Lewa Wilderness is a luxury, family-owned and run lodge in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which covers about 26,000 hectacres. It has been a family home for about 30 years, and occupies a stunning setting with mountains, rocky outcrops, acacia woods, plains and a river valley all in the immediate vicinity. Lewa Wilderness Trails is at roughly 1615m so is not a malarial area.
There are 9 very comfortable and well-appointed cottages , 6 on the hillside with views over the vally, and the others in the camp's gardens. Each of the The hill cottages has a sitting room with an open fire, bedroom, en-suite bathroom and a private deck. Garden cottages are closer to the main house, and are larger with 2 en-suite bedrooms, a lounge complete with fireplace and a bar. The decor is simple but stylish and features some of the family's own furniture. Electricity is provided by a generator mornings and evenings.
Communal areas include a cosy sitting room with feature stone walls and comfy chairs and sofas and a log fire for cool evenings. The dining area is set beneath a high thatched ceiling and is open to front offering views of the opposite hill. Most meals are eaten as a group, though private dining in your cottage, on the main deck or in the bush can be arranged. The main house is the home of the owners, Will and Emma Craig, and also has a library-cum-billiards room open to guests. There is Wi-Fi here if you want to contact people back at home.
Recreational facilities include an airy, open-sided gym, tennis court and table tennis faciilties. There is also a lovely infinity swimming pool and sunny and shaded terraces where you can relax. The gardens include many flowers and are perfect for a stroll, and there's a farm which provides much of the fresh produce for the lodge whjch guests are welcome to visit.
The food is excellent and plentiful, and the hosts and staff are friendly and helpful.
Game drives to see the Big 5 and nature walks led by Maasai guides are available during your time here. The resident guides will ensure you get the most from your stay at Lewa Wilderness Trails. Longer walking safaris are available through the 'Walking Wild' programme. In addition there are riding stables a short walk away and horses suitable for everyone from beginner to experienced riders. For an extra thrill you can take to the skies in a biplane piloted by yout host Will, a former crop-dusting pilot, to soar above the African bush.
Open: Lewa Wilderness is open all year apart from the months of April, May and November. It first opened as a guest lodge in 1972, and before that had been a working cattle ranch for 50 years. It is still owned by the same Craig family today.
Location: The camp is near the foot of Mount Kenya. The nearest airstrip is Lewa Downs, about a 30 minute drive away.
Rooms: There are 9 guest cottages, 6 on the hillside and the other 3 in the gardens. They have thatched roofs, large windows, 4 poster beds and include some of the family’s own furniture. Each of the hillside cottages has a bedroom with views of the valley, an en-suite bathroom, sitting area with an open fire and a veranda. The garden cottages are larger, each having 2 en-suite bedrooms, and a living room with a bar and fireplace. Hey are located near the main house. Their size makes them ideal for families.
Activities: Game drives (including an electric safari vehicle introduced in 2019), guided nature walks, horse riding, camel riding and scenic flights are all available. A more unusual option is a ride in a biplane piloted by Will Craig, to get impressive views of the region and wildlife. The plane takes 2 passengers. While at Lewa Wilderness you can enjoy walks in Ngare Ndare Forest with a picnic lunch, visit a nearby Maasai village, and see some of the projects the lodge supports such as the HIV/AIDS orphanage, the clinic and school. You can also watch traditional crafts like carpet weaving and furniture making.
Lewa Wilderness is the base for Walking Wild programme, where guests accompany guides walking through remote locations in Lewa and the adjoining Maasai community conservation areas, with camels transporting the main luggage, and camping out at night.
Facilities: There is a spacious sitting room with feature stone walls and rustic furniture, and a fire that is lit on cool days. The dining area is under a high thatch roof and is open to the front. The main house is the home of the present owners, Will and Emma Craig, and includes a library-cum-games room with a billiard table which guests are welcome to use. The lodge has a outdoor swimming pool and deck wit sunny and shaded areas. Other recreational facilities include a gym, tennis court and table tennis. There are lovely gardens full of colourful flowers and birds, and the lodge has a small farm providing organic fruit and vegetables and dairy produce. Lewa Wilderness has a stable of over horses and ponies used for guest riding excursions.
Dining: Meals are eaten in the dining area, and private dining can be arranged by the pool, in the bush or in your cottage.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Activities can be tailored to youngsters. Garden cottages make good family accommodation.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in the main house.
Set in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Lewa Wilderness backs wildlife and habitat conservation. The lodge is now run on 100% solar energy, as long as the sun keeps shining! They also have a natural spring, home-raised livestock and a 5 acre organic garden.
Lewa Wilderness Trails backs various community and conservation projects (through a daily conservation fee), such as a women's micro-economy business in rug weaving, a furniture factory, and rhino conservation.
Staying here, you really are helping make a difference to this region, and of course you are backing rhino and other wildlife conservation whilst having the privilege of seeing these wonderful animals.