Lewa conservancy entry fees : Lewa conservancy is UNESCO World Heritage Site in Meru County, Kenya.It was formerly a cattle ranch before it was converted into a conservancy and supporting the endangered black rhinos during the 1980s . It was established into a wildlife sanctuary in 1995, it started as cattle ranch, it has since been changed to host other species and today it is the best conservancy in the Northern Kenya .In 2013 they partnered with Borana conservancy to add more than for animals to move in it freely especially the Rhinos. Lewa conservancy today is home to the rarest species in the world with both black and white rhinos. The sanctuary is located in once a volatile region , where poaching and banditry were prolific. Lewa conservancy is one of the ecological diverse park in Kenya, it has the highest population of Grevy’s Zebra most hove them found outside captivity, other species found here include reticulated giraffe, wild dogs ,cheetahs, Lions, Buffaloes, warthogs, Rhinos, impalas, gazelles, among others animals. It is also one of the birding area with plenty of birds found here. There is a period the park receives influx of animals ,this period is during the migratory period where over 400 elephants are traversing the park. The visitors to the conservancy are able to view this wonderful phenomenon from a purpose built Elephant underpass.
Lewa conservancy also helps in spearheading several initiatives from supporting education ,better health care and helping the community to access clean water. It is also home to the Big Five animals and it has wide diversity. Lewa conservancy is known for its largest rhino populations, found only of few other places in the world.
The conservancy is founded by Craig family and Anna Merz. The Craig family used the land as a cattle ranch for 50 years when they arrived in 1920s. The ranch was always different as they valued the local wildlife and they shared the park with wild animals even allowing tourist to visit.
During the 1980s period Anna Merz and Craig decided to built a house to protect the Rhinos which were critical threatened by poaching. They started with just 5,000 acres of land in which they fenced it with electric fence and their effort was a great success that they had to relocate many of the Rhinos in Northern Kenya to protect them.
Their conservation efforts were so successful that tourist across the world started visiting, these made Craig family to devote the entire 40,000 acre ranch to create the Lewa conservancy which is Non-Profit. The perimeter was fenced , with just a few gaps which enable the movements of animals in and out of the conservancy into other wildlife protected area around the conservancy. Lewa conservancy has been home to many famous visitors such as HRH Price William, he loved the place so much that he chose the place to propose to her fiancée Kate Middleton while they were on a Kenyan safari together.
Lewa conservancy is home to the famous Lewa marathon, the annual marathon with over 1,500 runners. The marathon weaves its way through the park ,this is one of the most picturesque marathons found anywhere in the world.
There are a wide ray of activities to be done in your Kenya safari tour . Those activities include; Camel Riding, Hot air balloon rides, Horse riding, walking safaris, night drives, sundowners , Bush break fast and many more . There are organised cultural visits to the local Maasai villages. This allows visitors to learn more about the Maasai people of Kenya and their cultures, these includes ceremonies with song and dance in which the visitors are highly encouraged to join .The villagers enjoy showing off their homes and ways of life as it provides a much needed income to them.
Lewa conservancy and other protected wildlife areas.
Lewa conservancy is surrounded by other conservancies, they have removed the boundaries within the conservancies in the efforts to try to interlink these areas to enable animals to roam freely. Lewa is part of the UNESCO world heritage site together with Mount Kenya. There is a wildlife corridor especially for Elephants that runs between Lewa conservancy and Mount Kenya National Park and through the Ndare Ngare Forest Reserve. The corridor is about 14 kilometres and allows the free movement of elephants between these areas to manage the human – wildlife conflict. Other several animals too benefit from the protection and the Great corridor through the diverse habitats. It is estimated that at least 1,000 elephants use the underpass per year with other animals such as leopards, serval cats, warthogs, spotted hyenas and Zebras.
Lewa conservancy initiatives
The conservancy has led many initiatives making it a more successful example of how a conservancy should be managed. The conservancy has also done several researches such as Avian research, rhino ear notching, hyena monitoring, preventing poisoning and studying lions behaviours. There is a very tight security at Lewa with both armed and unarmed rangers. They have also worked closely with the neighbouring communities and resulted to great reduction of poaching.
Lewa conservancy contribution to the community
- Health care
The conservancy has four clinics ,within the area that provide affordable and accessible health care services to more than 50,000 people per each.
- Forestry conservation
Lewa conservancy supports local community Forest Associations by providing technical, financial and managerial expertise such as Ngare Ndare ,Muchiene Forest and Marania Forests.
- Conservation Education
The park receives more than 5,000 children who visit to learn more about the conservation efforts and gives them knowledge to be champions of a natural world in future.
Lewa conservancy has several loges within it , with approximately 450 people working and employed in various capacities, with approximately 90% from the neighbouring communities.
Lewa conservancy has at least 17 water programmes that ensure clean and safe water for both domestic use and for farming to over 20,000.
- Micro- Finance
Lewa conservancy supports several money lending to women’s micro- enterprises providing them with low interest loans to more than 1,800 women.
Lewa conservancy provides education bursaries to over 400 students.
Lewa conservancy Entrance Fees
Kenyan citizens and residents
- Overnight rates for Kenyan citizens/ Residents is ksh 2,800.
- Day rates for Kenyan citizens/ Resident is ksh 8,074
- Children of Between 6-12 years of age are charged 50% of the rates.
- Overnight rates for non resident adults is 126 USD
- Day Non residents is 198 USD
- Zoo Group Lewa conservancy Approved is 70 USD during January and October and 58 USD between March and June, November and December.
- Agents rates are 38 USD.