Laikipia, Northern Kenya, Kenya
At a Glance
See how many activities you can fit into one day: Waco flying and horse-riding in the morning. A stop for lunch, a swim and a game of tennis. Then head out again on a game drive for sundowners with a view of Mount Kenya
Enjoy the warmth of the fire after dinner, a great atmosphere, the stories will run on long into the night
Where else can you bottle feed a baby rhino?!
Make sure you visit the conservancy headquarters to learn more about the incredible conservation work
Enjoy the privacy of your massive rooms, sit on the deck with a drink in the evening as the sun sets and the bush comes alive after dark
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Lewa Wilderness is closed in November.
The main season is in January and February, when the weather is hottest and driest. At this time, the animals in the wildlife parks tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot.
Northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40°C during the day to less than 20°C at night. Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month, and November the wettest.
To start planning your holiday to Lewa Wilderness
Located in a wildlife-rich corner of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in the shadow of Mount Kenya is Lewa Wilderness, home of Will and Emma Craig. Each of the beautifully decorated guest cottages has warm fireplaces and large verandas.
Lewa Wilderness has a real home from home feel about it. From the main house a beautiful green lawn leads down to the sitting room, with a view out across the valley, and the open-air dining room. Guests have been entertained here in the Craig's home for the past 30 years.
The salt-water pool is refreshing and the perfect place to while away an afternoon and there is a clay tennis court. There are stables full of horses for guests to ride and explore the Conservancy whether they are novice or experienced riders; a wonderful way to approach wildlife and perfect for an adventure-filled safari. Alternatively why not take to the sky in an open cockpit biplane piloted by Will Craig.
The wildlife on the Lewa Conservancy is extraordinary. Lewa is renowned for pioneering conservation initiatives and is home to one of the healthiest populations of white and black rhinoceros in Kenya. The reserve is also home to the largest breeding population of the endangered Grevy's zebra in Kenya.
Lewa Wilderness' fantastic guiding team will take you on game drives to learn about the conservancy in depth. Head out on game drives in open top Land Rovers or on foot. Guests also learn about the conservation programmes and the history of Lewa, from its time as a cattle ranch to the Wildlife Conservancy as it exists today.
The lodge has just nine rooms: six cottages tucked into the hillside overlooking Lewa’s Western Marania Valley, plus three garden cottages set beautifully in the midst of green lawns and a flourishing garden. Each room is comfortable with its own rustic charm, while the relaxed atmosphere makes guests feel like they are visiting an old, family friend. Each room is different from the next, and they all have a sitting room area with a bar and open log fireplace in addition to the en-suite bathroom.
Wilderness has nine beautifully decorated rooms, six hillside rooms and three two-bedroom family garden cottages, each features fireplaces and verandas and are individually designed. The family garden rooms consist of two en-suite bedrooms and a living area. The garden rooms are perfect for families or those wanting closer proximity to the pool and main area. The hillside rooms comprise six individual cottages that overlook the eastern edge of the valley, perfectly positioned to capture the striking sunrise. Like the Garden Rooms, they are all en-suite and have a cosy seating area and outdoor deck.
Guests can relax by the fire in the sitting room and share meals around a long banquet table in the open-air dining room. Natural springs, home-raised livestock, and a 5-acre organic garden are transformed by skilled chefs into healthy and delicious food.
There are no specific child care facilities available at Lewa Wilderness but children of all ages are welcome here. The Lewa Wilderness Trails has three family rooms which accommodate families comfortably. The lodge are also able to arrange babysitting if you fancy a bit of quiet time. It is important to remember that the main house is a family home, Will and Emma's children grew up here with their friends, as such the staff and organised activities take all ages and abilities into account.
There is a refreshing salt-water swimming pool, the stables are full of horses for guests to ride, a small gym and the clay tennis court comes equipped with both racquets and balls. Lewa Wilderness offers guests the chance to explore the Conservancy on foot on on game drives and there are fantastic guides to bring the experience to life. Lewa also has expert chefs and a very friendly team of staff are waiting to look after you.
There is plenty to do at Wilderness including day and night game drives, bush walks with a professional tracker, horse rides, camel rides, game blinds, hiking/jogging with a Maasai warrior, visiting Lewa's ancient archaeological site and visits to a Maasai cultural boma. Just off the reserve is the Ngare Ndare forest with its canopy high walkways and hidden waterfalls, perfect for a cooling afternoon dip. Visit the Conservancy offices to learn about the ongoing work of the dedicated team, meet the anti-poaching bloodhounds and help bottle feed orphaned baby rhinos. To cap it off, if Will is at home you can book a flight in his pride and joy, the Waco biplane. Helicopter trips up to the slopes of Mount Kenya for breakfast and trout fishing are easily organised.
