Life Changing African Safari (Part IV- Lewa, Kenya)

We loved our time in the Mara so much it was hard to leave. Our next stop was the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, home to the endangered black rhino and endangered Grevy zebras. To get there, we chartered a small plane for the 1 hour flight. It made sense to charter a private flight since our group of 6, including our luggages, would take up most of the space on the plane already. Still, it was definitely exciting to get the plane all to ourselves! Once the pilot introduced himself to us, Bridge immediately asked if she could be his co-pilot. She’s always carried the spirit that it never hurts to ask, and this time, she was rewarded with a yes! Not only did she get to sit next to pilot Angus, but he even took the time to teach her some basic flying skills, and allowed Brady to sit on Bridgette’s lap up front once we were stabilized in the air.

When we landed on the small airstrip at Lewa, our guide from Lewa Safari Camp was already there to greet us. After a quick refreshing drink, we hopped onto his Land Rover jeep and began our way to the lodge. The landscape in Lewa was vastly different than the Mara, and while Daniel would point to various wildlife for us along the way, they were much further away from us than what we previously experienced. Nonetheless, we continued to be excited with the amazing wildlife all around us!

When we arrived to the camp, we were warmly greeted by the staff there, and then taken on a tour around the property. The accommodations were individual tents, glamping style, and communal areas included a beautiful swimming pool, both indoor and outdoor dining spaces, and a cozy living area with a fireplace. There was also a gift shop and spa as well! I shared a tent with Bree and Bridge, and there was plenty of space for the 3 of us. We each got our own bed, and there was a lovely balcony where we saw a lovely sunset one evening.

Our schedule in Lewa was similar to the Mara in that we had to wake up pretty early every morning (our guide suggested 6am but we quickly negotiated that to be 7am, lol) for breakfast, and then we’d head out for our game drive. Some days, we’d have a little break in the afternoon back at the lodge where we would have lunch, and then lay by the pool to read or to have a power nap. We didn’t see as much wildlife in Lewa as we did in the Mara, and when we did, they were often very far away. But there were a few times that we did get up close to a herd of elephants and a pride of lions, both of which left us totally breathless with excitement! On one occasion, Daniel steered our jeep deep into the bushes where we were able to observe 2 lioness voraciously devour a wildebeest. One of them even turned to give us a hard stare when it heard us, which was a very intimidating to say the least!

One of our favorite days in Lewa was the day that we got to learn about the rhinos from the park rangers. The poaching of rhinos is still a huge problem today, and rangers are doing as much as they can to prevent this, as well as to catch the perpetrators. Rhino conservation is part of the mission of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and educating the general public is an important part of that. Here is a link if you’re interested in more information.

After learning more about the rhinos, we then took a hike to the waterfalls. When traveling by foot in the conservancy, you always need armed rangers to escort you, just in case you encounter any predators. It was both exciting and nerve wrecking, and not to be anti-climatic, but we did not get attacked by any wildlife on our hike. 😂

Once we got to the waterfall, we were hot, sweaty, and remorseful that we were not in swimsuits. Ultimately, Bridgette and my sis decided that swimsuit or not, they would jump in anyways, and they did!

Because of the heat, it didn’t take long to dry off, and we got to enjoy a delicious bush lunch prepared by the camp for us.

Our time in Lewa was less eventful than the Mara, but it was still memorable nonetheless. We witnessed many remarkable sunsets, got to stare endlessly at the starry skies at night, and met some wonderful people. I remember how awe inspired I was as I gazed out our jeep during sunset. The vastness of the space all around me really shifted my perspective on a number of things. It often takes stepping away from our daily grind and into a fresh, unfamiliar space to remind us of what’s really important in life.

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