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The Best of Kenya—Custom Safari

Lewa & Borana Wildlife Conservancies, Kenya

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Lewa Safari Camp
Lewa Conservancy, Kenya

Set in the northwest corner of the private 45,000-acre Lewa Conservancy on the slopes of Mount Kenya and the Matthews Range, this camp is in a prime location to explore the conservancy’s diverse ecosystems, from open savanna to dense forest to the lifeline of the area, the Lewa Swamp. As one of Kenya’s last strongholds for both white and black rhino, Lewa is a conservation success story, blending community and conservation agendas symbiotically. A stay here is replete with opportunities to explore by foot, horseback or 4x4, in search of the 61 different mammal species and 440 types of birds on the conservancy.

Twelve tents are privately situated along the hillside, separated by significant distance for seclusion but connected by a lit walkway. All the essential comforts await in each tent—hot showers, flush toilets, warm duvets. Electricity is supplied by generator and supplemented by romantic hurricane lanterns. The camp offers a lovely respite after a day of adventure, especially to return to a cool drink on your private veranda or a dip in the refreshing pool. The main lounge opens onto a verdant lawn and provides a communal atmosphere for meals and storytelling by the fireside. To stay at Lewa Safari Camp is to experience a piece of Kenya’s history—this three-generation family endeavor has been in existence since 1924. The love of the land, the people and the wildlife of Kenya permeates the enterprise, and is contagious.
Lewa Wilderness Lodge
Lewa Downs, Kenya

Lewa Wilderness is a small boutique lodge accommodating up to 22 guests in nine spacious thatched cottages. Situated in the wildlife-rich eastern corner of the conservancy, the lodge is part of the Craig family compound where guests have been entertained in luxury since 1972. The adjacent main house is the original Craig family homestead that was the headquarters for Lewa Downs when the property functioned as a cattle ranch from 1922 into the 1980s. Guest cottages are furnished in dark woods with traditional colonial touches, lending a feel of genteel comfort. Spacious en suite bathrooms have deep soaking tubs with a view on the bush beyond. Indoors, visitors can relax by the fireplace in Will and Emma Craig's cozy sitting room, play billiards and table tennis, or relax with a book in the library. Outside, play tennis and take a refreshing dip in the infinity pool before a rejuvenating massage. Fine meals are shared around a long banquet table on the open-air dining terrace. The chef's menu features home-raised livestock and produce source from the 5-acre organic garden on the grounds.

Located in the shadow of Mount Kenya rising like a sentinel in the south, Lewa Wilderness offers a comfortable base from which to explore one of Africa’s most extraordinary conservation success stories. This private 62,000-acre conservancy was originally established to protect Kenya's gravely endangered black rhinoceros population. Today, after removing a fence with the Borana Conservancy next door to open up 93,000 acres of continuous terrain, the jointly protected area is home to 83 black and 74 white rhinos, along with more than 300 endangered Grevy's zebra (nearly 10 percent of Africa’s total population) and a host of other species including lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, and the elusive sitatunga, a rare water-adapted antelope. Explore the conservancy in safari vehicles on day and night wildlife drives, on horseback or camel, and on bush walks guided by local Maasai. As a private reserve, Lewa is one of the few places where guests can enjoy game drives after dark, the only way to view nocturnal species such as serval cat. A highlight is the leopard blind, a promising place to see these nocturnal hunting animals after darkness sets in. 
Borana Lodge
Lewa & Borana Wildlife Conservancies, Kenya

Named for the native Boran cattle raised in the surrounding grasslands, Borana Lodge lies within an expansive conservation area dedicated to preserving the environment and the wildlife that inhabits it. The lodge offers panoramic views over the Samangua Valley and Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest and snow-topped Mount Kenya beyond. Here at 6,000 feet above sea level, nights are cool and free from malarial mosquitos. The grandfather of Borana's present-day owners fell in love with the wild, soul-enriching isolation of this land, and his descendants, the Dyer family, seek to perpetuate that sense of wonder and seclusion while ensuring that lodge guests enjoy the ultimate in luxury and comfort.

Designed in harmony with its environment, the lodge is constructed from local, sustainable building materials. Eight thatched cottages are well secluded from one another and enjoy private views of the valley below from bedroom, bathroom and outdoor veranda. Cottages have either large double beds or two large twin beds, plus a wood-burning fireplace to enhance the warm and romantic atmosphere. 

All areas of the lodge overlook a lake that is a popular watering hole for local animals, so there is constant activity for guests to observe—even from the infinity pool as you're enjoying a swim. Or take a guide and walk down to the dam to enjoy a close-up view of elephants swimming! The lodge grounds offer plenty of opportunities for relaxing: admire the gardens with largely indigenous plants and flowers arranged to showcase complementary colors and aromas, sit around the open fireplace as you watch animals meander by, or step in to the spa for some post-safari pampering. In the dining room, sample fresh produce grown on the ranch, fresh juice from the Borana orchards, and wines from around the world. In the sitting room, sofas and armchairs surround a huge open fireplace while picture windows provide a vista of the plains below.

Guests at Borana can choose from an array of activities. In addition to classic game drives, choose a horseback or mountain bike safari for something different, try your hand at fishing, opt for an aerial view on a helicopter flightseeing excursions, or visit a local village or school. 

Sirikoi Lodge
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya

Located on the northern slopes of snowcapped Mount Kenya, Sirikoi Lodge is situated on private land surrounded by Kenya’s famous Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, home to more than 70 different species of animals including endangered rhinos. Offering unparalleled wildlife viewing, the luxurious camp is set within a shady acacia grove overlooking a natural watering hole fed by a mountain spring.

The camp’s four tents are built on platforms with private verandas overlooking the waterhole. Each has a spacious living area, fireplace, large bedroom and elegant, vintage-style bathroom with a Victorian soaking tub and shower. The property also offers a secluded two-bedroom cottage and three-bedroom house, each built of wood, thatch and stone with private kitchen, dining room, living spaces and decks. Offering the ultimate in privacy and quiet, both are located near wetlands where elephant and buffalo are regular visitors. Sirikoi’s spacious communal living areas and infinity pool also enjoy a shady setting among the acacia trees with views over the waterhole and distant mountains. To end a magical day, enjoy sundowners followed by an elegant candlelight dinner in the open-air dining tent, with a roaring campfire and the sounds of nocturnal wildlife just beyond to accompany you.

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