Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

on Saturday, 02 January 2010. Posted in Laikipia, Conservation, Kenya, 2010

A catalyst for the conservation of wildlife and its habitat

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Having watched the amazing blue moon rise at Elsa’s Kopje, we were given a great send off in Meru by a huge male elephant who blocked the road for 10 minutes refusing to budge. Dwarfed by his gigantic size I thought better than to take on a six ton animal and he finally let us pass as he disappeared into the bush with a final trumpet and flap of his ears.

The following morning we jumped in the car and headed for the lower slopes of Mount Kenya and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Before we knew it we arrived at the gate of Lewa and traversed the expansive plains towards Lewa Safari Camp. A beautifully positioned luxury tented camp with superb views down a craggy ravine located on the western corner of the 62,000 acre conservancy. We shared in a sumptuous Italian feast whilst overlooking the lush green lawns. As we paused and took it all in, across the valley a breeding herd of elephant nonchalantly browsed in the Acacia woodland rumbling as they went.

The evening game drive produced some beautiful light for photography across the savannah with diverse species of wildlife in the foreground. 2 Black rhino and a herd of 150 buffalo were the highlight. Lewa is a wildlife haven with exceptional scenic beauty and has become famous for it’s prolific work in conserving some of Africa’s highly endangered creatures. It now holds over 110 Black and White rhino as well as the largest single population of Grevy’s zebra in the world. After a final glass of wine by the open log fire, we headed back to our tents just before the heavens opened. What a storm – the lightening lit up the sky and thunder was deafening. All I could think about was how happy the animals must be!

This morning there was a lovely freshness and tranquility to the air as we headed out early in search of the cats. 2.5 inches of rain made the going tough but we were rewarded as we came over a small rise with 3 cheetah brothers walking down the road. These boys are the princes of Lewa and were looking as amazing as ever. A little lean they were definitely on the hunt. A few glances over at some Somali ostrich did not seem to interest them but the herd of common zebra that appeared on the ridge ahead caught their eye. Watching them stalk over a period of 1.5 hours was intensifying. We lost sight of them several times in the long grass but they would then pop up nearer to their goal. Finally they picked their prey and it was all over in a 100 yard dash. It was a privilege to watch these beautiful cats in action at close quarters and succeed in taking down the young zebra. Sometimes distressing to witness, we looked at it as 1 had to die for 3 to survive and it is nature and the circle of life that ultimately prevail. Panting excessively with blood all over their faces we left them to revel in their meal and drove back to camp. The skies are clearing now and we hope to do a bi-plane flight this afternoon with Will Craig, one of the owners of Lewa.

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