Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya

Stunning vistas from sloping hilltops, fly-fishing on Mount Kenya and exciting off-road game drives, makes Lewa Wildlife Conservancy a beautiful, fun-filled destination. The Big Five, rare mammal species and brilliant bird life, offers visitors a wide variety of sights and sounds to satisfy all their expectations.

  • Best Time to Go

    June – September

  • Average Safari Cost

    $100 - $850 pp/day

  • Highlights

    Big Five, great Black and White rhino viewing, 350 bird species recorded, rare sitatunga antelope, several activities, stunning landscape and vistas, Mount Kenya and more.

Why Visit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

For its beauty

The snow-crowned Mount Kenya provides the perfect backdrop to the acacia peppered grasslands, and the yellow-fever treed swampland is home to the rare sitatunga antelope, while sloping hilltops offer the perfect view of this mesmerizing vista.

For the adventure

With game drives, bird watching and bushwalks, the variety and sheer number of wildlife that you will see is fantastic. There are even blinds from which you can quietly sit and watch wildlife unnoticed. For those looking for something different, take a trip to Lake Rutundu atop Mount Kenya, and spend a day fly-fishing, or visit the Maasai Village for a cultural tour. A trip to Ngare Ndare Forest will have you spending the day searching for the Colobus monkey, while learning all about the uses of the native flora.

Pros and Cons

We know that all adventures have challenges and we hope that we can help make your adventure a fantastic one.
  • Great wildlife population
  • Big Five, with a great Black and White rhino population
  • Several activities available in the park
  • Stunning landscape (including Mt. Kenya)
  • The guides are fond of getting as close to animals as possible (even going off-road)
  • There are fences and roaming cattle, which can make the wilderness seem less authentic
  • The reserve gets busy from June to September
  • Off-road driving is not possible from October to May

Best Time to Go

Wet season: October – May

Dry season: June – September

June to September is the best time for wildlife watching. The weather conditions are sunny with hardly any rain. Vegetation thins out, and other water sources dry up, causing wildlife to gather at permanent water sources, making them very easy to spot. While the reserve does get busy at this time of the year, the number of activities and off-road driving means that you will have a fantastic time.

October to May is the best time for bird watching and seeing newborn animals. This is the mating and calving season, which means that you will get the chance to see birds in their spectacular mating plumage. Migratory birds are also present during these months and the landscape offers stunning scenery and clear views of Mount Kenya. However, even though you will have the pleasure of a nearly empty lodge, the animals will be scattered and difficult to spot due to the lush vegetation and copious amounts of water sources. The road conditions are also not very good due to the rains, and off-road driving is not permitted. All lodges in the reserve are closed in November and April.

For more information when to visit see our Kenya Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife and Birds

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy offers excellent wildlife sightings with the Big Five present, and bird watching is particularly good as well, with many north Kenya specials being present.
List of Animals
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Hippo
  • Buffalo
  • Hyena
  • Black Rhino
  • White Rhino
  • Warthog
  • Wildebeest
  • Wild Dog
  • Zebra

While the leopard is rarely seen, and lions are elusive, Lewa offers impressive sighting of Black and White rhinos, while the elephant and buffalo populations are abundant. The rare sitatunga antelope can sometimes be seen in the swamplands and the black-and-white colobus monkey hides in the forest. There are also several special animal species to be found in Lewa: gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx and Reticulated giraffe.

Rare Animals

  • Leopard
  • Hyena
  • Wild dog

Infrequently Seen Animals

  • Hippo
  • Wildebeest
  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Sitatunga antelope
  • Black-and-white colobus monkey
  • Reticulated giraffe
  • Grevy’s zebra
  • Beisa oryx
  • Gerenuk

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Black rhino
  • White rhino
  • Elephant
  • Buffalo
  • Burchell’s zebra

There are over 350 recorded species of birds in Lewa, including northern specials such the Somali Ostrich. Other notable birds include the Amethyst Sunbird and Shelley’s Francolin. November to April is the best time for bird watching as migratory birds will be present and many birds will be in their mating plumage. It is important to note that game drives focus on wildlife, not bird life. If you want to set your focus on birds, then booking a private tour might be best.

Endangered Birds

For a complete list of endangered birds in Kenya see our Kenya Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Endemic and Near Endemic Birds

  • Amethyst Sunbird
  • Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
  • Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater
  • Eastern Chanting Goshawk
  • Golden-breasted Bunting
  • Golden-winged Sunbird
  • Grey Crowned Crane
  • Harlequin Quail
  • Hartluab’s Turaco
  • Hartluab’s Bustard
  • Hildebrandt’s Francolin
  • Hunter’s Sunbird
  • Mariqua Sunbird
  • Northern Anteater Chat
  • Scarlet-chested Sunbird
  • Secretarybird
  • Shelley’s Francolin
  • Somali Ostrich
  • Variable Sunbird
  • Vulturine Guineafowl
  • White-bellied Bustard
  • White-bellied Go-away Bird
  • Yellow-necked Spurfowl

Getting There and Safety


For the flights to Kenya, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Kenya.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Kenya.


For more information on visas see our Kenya Safari - Complete Country Guide.


It is recommended that you contact your doctor or travel clinic about anti-malaria medication before booking your trip.

You should use a good insect repellent (30% DEET or more) and keep your arms and legs covered at night, for added protection against mosquitoes.

Check your local travel health authority for more information:

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Kenya. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What to Pack
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun glasses (optional)
  • Insect repellent (30% DEET or more
  • Any personal medication
  • Toiletries
  • General clothing
  • Backpack – for camera, spare batteries, bottled water, etc.
  • Hiking boots
  • Trail/running shoes

If you are visiting from October – May:

  • Waterproof backpack
  • waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Waterproof hiking boots

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.


There has been some disturbances in Laikipia (early 2017), where locals were targeted by armed, displeased herders. There has been no violence towards tourists, however we recommend consulting your tour operator or seek local advice, before visiting the Laikipia Plateau region.

When visiting busy areas (cities, bus stations or markets), please practice caution and good sense. These are the usual places for muggings and pickpockets to occur. Also, if you are travelling independently, follow the usual safety precautions when driving between parks, and avoid travelling alone at night.

Off-Road Driving

Your guide would never do anything that could endanger your life, which is why off-road driving is only permitted from June to September (dry season). As for the wildlife, your guide will know which are safe to approach and which are not, and will act accordingly.