Luxury in Laikipia – Lewa Wilderness

1 Night: From $888

pp
sharing

See Detailed Rates

View Gallery

Lewa Wilderness is perfect for true safari lovers to fully immerse themselves in this very special part of Kenya.

Experience the Laipikia wilderness from the saddle – Stunning scenery, unusual wildlife and unforgettable safari activities

Kenya is full of conservation success stories but one of its greatest is the family-run, 62,000-acre stretch of land in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Lewa Wilderness is situated Western section of the vast Laikipia plains. Here, the lines between wild spaces and humanity are blurred, and a haven has been created for rare wildlife and safari addicts alike. The undulating, sun-kissed landscape and rich wildlife make for a true bucket-list horse safari.

Stretching from the slopes of Mount Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift Valley, Laikipia is increasingly recognised as one of Kenya’s best safari areas, challenging even the Maasai Mara. While you might not find the abundance of wildlife that you do in the Mara, you’ll be surprised by the sheer variety of animals, including rare and endangered species such as black rhino, painted dog and Grevy’s zebra. The varied terrain means that exciting big cat sightings occur regularly, and you get to spot more elusive animals like striped hyena, gerenuk and Beisa oryx. Apart from its remarkable wildlife, the Laikipia safari experience can be defined by two quintessential principles: exclusivity and authenticity.

Your stay at Lewa Wilderness is completely tailormade to you, whether you’re on a solo sabbatical, a honeymoon escape, or a family horseback retreat. Woven into the stunning scenery are nine exclusive rooms, rich with rustic charm, hand-made furniture and incredible views. This is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy a quiet evening after a day of thrilling safari rides in the bush.

The vast open plains in the shadow of the snow-capped silhouette of Mount Kenya create a tranquil and secluded setting for your horse safari. With over 30 horses, they have the perfect partner for every horse rider and can cater for a wide range of experience levels.  Beginner riders can head out to experience the magic of a horse safari riding amongst the herds of zebra, antelope and giraffe. And experienced equestrians can enjoy thrilling canters along the wildlife tracks, travelling further afield to discover this incredible landscape without the rumble of an engine. In addition to horse riding safaris, Lewa offers exciting game drives, fly-camping, guided walks, camel trekking and a vintage biplane safari. Or, visit the lovely Ngarendare waterfalls, go on an inspiring visit to Il’ Ngwesi village, and join the anti-poaching team that protects this great wilderness. The safari possibilities are endless and once you arrive, you might never want to leave.

As it is a lodge-based ride, you are not bound to set safari dates. This can be a tailormade stand-alone getaway for 5 – 10 nights, a 3 or 4-night stay combined with one of the other lodges in Laikipia or even the start of a longer horse riding safari in Kenya. For those who have the time, we love combining a stay here with our 7-night Masai Mara expedition horse safari, or if you’re travelling with non-riding partners, we can book a traditional vehicle safari.

QUICK FACTS
Lewa Conservancy, Kenya
Jomo Kenyatta Nairobi International Airport (JKIA)
Open All Year
3 – 10 Nights
Group Size: Max. 8 riders
Intermediate and Above
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bucket-list horse riding in an area rich in incredible wildlife and unforgettable scenery
  • An exclusive safari which is perfect for mixed riding abilities and can include a variety of other exciting activities such as game drives, came rides and romantic bi-plane flights.
  • A personalised stay in exclusive, private accommodations with stunning views and rustic charm
  • The chance to see rare and endangered wildlife such as black rhino, painted dog, reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra from on horseback
  • The opportunity to learn about Lewa Wilderness’ incredible conservation efforts
THE DESTINATION

Lewa Wilderness With the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kenya and the diversity of scenery from open plains, rolling hills, valleys, escarpments and rivers, Lewa is a magical place to game drive or ride for the ultimate Kenyan safari experience.  Laikipia is increasingly recognised as one of Kenya’s best safari areas, challenging even the Maasai Mara in terms of safari experience.  A natural haven made up of ranches and conservancies, this is an area where communities and wildlife exist hand in hand to maintain and protect biodiversity in the region.

