The Challenge

Tens of thousands of rhinos once thrived in Africa’s landscape. Since the beginning of the 20th century, humans have pushed the species to the brink of extinction. In the 1960s, Kenya was home to an estimated 20,000 black rhinos, but just two decades later, poaching had reduced the population to less than 300.

As a result of conservation efforts, the black rhino population is steadily recovering and there are now over 600 black rhinos in Kenya. However, even with marked progress, the black rhino remains critically endangered.

Today, the survival of one of Africa’s iconic species rests on long-term solutions that involve local people, securing its habitat and reducing demand for its horn. 

Our Response

Protecting the magnificent rhino catalysed Lewa’s founding. Since 1983, we have provided a safe and suitable home for rhinos. As the first and leading private rhino sanctuary in East Africa, Lewa’s rhino population has grown from an initial 15 rhinos to 255 rhinos today.

Our success has seen us work with a growing number of partners across Kenya and Africa. Together, we share a common mandate to help the rhino rise out of near-extinction and push the boundaries of what is possible in conservation.

The collaboration between Lewa and neighbouring Borana Conservancy to merge two separate land areas has created 93,000 acres of contiguous rhino rangeland. This expanded landscape is home to a growing rhino population,14% of Kenya’s entire rhino population.

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