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Friday, May 6, 2011

Safari at Lewa and Ol Pejeta Conservancies

Kenya’s northern tourist circuit has had its fair share spotlight in the tourism industry in Kenya since the early 70’s due to conservation efforts by pioneers such as George and Joy Adamson of the famous film Born Free.

Most of this areas were private ranches and the owners decided to convert them into wildlife conservancies to preserve the wildlife and give support to the local communities.

The most attractive thing about Kenya’s northern tourist circuit is that it is not on the typical safari itinerary of most safari travelers, hence more privacy. This is what makes camps and lodges in the northern circuit very idea for Africa weddings and honeymoon. Most of the lodges can accommodate at most 8 guests and guest can book the lodges on exclusive use. A very good example of such is Loisaba Koija Starbeds.
The major three conservancies include Laikipia Nature Conservancy,Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lewa wildlife conservancy.

On the 100,000 acre Laikipia Nature Conservancy, home to Kuki Gallman the author of I Dreamed of Africa and conservationist Kuki Gallmann, is the Mukutan Retreat - a unique refuge overlooking the spectacular Mukutan Gorge on the edge of the Rift Valley. Another addition is the Makena Tented Camp a stunning partially tented resort of innovative design.

The Lewa wildlife conservancy is also a private reserve drawing the largest number of tourists to the area. One of the many reasons for this is the fact that it is home to some of the most endangered species of wildlife including the black and white rhinos and the grevy’s zebra. Other wildlife includes huge herds of Elephants, Lion, Leopard, Reticulated Giraffe, Eland, Oryx, Buffalo, Wild dogs a mention of a few.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (also known as Lewa Downs) has featured recently in main stream media in this past week following the Royal wedding and the discloser that in October 19, 2010, Prince William of Wales proposed to Kate Middleton at Rutundu Log Cabin.  The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy incorporating the Ngare Ndare Forest and covering over 62,000 acres (250 km2).  This year’s Safaricom Marathon will be held at Lewa on Saturday 25th June 2011 and the funds raised will be used in the conservation and community projects in Kenya.

Lodges at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy include Lewa Safari Camp, Lewa House, Wilderness Trails and Kifaru among others.

The other conservancy in the area is the Ol Pejeta conservancy lying between the Aberdare ranges and Mount Kenya and also plays host to the endangered species of the white and black Rhino whilst acting as a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees. This is just a tip of the iceberg as there are plenty of other natural splendors to be found here all of which are worth a mention and they include Mugie Ranch, solio game reserve, Mathews ranges, Ewaso Nyiro and Ewaso Narok rivers all of which are in their own right uniquely fascinating owing to the richness of wildlife not to mention spectacular sceneries ranging from open grasslands, kopjes, cedar forests and basalt hills.
Accommodation at Ol Pejeta includes the Ol Pejeta House, Ol Pejeta Bush camp and Sweetwaters Tented Camp.