DATES & RATES

Open all year round. We recommend 3-10 night stays. Please enquire for the exact dates and availability.

2022 Rates:

Regular Season: 06 January – 30 June 2022 / 16 September- 19 December 2022
USD888
per person per night sharing + USD134 conservation fee

High Season: 01 July – 15 September 2022 / 20 December – 08 January 2023
USD1 023 per person per night sharing + USD134conservation fee 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS

March, April, May, November & 1st – 19th December 2022

Stay 3, Pay 2 Special

6th January – 28th February & 1st – 31st October  2022

Honeymoon special – bride pays 50% on stays of 3 nights or more

October  2022

Stay 4, Pay 3 Special

 

2023 Rates:

Regular Season: 09 January – 15 April 2023 / 26 May- 30 June 2023 / 16th September – 19th December 2023
USD987 per person per night sharing + USD134 conservation fee

High Season: 01 July – 15 September 2022 / 20 December – 07 January 2024
USD1 137 per person per night sharing + USD134conservation fee 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS

1st March – 15th April & 1st November – 19th December 2023

Stay 3, Pay 2 Special

9th January – 28th February & 1st – 31st October  2023

Honeymoon special – bride pays 50% on stays of 3 nights or more

October  2023

Stay 4, Pay 3 Special

 

Includes

  • Luxury accommodation
  • All meals
  • All local drinks (soft drinks, spirits, beers and house wines)
  • Horse riding
  • Shared game drives (Day & night)
  • Guided Walks
  • Camel Walks
  • Pre-historic site visits
  • Community crafts & visits to selected villages and schools
  • Visit to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy HQ

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Light Air charter flights to Lewa Airstrip
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Champagne, Premium spirits, Cellar wines
  • Exclusive use of vehicle, subject to availability
  • Scenic bi-plane flights; available for Lewa Wilderness guests ONLY.
  • Visits to Il’Ngwesi cultural boma
  • Visit to the aerial walkway in the Ngare Ndare Forest
  • Fly camping
  • Late departures
  • Shop purchases
  • Gratuities
  • Any extra activities off the property not listed
YOUR ITINERARY

There is no fixed itinerary for holidays at Lewa Wilderness. We would recommend spending at least 4 nights here, giving you the chance to explore the area and experience all Lewa has to offer.

A Typical Day at Lewa

Life on safari is intertwined with wildlife movements which means early mornings and late afternoons. When you arrive at camp, your hosts will talk you through the normal daily routine on safari, what to expect while you’re riding as well as the other activities at the lodge.

As the sun starts to rise, sit on your cottage verandah with your morning tea or coffee. Mornings are magical as you get ready for your day of adventure, listening to the sound of the river, and watching giraffe and zebra grazing in the valley below. Every morning you can choose between a variety of excursions: game drives, bush walks or horseback riding. If you opt for a horse safari, you’re in for a treat! Your expert guides take you deep into the wilderness to places only accessible by horseback. Allow your horse to take you confidently alongside the plains game including rhino, zebra, impala, and giraffe for unforgettable wildlife encounters. Each ride is as thrilling as the last, heading out in a different direction each day to discover new terrain. For experienced riders, this open country offers some thrilling trails for long canters and even the odd gallop!

Just when you are starting to feel ready for a more substantial breakfast, you might turn a corner and find a beautiful breakfast spread set up under the shade of an acacia tree. There is something quite magical about hopping off your horse and enjoying a sumptuous breakfast with it tethered nearby. Non-riders will arrive at the same special spot by open game vehicle or on foot, so no one gets left out.

After a delicious bush breakfast, options include a camel ride to enjoy the scenery from a great vantage point, a game drive to watch animals drinking at the river, or a stroll down to the farm to see where much of the delicious food comes from. For those wanting a more relaxed pace, lying by the infinity pool with a good book is hard to beat! There is plenty of time to just relax and take in the ambience of this incredible lodge.

