ELEWANA KIRAFU HOUSE - LEWA - LAIKIPIA
Home to East Africa’s healthiest black and white rhino populations, Elewana Kirafu appropriately takes its name from the Swahili word for rhino. The conservancy covers 65,000 acres - a vast wilderness - and has dramatic views to the south of snow capped Mt. Kenya and to the north down to the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi. It has many diverse habitats from pristine forest, fertile grasslands, extensive springs and acacia woodland.
Registered as a rhino conservancy in 1983, the conservancy is famous for its successful rhino and Grevy zebra breeding, two endangered species; Lewa is home to 10% of Kenya’s rhino, and 20% of the worlds population of Grevy zebra. The whole conservancy is fenced, and the conservancy employs over 150 rangers. The conservancy does extensive outreach work into the surrounding communities with its Community Development Program, including healthcare, education, micro-finance, and water projects – in order to share with the community the benefits of wildlife. With over 70 recorded mammal species within the conservancy, for guests, the wildlife experience is unrivalled.
Located within the world-famous Lewa Conservancy in the Laikipia region of northern Kenya.
A haven of luxury in the bush you will immediately feel at home on arrival. Relax in the comfortable sitting room with a well-stocked bar and elegant dining area extend out to a large, comfortably furnished terrace. Here you can enjoy a sunny breakfast al fresco and watch the wildlife at the waterhole below. Relax by the infinity pool and enjoy the magnificent views over the distant plains. The lodge has a library and log fires in the lounge and dining rooms during the cooler evenings.
There are just five thatched cottages tucked away in an oasis of lawns - all have well-appointed bedrooms, with four-poster beds and generous en-suite bathrooms and there is one family cottage with 2 separate ensuite rooms.
Guided Bush Walks - for the more adventurous exploring the Conservancy’s diversity on foot accompanied by trained Samburu rangers with outstanding knowledge of the local flora and fauna, tracks, micro-ecosystems, history and culture of the area, as well as hands-on knowledge of rhino conservation.
Game Drives - shared 4×4 open sided Land Rovers. There are strict limits on the number of tourists allowed in the Conservancy at one time which allows you to enjoy an almost private game viewing experience. Within the protected area the wildlife is abundant and game viewing is outstanding. The conservancy has one of the biggest rhino populations in Kenya, the Big 5, the rare Grevy’s zebra and plentiful sightings of lion, cheetah and all the plains game set against the magnificent backdrop of snow-capped Mt. Kenya.
Ngare Ndare Forest Walk - another chance to leave the car behind is to visit Ngare Ndare Forest Conservancy for the day. Located south of Lewa guests can experience the rich diversity of this beautiful montane forest at eye-level with the monkeys and dozens of bird species high up on the Canopy Walk. Guests will have a sumptuous picnic by the river where they can relax and play. There are usually elephants in the forest, so guests will be escorted by a Lewa Guide. There is an extra cost to visit Ngare Ndare Forest only to cover the separate Conservation Fee.
Horse and Camel Riding - for those who like to expend less energy and enjoy a loftier view getting closer to the game, horseback or camel walks are also available. Elewana Kifaru House offers evening horse rides where you can get up close to the plains game as they graze. Although Kifaru horses are well-schooled and completely at home in the bush, riding is for experienced riders only and subject to availability. There is an additional charge and riders will be requested to fill out a questionnaire to ascertain their competency. Camel rides are available for those without riding skills. Led by experienced Samburu handlers, camel riders can enjoy a scenic walk through the wilderness and experience the gentle, rolling pace of the traditional Samburu transport. Camel riding is subject to availability and there is an additional charge.
Bush Breakfasts - enjoy dramatic sunrises as you watch the dawn break and enjoy a hearty breakfast al fresco in the middle of the plains surrounded by wildlife. Feel part of the wilderness with the spectacular views, the scents, the colours and the pageant of wildlife all around.
Sundowners - are a safari tradition after a day in the wilderness stop and watch the huge red equatorial sun sink below the horizon and savour the moments with a gin and tonic or glass of champagne.
Cultural Village Visits - Lewa Wildlife Conservancy borders the Samburu communities of Tassia and Il Ngwesi in the arid lowlands of the north and many of the Conservancy and Lodge staff are recruited from this area. Elewana Kifaru House offers visits to neighbouring local Samburu homesteads (manyattas). For an additional fee the Samburu families will be delighted to show you round their traditional homes, built by the women from cattle dung and grass, and share their way of life with you and sell their traditional handicrafts.
Conservancy Visits - for a small donation to the Lewa Education Programme guests can visit the local schools during term time. They can also have a tour of the Conservancy offices and participate in Conservation work such as the training of the anti-poaching tracker dogs.
Swimming - Elewana Kifaru House guests can relax by the picturesque heated, infinity swimming pool that looks out over the grasslands below teeming with wildlife and the spectacular snow-capped Mount Kenya. Sunbeds and a shaded lounge area make it a perfect place to read and relax during the day.
Today Lewa serves as catalyst for conservation in Kenya and beyond. Through the protection and management of endangered species, the initiation and support of community conservation and development programmes, and the education of neighbouring communities in the value of wildlife, Lewa has become a model for wildlife conservation not only private land in Kenya but also a regional centre of conservation excellence.
The area is a destination for tourism, and a leading example of an integrated approach where both people and wildlife benefit from conservation. For the last three decades Lewa’s innovative practices have resulted in thriving black rhino habitat and population which in turn creates a robust ecosystem for a multitude of species including the endangered Grevy’s zebra, elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe and more.
Lewa envisions a future where people across Kenya continue to value, protect and benefit from wildlife. This future depends on communities being able to derive their day-to-day livelihoods in ways that are compatible with thriving wildlife habitat. As a result, Lewa invests heavily in the livelihoods of its neighbours through programmes in education, healthcare, water, micro-enterprise, youth empowerment and more.
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