Lewa Wilderness Lodge

distinctive Camp | Lewa / Laikipia, Kenya

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Lewa Wilderness Lodge offers one of Kenya's oldest private safari experiences. For more than 40 years guests have visited this remarkable region to share an adventure like no other. Sitting in the shadow of Africa's second highest mountain, the lodge is at the heart of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lewa is a private 65,000-acre sanctuary that is home to an enormous diversity of animals, including some of the most endangered species in Africa.

Photo of Greg Courter

Our Expert Says

Located within the famous Lewa Conservancy, one of Kenya’s most successful private conservation efforts, Lewa Wilderness Trails Lodge is a perfect addition to any Kenya safari itinerary. The wildlife here is varied and plentiful and includes about 10 percent of Kenya's black rhino population and the single largest population of Grevy's zebra in the world. The property’s thatched bungalows and cozy common areas provide a comfortable stay, and the beautiful gardens on the grounds add to the enjoyment.

– Greg Courter

Lewa Wilderness Lodge, exquisite en suite bathroom with spacious soaking tub and wonderful interior decorating, African safaris, Kenya

Facilities & Amenities

  • En suite bathroom with tub and shower
  • Fireplace
  • Mini bar
  • 220v charging outlets in room
  • Central pool
  • Tennis court
  • Massage treatments (extra cost)
  • Wi-Fi in main area
  • Laundry included
  • Local drinks included (house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)

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Lewa Wilderness Lodge, beautiful green lawn sloping up to the thatched roof of  the safari lodge, clear blue skies above and welcoming trees, Kenya

The Lodge

Location: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya
Number of Cottages: 9

Wilderness Trails Lodge was once the homestead of the Craig family, owners of the original ranch that has become Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The Craig's have welcomed travelers here for more than 40 years. Today, nine cottages, all with en suite facilities, log fireplaces and private verandas, accommodate a maximum of 18 guests. Options include family cottages in the garden or private chalets on the hill overlooking the former frontier district. Each of the rooms is unique, having changed in style over several successive generations of Craig family management. Guests are welcome to relax in the sitting area, the swimming pool or on the tennis courts. Shared meals are enjoyed around a banquet table in the open-air dining room, with an on-site farm producing many of the fresh ingredients. The lodge’s main areas overlook a wooded valley where a river flows year-round. Some of the best wildlife sightings happen right here, as lion, leopard and elephant often frequent this water source.

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Photo: Wildlife Viewing & Activities

Wildlife Viewing & Activities

Lewa Conservancy offers a firsthand experience of groundbreaking wildlife conservation work. A pacesetter for bringing back endangered species, this private refuge has become the leading role model for sustainable conservation in East Africa. It has played an instrumental role in returning black and white rhinoceros from the brink of extinction and is also a sanctuary for Grevy's zebra and sitatunga, a rare aquatic antelope. Lewa’s mixed habitats include open grasslands and gentle hills, mature acacia forest and papyrus swamp, harboring a wide range of wildlife. The Big Five—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo—thrive here alongside cheetah, wildebeest, hartebeest, giraffe, hippo, hyena, colobus monkey and wild dog. Lewa is home to more than 400 bird species, including Somali ostrich, kori bustard and lilac-breasted roller. On day and night wildlife drives, bush walks, horseback and camel rides against the backdrop of snowcapped Mt. Kenya, and scenic flights by open-cockpit biplane (extra cost), learn about Lewa’s mission to act as a catalyst for conservation across Africa.

The conservancies of the Laikipia District have varying concentrations and species of wildlife, and the below chart helps to illustrate major wildlife sightings often experienced in the area. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a rhino sanctuary, and this and other reserves in Laikipia feature unique subspecies, such as reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, gerenuk, and Jackson’s hartebeest and a number of other mammals, birds and reptiles. Exact sightings will depend on seasonality and wildlife movements.

Country Park/Reserve
Black Rhino
Gemsbok / Oryx
Greater Kudu
White Rhino
Wild Dog
Kenya Lewa / Laikipia

Usually viewed
Frequently viewed
Occasionally viewed
Sporadically viewed
Rarely to never viewed

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Month Max Min Rainfall
January 75° F 55° F 1.89 in
23° C 12° C 48 mm
February 79° F 54° F 1.93 in
26° C 12° C 49 mm
March 79° F 55° F 4.09 in
26° C 12° C 104 mm
April 77° F 59° F 10.67 in
25° C 15° C 271 mm
May 75° F 59° F 6.18 in
23° C 15° C 157 mm
June 75° F 57° F 1.02 in
23° C 13° C 26 mm
July 72° F 55° F 1.06 in
22° C 12° C 27 mm
August 72° F 54° F 1.26 in
22° C 12° C 32 mm
September 77° F 55° F 1.18 in
25° C 12° C 30 mm
October 79° F 57° F 8.7 in
26° C 13° C 221 mm
November 73° F 57° F 10.59 in
22° C 13° C 269 mm
December 73° F 54° F 4.21 in
22° C 12° C 107 mm

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Lewa Wilderness Lodge, a massive black rhino stares into the camera against a majestic blue backdrop as he grazes on the savanna, African safaris


With the precipitous decline of black rhinos across Africa in the 1970s, government wildlife agencies and conservation organizations increasingly turned to private landowners, non-profit organizations and indigenous communities to protect the few remaining animals. In Kenya, the number of black rhinos dropped from an estimated 20,000 to fewer than 300 animals, and the only way to prevent their complete extinction was to create high security sanctuaries. In 1983, David and Delia Craig set aside 5,000 acres of their ranch as a rhino sanctuary, and the rest is history, as they recruited extensive support to help track, capture and relocate every remaining wild rhino in northern Kenya for breeding and protection. The program was so successful that eventually the entire ranch, encompassing 65,000 acres of diverse wildlife habitat, became the non-profit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in 1995.Today, Kenya’s premier wildlife refuge and rehabilitation center employs more than 300 people and works with local communities in innovative approaches to conservation.

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Reviews for Lewa Wilderness Lodge


Review Lewa Wilderness Lodge
Month of travel: September
"I visited Lewa on a group safari and boy was I excited it was included, only wished we had an extra day there...Amazing wildlife sightings, from the Chetah boys on a kill, to the Elephant up close, followed by a few Rhino joining our sundowner! It was also warm enough one afternoon for a dip in the pool with amazing views. Not sure if kids are permitted here, but between the wildlife, camel or horseback rides and large rooms, seems like a great place for families, even with youg kids."
- B. Friesen
Month of travel: September
"What really made this camp special for me was doing a horse ride for about an hour and a half in the morning - we got really, really close to zebra and giraffes - and ending up at a surprise breakfast on a hilltop. This was magical. We could see Mount Kenya in the distance. This was the only place we saw black and white rhino on our safari, so it meshed well with the other locations, the Masia Mara and Amboseli."
- B. Schiller
Month of travel: August
"We loved Lewa. We rode horses, flew in an open cockpit yellow plane, saw local tribes, and did game drives where we saw really beautiful animals. The landscape is very pretty here. I would definitely stay here again."
- L. Denesik
Month of travel: August
"I would recommend Lewa to anyone coming to Kenya. We had some great game drives during the day and night, we rode horses and camels, did some walks and saw some amazing wildlife. We saw lions, cheetah, a leopard at night, black and white rhino and I got my first picture of a Grevy's Zebra."
- T. Wiza

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