set in the middle of the Laikipia Plateau, deserving of a special mention, as it features probably the second best game viewing in the country. Only offering a handful of lodge choices, has become famous for the wide variety of rare and beautiful game species it now protects.
Established in the early 80’s by the Craig/Douglas family as a black rhino sanctuary, the Conservancy has gone from strength to strength, adding new species over the years to include the near extinct Grevy’s zebra, the Sitatunga antelope, cheetah, lion, elephant and Reticulated giraffe. As it is private land, and not a national park, the added benefit is that it is possible to walk, night drive, horse and camel ride. It also Similar to the Laikipia Plateau, Lewa offers a great alternative or compliment to a safari in the Mara. Very simple to get to with flights up from Nairobi or the Mara, we would probably recommend the area to those looking for a little extra safari time as it has great game, but not quite as many activity options as the nearby Laikipia lodges.
The second highest mountain in Africa has been somewhat overshadowed by its Tanzanian counterpart these days. Once considered alongside Kilimanjaro as one of the peaks to climb in Africa, due to the fact that it is a technical climb rather than a hike, it has really fallen out of favour. It is still possible to hike up the lower slopes, but to get up to the actual summit is a much harder prospect. With this in mind, similar to the Abadares, it is not necessarily somewhere that we overly recommend visiting due to the lack of guiding and operation being up to standard.
At a glance... Lewa Downs
- Size 250 square miles
- Location Northern Kenya
- Recommended time 3 or 4 nights
- Time to visit All year round
- Safari ActivitiesGame drives, guided bush walks, cultural visits,
- Topography Open savanna grasslands and bushy thicket incorporating the Ngare Ndare Forest, backdrop of Mount Kenya
- Main species The big 5. Protected species such as the black rhino