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The Challenge

Tens of thousands of rhinos once flourished across Africa’s vast landscapes. However, since the dawn of the 20th century, human activities have driven these majestic creatures perilously close to extinction. In the 1960s, Kenya boasted an estimated population of 20,000 black rhinos, yet within a mere two decades, rampant poaching decimated their numbers to less than 300.

Thanks to concerted conservation efforts, there has been a gradual resurgence in the black rhino population, with Kenya now home to 1,004 individuals. Despite this encouraging progress, the black rhino remains critically endangered, underscoring the urgent need for sustained action.

The future survival of this iconic African species hinges on implementing comprehensive, long-term solutions that engage local communities, safeguard their habitats, and diminish the demand for rhino horn.

Our Response

The protection of the magnificent rhino served as the catalyst for the establishment of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Since its inception in 1983, Lewa has been steadfast in providing a secure and suitable habitat for these iconic creatures. As the first and leading private rhino sanctuary in East Africa, Lewa’s rhino population has grown from an initial 15 rhinos to 244 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—12% of Kenya’s entire rhino population.

The strategic partnership aligns with one of Kenya’s overarching conservation goals: bolstering the black rhino population to 2,000 individuals within the next 14 years.

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