A late lunch is serviced in the open-sided dining room. It’s a sumptuous buffet including plenty of fresh vegetables from the community garden. The hillside opposite provides fantastic game viewing opportunities and often you’ll have the chance of an “armchair safari” right from the dining table.  Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Dive into some of the historical books in the living room, have a nap in the sun or just take in the endless views!

Before the afternoon’s adventure, enjoy afternoon tea on the verandah of the Craigs’ family home. This afternoon you can head out again on horseback, or swap your saddle for the rumble of a game drive vehicle instead. For those seeking adventure, you can also hop into the vintage bi-plane for a completely different safari experience!

As the light starts to change, enjoy sundowner drinks and the stunning vistas that Lewa provides before heading back to the lodge for pre-dinner drinks around a cosy fire in the sitting room. After dinner, sit out on the deck and marvel at the millions of bright stars twinkling in the clear African skies and reflect on a fabulous day in the bush. Then head to your room, falling asleep to the sound of the bush and dreaming of the day to come.

Horse Riding

There’s nothing quite like experiencing the vast beauty of the African bush from horseback. During the day, the 30+ horses and ponies that call Lewa Wilderness home, enjoy grazing alongside these plains game. They become quite accustomed to each other’s presence allowing for some truly magical, up-close encounters!  Being on the horseback allows you to go where no car can take you. Ride through some of the most stunning, untouched landscapes with only the sound of your horse’s rhythmic hoofbeats and the brush of the grass on their legs. Walk in stride with giraffe, zebra, eland and more, becoming part of their herd. Canter across the golden plains and ride down into the valleys to an even more remote part of the bush where you might see elephants browsing in the tall acacia trees, rhinos wallowing in the mud holes or even a lion basking in the sunshine.

Many of the horses are quite comfortable carrying beginners, allowing even first-time riders to experience the African bush in the most authentic way.  Rides with beginners are short and more sedate, but no one will forget their first time in the saddle in Africa. There is also the opportunity for advanced riders to journey out on more challenging trails or to camp with the horses under the stary night skies.

If you opt for a fly camping experience, you’ll head out on a long afternoon ride. Arriving at a secluded spot where your tents will be set up and the horses will be comfortably tied to the picket line nearby.  Riders are welcomed by nice hot showers and crisp, cold beers. The team of Maasai guides will cook you a delicious meal and ensure you’re mosquito net tents are set in just the right spot for a perfect view of the stars. (Extra cost)

Game Drives

A team of fully-qualified driver guides are on hand for vehicle safaris across the conservancy. The specially adapted open vehicles allow for excellent game viewing.  At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a maximum of just 3 vehicles are allowed at a wildlife sighting to ensure exclusive and authentic wildlife encounters. The game drives are not limited to daylight hours. In this private conservancy, you get to explore at night using spotlight and the full moon when it obliges. Here, Big 5 viewings are quite common and guests are almost guaranteed to see the endangered black and white rhinos. In these special safari vehicles, you can often get closer to the big cats than on horseback – a sighting that will always get the heart racing!

Guided Walks

Experience the thrill of walking amongst some of the wildest, untouched landscapes, in the silent morning mist, following the fresh tracks of a leopard. Venture on into the remote valleys, hills and plains of the Lewa Wilderness Conservatory and its neighbouring ranches. On foot you’ll learn the secrets of tracking wildlife, uses of different plants and have time to chat with your Masai guide about the local culture, stories and legends. The Maasai guides will use their lifetime of experience and expansive knowledge of the bush and its wildlife to guide you to the most beautiful vantage points and the best animal encounters. It is their deep understanding of the environment and the behaviour of the animals that provide the greatest experiences as well as keeps visitors safe.