Camilla Whitworth (Staff)
Lewa for me, is one of the most special places to visit in Kenya. A fantastic conservation project and offering so much for the guest to be involved in. Lewa Wilderness is a homely and welcoming lodge. The thatched cottages are in a traditional Kenyan style with beautiful views in front of them. It is the activities here which are superb. A trip on the Wako bi-plane is sure to be a real once in a life time experience! You can fly over this stunning terrain and feel really Out of Africa. The riding stables are right next door to Lewa Wilderness and offered on a complimentary basis for those staying at Lewa Wilderness. The riding here in Lewa is truly remarkable spotting the Grevy zebras with the backdrop of Mount Kenya.
Hannah Dawson (Staff)
Lewa Wilderness is a family run property set in amazing gardens with a beautiful backdrop against the river. Spacious rooms and cottages provide a great retreat after a day of safari. There are endless activities on offer from walking safaris, to riding safaris, forest walks and scenic flights. Not forgetting the fantastic facilities including a gym, pool and tennis courts. Lewa is a brilliant option for both families and couples providing an incredible mix of experiences.
Sian Frost (Staff)
This lovely property, looking out over a little creak and the plains, has a real home away from home feel. The amount of activities available here are endless from camel rides, walking safaris, horse riding (for all abilities), bi-plane trips as well as the normal drives. The manager Willhem is incredibly flexible with what you would like to do so we managed to do a walking safari, getting excitingly close to 2 white rhinos, to a bush breakfast and then arrive back in to camp in style on the back of a camel. Nothing is too much trouble here and the variety of game is brilliant. I really think you could stay here for a week and still feel like theres more to do when it comes to leave.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Lewa Wilderness Trails has that wonderful home from home feeling. With in a short time of arriving we felt as we were part of the family, with everyone sitting round the huge table in the dinning room discussing what they had been up to that morning and the plans for the afternoon. While we were there we went for some lovely rides, onn both the horses and a bumpy ride on a camel. We also explored the area around Lewa on foot, which is my favourite way to experience the African bush. We also had a very competitive game of tennis.
Fly Fishing in Northern Kenya
If you want to try something really different during your holiday then why not take a fishing trip up to Lake Rutundu or Lake Alice. Situated at 10,000 feet above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Kenya this is a totally unique fly fishing experience.
Game Drives in Lewa Downs
Explore this beautiful area of Kenya with your professional safari guide in search of some of the fantastic wildlife of Laikipia. Enjoy the opportunity to track and view some of the critically endangered white and black rhino of the conservancy.
Lewa Camel Safaris
Experience a different kind of safari and take a pack trip out into the Lewa Conservancy on the back of a camel.
Private Safari Guide and Game Drive Vehicle
Ensure an exclusive and totally tailored safari experience by booking a private safari guide and game drive vehicle. A private guide gives you the flexibility to go where you want, when you want. If you have specific interests this is an absolute must.
Riding in Northern Kenya
Horseback safaris are the most exciting way to see the bush and in Kenya they are without a doubt the most exciting and adventurous safari you can do.
A scenic flight is the ultimate way to enjoy Kenya's spectacular landscapes, whether by helicopter or in the wonderful Waco bi-plane, it is an experience of a lifetime.
Walking Safaris in Laikipia
Explore the African bush on foot with your experienced guide and tracker. A fantastic opportunity to experience a different perspective, away from the noise of a safari vehicle.
Location & directions
Laikipia, Northern Kenya, Kenya
The lodge is situated within one of Kenya's major private conservation successes, Lewa Downs, which is found at the foot of Mt Kenya. Lewa Downs is in the Laikipia area of Northern Kenya. All of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ are present and the conservancy provides a refuge for several endangered species, including cheetah, Grevys Zebra and both black and white rhino.
How to get there
It is an 8-hour 30-minute international flight to Nairobi. Daily scheduled flight (via Nanyuki) departing Nairobi Wilson Airport or private charter flight (1-hour), directly to Lewa Downs airstrip. By road, Lewa Wilderness is a 5-hour drive from Nairobi.
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