The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy serves as a refuge for endangered species. The Conservancy hosts an immense range of diversity. Yet Lewa’s mission is not only to protect wildlife, but to act as a catalyst for conservation across northern Kenya and beyond. By supporting development in the communities outside the Conservancy’s boundaries, Lewa has become the leading role model for sustainable wildlife conservation throughout East Africa.
Biodiversity Abounds on Lewa:
- Elevated between 4,500-7,500 feet, the Conservancy’s landscape includes mountainous regions, open grasslands, river valleys and more, with an extremely diverse range of soil, plant and animal life
- The varied habitats range from riverine woodlands, to swamp, to dry indigenous forest
- Lewa is home to more than 400 species of bird, including the Somali Ostrich, the Kori Bustard, and the breathtaking Lilac Breasted Roller
- We have 70 mammal species including the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo!
- Others include aardvark, cheetah, giraffe, hartebeest, hippo, hyena, Colobus monkey, white rhino, wild dog, plain zebra; various species of bats, primates, antelope… the list goes on!
- Over 11% of Kenya’s black rhino population live on the Conservancy, amounting to 63 of these critically endangered creatures, at the time of writing
- Lewa also has the largest resident population of endangered Grevy’s zebra in the world, at about 378
- Due to high wildlife densities, Lewa is able to help re-populate other parks and reserves in Kenya
Wildlife and Security:
Anti-poaching and security are Lewa’s main activities. It may be hard to believe when you look out over the serene plains of the savannah that the Conservancy is actually located close to areas once known for banditry and poaching. In fact, due to the massive returns on rhino horn the rhino population requires constant monitoring and protection.
The security situation in northern Kenya has improved overall. Lewa’s positive role in development has also ensured vital support from our neighbouring communities. Most importantly though, Lewa has an outstanding security system in place that works to protect and aid the Conservancy, the surrounding regions, and even the national police force.
Lewa as a Model:
Many of Lewa’s innovative ideas have been duplicated in other conservancies throughout Kenya and abroad. Even as the Conservancy focuses on one or two flagship species, we take a full approach to conservation – flora, fauna, habitat, and creating a safe atmosphere.
While Lewa is expanding awareness about wildlife, it is our security activities that have allowed us to truly gain the trust of our neighbours. Local communities now radio into Lewa’s radio room at any sign of trouble, and protect their stretch of fence from turmoil. By establishing safety in the region Lewa’s role as a catalyst for conservation is an international success.
For more information on our Wildlife Programme on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.