 

 

Flying Safaris

From the beginnings of Lewa Wilderness in 1972, flying over the remarkable landscapes of northern and central Kenya has been a part of the family tradition. Opt for an early morning wake-up call and take to the clouds, departing on a private plane from the secluded lodge airstrip. Soar high above the snowy peaks of Mount Kenya, weave through gorges and dip down along the tree tops keeping a keen eye on the ground. Herds of elephants and other wildlife frequent the nearby Ewaso N’gero river. For an even more authentic African experience, wrap up in a sheepskin aviator jacket and head out on one of Lewa’s open-cockpit biplanes! Feel the wind in your hair, hear the roar of the engine and marvel at the breathtaking views as herds of buffalo and antelope gallop across the plains below. A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Family Activities

Family-owned and operated, Lewa Wilderness always puts family time first! Your stay can be tailored for your family, with flexible meal times, private vehicles and experienced guides. Enjoy a wide range of activities for kids of all ages. Pony rides, camel rides, Maasai games, cave exploring and crab fishing in the freshwater springs are among some of the safari activities offered on-site.

Some additional off-site activities include the nearby Ngare Ndare forest and waterfalls. The ecosystem here is quite different from Lewa. Explore on the treetop canopy walk or enjoy a picnic and a swim at the spectacular waterfalls. Il Ngwesi, an authentic Maasai village, is another off-site option where guests can spend the day with the native people and explore their local culture and traditions. There is also the option to meet and visit with the children of Rehema Destitute Home, a home for orphaned children of nearby villages. 

Fly Camping

There is also the opportunity to opt for a fly camp experience – be it for one night or more. Spend the day walking or horse riding and exploring the Kenyan bush whilst camels carry your luggage and camping gear to your destination for an unforgettable night in the bush. As you walk or ride from camp to camp, keep your eyes peeled, you are in Big 5 territory. Viewing these animals on horseback or foot is a truly exhilarating and memorable experience. Each night your camp will be set up in a different location and you will arrive in time to settle in for a famous African sunset. The tents are dome-shaped with mosquito nets and fly sheets, bucket showers with water heated from the fire and “long drop” loos in separate tents nearby. Each tent is outfitted with bedrolls, down pillows, sheets and blankets. Before turning in for the night, enjoy an authentic Kenyan camp dinner under the star-studded night skies and campfire stories with your Maasai guides.

THE ACCOMMODATION

Lewa Wilderness is one of Kenya’s original private safari experiences. For fifty years guests have been coming to this remarkable region to be part of an adventure like no other. Guests are welcomed as part of the family. Relax by the fire in the cozy sitting room and share meals around a long banquet table in the open-air dining room where you’ll often see giraffe and elephants over lunch. Bush breakfasts set remotely amidst the plains are reached after a morning horseback ride or game drive. Lunches at Lewa Wilderness’ own organic farm under the shade of trees after a tour of the impressive vegetable and fruit gardens. Dinners are served around a roaring fire or under the star-filled sky. The main areas are furnished with comfortably worn chairs and sofas, where countless artefacts collected over the generations create an eclectic and comfortable ambience.

Lewa Wilderness

Hillside Cottages There are six individual hillside cottages, each with a unique layout. These cottages were built to capture the stunning views out over the valley and the sound of the river below where safari animals often congregate. Each cottage has en-suite facilities, a cozy sitting area and fireplace, and a private outdoor verandah where one can enjoy a morning coffee whilst watching the sunrise or a peaceful private dinner.

Family Cottages or Garden Rooms These are the original rooms built by David and Delia Craig when they started the lodge. They are the cottages closest to the main house and living areas. Each consists of two en-suite bedrooms joined by a comfortable sitting area with a bar and cosy fireplace. The three garden rooms are exceptionally spacious, bright and sunny, perfect for families and also those who do not wish to be too far from the main areas.

QUICK FACTS
Lewa Conservancy, Kenya
Jomo Kenyatta Nairobi International Airport (JKIA)
Open All Year
3 – 10 Nights
Group Size: Max. 8 Riders
Intermediate and Above
View Gallery
1 Night From: $888 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bucket-list horse riding in an area rich in incredible wildlife and unforgettable scenery
  • An exclusive safari which is perfect for mixed riding abilities and can include a variety of other exciting activities such as game drives, came rides and romantic bi-plane flights.
  • A personalised stay in exclusive, private accommodations with stunning views and rustic charm
  • The chance to see rare and endangered wildlife such as black rhino, painted dog, reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra from on horseback
  • The opportunity to learn about Lewa Wilderness’ incredible conservation efforts
DATES & RATES

Open all year round. We recommend 3-10 night stays. Please enquire for the exact dates and availability.

