Lewa Downs, Northern Kenya
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.
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
Bottle feeding baby rhinos is a first and rather different experience to lambs!Louisa Ross-Taylor
If you get the opportunity to fly in the Waco you must take it. It is one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had in my travels.Scott Dunn team
This is somewhere you will be reluctant to leave, spend at least four nights here, it's a must!Scott Dunn team
Go for a run on the treadmill in the small gym and be inspired by the endless viewsLouisa Ross-Taylor
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 programs 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 organized 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 organized.
Location & Directions
Lewa Downs, Northern 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.
When to go
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.