KENYA’S LEWA WILDERNESS
Our number one (action-oriented and educational) family resort
Destination Kenya guarantees an experience that will tick all the boxes for all the family in a safe and exciting environment. And Lewa Wilderness, located within the Unesco World Heritage Lewa Wildlife Conservancy at the foot of Mount Kenya, puts children and their needs and likes at the forefront of their efforts and offerings.
Once here, kids will get a chance to enjoy nature actively and the world we so desperately need to nurture by being exposed to a host of extraordinary animals in their natural habitat. They will learn about conservation practices and environmental matters in the best way possible – hands-on. They’ll get to experience adventures of a lifetime that will surely hasten them to bed early, while you, as parents, can relax in a beautiful environment after the excitement of the day.
Getting here is easy. It’s a little under 300 kilometres from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, about a four-hour drive. To make life simpler there are daily flights from Nairobi with Safarilink or Air Kenya, and the Lewa airstrip also allows private or chartered planes to ferry guests to and fro. The conservancy, with its ten luxury cottages (garden cottages are better for families, closer to all the action), is often referred to as the most beautiful venue in its league in Kenya. We agree.
The best time to come is between July and September, or in January and February when there’s not much rain and the weather is usually hot and dry during the day and the nights are quite cool – perfect for lounging by the fireplace in your room. Adventure-wise, there are some incredible experiences to keep everyone happy and engaged.
Start with traditional game viewing of the Big Five on the conservancy. Expect to see a lot from the all-wheel drive you’ll be taken on, and to learn plenty at the same time as you’ll be in the convivial company of the lodge’s trained guides. As all parents know, having the right guide goes a long way to keeping kids excited about where they are; a great one can have a profound effect on your children. With any luck you’ll be one step closer to your goal of raising your kids to be more environmentally aware.
There will also be non-stop excitement on this ride, as Lewa has one of the highest wildlife counts in Kenya, including 12% of the country’s black and white rhinos (one of the only places in Kenya with both), and the world’s single-largest population of Grévy’s zebra, herds of elephants and buffalo, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and a lot more, including 400 species of birds.
Take a little extra cash along as the kids can adopt a rhino (for life) for about £1,750 ($2,500) or – for £10,500 ($15,000) – give one a name (we assume for life, too). If you don’t want to sign on for surrogacy, the kids can get up close and personal with a giraffe, enjoy pony, horse and camel riding in the bush with a Maasai moran (“warrior”), and swim and crab fish in the natural springs. They can also visit an organic farm and learn a great deal about the day-to-day workings of conservationists and the efforts undertaken in the quest for a better world.
Worth mentioning is that the property has a plane on the premises, a yellow Waco open-cockpit biplane that can take two passengers on a flight over forests and through the plains, an exhilarating way to see the animals below. It could be a perfect father-and-child bonding experience, and an unforgettable one too. The property’s affable owner is also a former crop-dusting pilot, so you’ll be in good hands if you opt for this expedition.
Notable guests to Lewa Wilderness include Prince William and Kate before they were married. I’m sure, with their three kids now, they would love another visit.