The Lewa Conservancy (also known as Lewa Downs) is located in northern Kenya. It was formed in 1995. It is a wildlife sanctuary incorporating the Ngare Ndare Forest and covering over 62,000 acres (250 km2). The Conservancy is home to a wide variety of wildlife including the rare and endangered black rhinos and Grevy’s zebras. It is also home to the big five lions,leopards,elephants,rhinos and bufallos. Lewa holds over 12% of Kenya’s eastern black rhinos population and the largest single population of Grevy’s zebras in the world (approximately 350 individuals).
The conservancy is an area of open plains, long, waving yellowy-gray grasses and gently rolling hills, rising in the distance.
As one of Kenya’s major private conservation successes located at the foot of Mt. Kenya, Lewa Downs Conservancy has been the Craig family home since 1924 when the Craig grandparents came from England and began raising cattle here. In 1995 the Craig family turned their entire farm on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya into the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, with a mandate to protect and conserve the wildlife of Kenya. “Leave room for the wildlife” has been the Craig ethic, as the area is committed to the conservation of wildlife and diverse habitats found on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya. They had to convince the local communities to stop seeing animals as competition for their cattle’s grazing and instead see them as a source of income. This was achieved and many fences were taken down and old migration routes were re-opened to the animals.
Lewa Downs Conservancy is now an area of outstanding natural beauty with the Lewa River giving life to dense woodland and patches of open savannah providing the perfect habitat for a whole range of Kenya’s animals.