User Reviews – Lewa Conservancy
Email Christopher J May | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
I can't say enough good things about Lewa. Visiting Lewa was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The wildlife, the birds, the scenic vistas, the people, the commitment to the animals and the community. It was all awesome. It truly inspired a sense of awe in me. Good things are happening at Lewa and it was exciting to see that. I cannot say enough about the professionalism, courtesy and thorough knowledge of the staff. They made an amazing place even more interesting with their commitment to provide guests with an enjoyable and informative experience. I left Lewa knowing that I would be back. It's not a question of if, but only when. It's in my blood now and I honestly can't imagine not seeing this amazing place again.
I loved Lewa for its white rhino, black rhino, and the painted wild dogs I saw while there.
Heaven on Earth!
What a special place, doing special work! Wildlife was diverse, abundant and showed many natural behaviors. Not touristy nor overcrowded--a plus. Fantastic accommodations and the guides were phenomenal. Highlight--giraffe and zebra being "shooed" off dirt airstrip as we landed.
Peace, Beauty, and Drama in the Bush, Without Crowds
For the serious wildlife observer, who also doesn't mind some creature comforts, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is ideal. Lewa is one of the best examples of ecotourism benefitting the local economy while preserving habitat and wildlife that would otherwise disappear.
I accompanied my then 84-year-old mother on this trip. We were already long-time Africa hands, and this trip was designed to be easy and relaxed, in recognition of my mother's needs, but nevertheless a full experience of the Africa we loved. The staff couldn't have been more attentive or helpful, and our guide, Peter Kiyaa, was knowledgeable, personable, and responsive to the way we wanted to experience the bush -- not rushing around too much, but extended, quiet observation.
The accomodations were delightful--we were in a well-appointed tented suite, a short walk from the lodge/dining building. The lodge is on a ridge with a spectacular view over the surrounding landscape of rolling hills and valleys to the west, all the way to Mt. Kenya to the south. As it happened, there were few other guests during most of our two-week stay, and we had the undivided attention of staff, which allowed us to get to know each other well, and develop friendships that continued long after the trip was over. The food was excellent, a highlight being breakfast on the veranda (with the birds stealing most of the butter, lol). Being a cook myself, I also enjoyed getting to know the kitchen staff.
The wildlife viewing is excellent, with frequent fine views of elephants, rhinos, giraffe, lions, antelope, warthogs, etc., and even eventually an extraordinary night-game-run view of a courting leopard pair. Birding was also extremely varied and satisfying -- all the classic african bush birds, plus special experiences like the raptor and crowned crane migrations (huge numbers) occurring during our visit (January). The rocky outcroppings and cliffs of Hankin's Gorge provided scenic and very entertaining views of rock hyraxes and the unusual stone partridge, which gave us a remarkable sunset chorus. On a night game run, we had memorable encounters with an owl and a strangely hypnotized thick-knee (stone-curlew).
The landscape is everything one could hope for, beautiful acacias, lush grasslands, interesting geographical features, and a wetland area. Gorgeous rainbows appeared after one brief storm. For photographers, the opportunities are endless. The golden hour is glorious!
Our game runs were undisturbed by others, and the ability to observe the natural behavior of the animals and birds for extended periods was priceless. Although this may have been just a stroke of luck for us, I suspect that Lewa manages its tourist capacity very responsibly and maintains a quality experience for everyone.
Definitely a new favorite destination in Africa, and admirable organization deserving of strong support!
50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Lewa's Great Bush Experience Plus Creature Comforts
We have been to Lewa twice, once with our family and another family in Oct. 2007 and again just my husband and I in October 2008. The accommodations are lovely though not over-the-top luxurious (e.g., Vumbura Plains Camp in Botswana where we spent a few of our days recently in Botswana). The food is tasty and well-prepared without being pretentiously gourmet. The staff, especially the guides were excellent. In addition to the requisite cheetahs, lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and white rhino, we saw wild dogs from a distance. Plus the staff described a history (don't know how recent) of trying to integrate local communities into conservation. Overall an experience worth doing.
50-65 years of age
This place felt a little artificial. I was perturbed to discover that I had to pay conservancy fees, I'd been given the impression that in staying there rather than at a lodge in a National Park, there's be a saving in respect of park entrance fees. In the event, I don't think it worked out any cheaper. We didn't see as much game as we'd hoped for, no lions for example.
35-50 years of age
Private owned ranch, very nice to be seen, you can live a research on the field.