2022 Rates:

Regular Season: 06 January – 30 June 2022 / 16 September- 19 December 2022
USD888
per person per night sharing + USD134 conservation fee

High Season: 01 July – 15 September 2022 / 20 December – 08 January 2023
USD1 023 per person per night sharing + USD134conservation fee 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS

March, April, May, November & 1st – 19th December 2022

Stay 3, Pay 2 Special

6th January – 28th February & 1st – 31st October  2022

Honeymoon special – bride pays 50% on stays of 3 nights or more

October  2022

Stay 4, Pay 3 Special

 

2023 Rates:

Regular Season: 09 January – 15 April 2023 / 26 May- 30 June 2023 / 16th September – 19th December 2023
USD987 per person per night sharing + USD134 conservation fee

High Season: 01 July – 15 September 2022 / 20 December – 07 January 2024
USD1 137 per person per night sharing + USD134conservation fee 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS

1st March – 15th April & 1st November – 19th December 2023

Stay 3, Pay 2 Special

9th January – 28th February & 1st – 31st October  2023

Honeymoon special – bride pays 50% on stays of 3 nights or more

October  2023

Stay 4, Pay 3 Special

 

Includes

  • Luxury accommodation
  • All meals
  • All local drinks (soft drinks, spirits, beers and house wines)
  • Horse riding
  • Shared game drives (Day & night)
  • Guided Walks
  • Camel Walks
  • Pre-historic site visits
  • Community crafts & visits to selected villages and schools
  • Visit to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy HQ

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Light Air charter flights to Lewa Airstrip
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Champagne, Premium spirits, Cellar wines
  • Exclusive use of vehicle, subject to availability
  • Scenic bi-plane flights; available for Lewa Wilderness guests ONLY.
  • Visits to Il’Ngwesi cultural boma
  • Visit to the aerial walkway in the Ngare Ndare Forest
  • Fly camping
  • Late departures
  • Shop purchases
  • Gratuities
  • Any extra activities off the property not listed
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

It was a great, amazing, cool, top experience to ride the Tuliblock in Botswana. 8 day's on a back of a horse and view a lot of game. The guides and staff were great. So I will come back!

Nicole PlasTuli Safari, Botswana
READ MORE REVIEWS

How we care for our horses

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Lewa Wilderness are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • Our horses spend their days outside in a herd, allowing them to live naturally alongside all the other animals on the reserve. 
  • They are bought in twice a day to be fed, checked, groomed and temperatures taken by the devoted guides. The horses are stabled in the evenings or tied onto a picket line if they are out on a trail ride. 
  • The horses all get a physio and dentist visit at least once a year. 
  • The grooms are trained farriers who take care of the horses’ feet regularly, and an expert farrier comes to visit once a year to ensure that their techniques are up to standard.
  • The tack is checked and cleaned regularly to ensure it is kept to the best possible standards.
  • A careful record is kept of how much work each horse does to ensure they have rest days and are not overworked. There is a dedicated onsite horse trainer who is continually keeping the horses in tip-top shape.

Please let us know if you have any more questions around this.

RELATED SAFARIS

Rhinos and horses in Kenya

1 Night: From $888 pps

Lewa Wilderness

Lewa Wilderness

TAILOR MADE

Kenya

Wildlife Focused Horse Safari

The Lewa Wilderness is perfect for true safari lovers to fully immerse in this very special part of Kenya.

Galloping with wildebeest

3 Nights: From $1 050 pps

Simalaha Conservancy & Victoria Falls

Simalaha Conservancy & Victoria Falls

3 - 7 Nights

Zambia

Scenery & Wildlife Focused Horse Safari

Ride across the Zambezi River floodplains with herds of zebra, wildebeest and lechwe, before visiting the mighty Victoria Falls.