Located at the very heart of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the house is set on top of a hill with extensive views over gentle rolling hills with Mount Kenya to the south and the rugged Mathews Range and the sacred mountain of Ol Olokwe to the north.
The accomodation at Lewa House is in the form of cottage style rooms which are spread out along the hillside, all looking to the expanse of wilderness to the north. There are 3 of the original (the house was originally a private home) thatched family cottages, each comprising of two en-suite rooms and a large shared veranda. The 4 recently added single room cottages are built with sustainable, ecological principles in mind whilst still being exceptionally comfortable and spacious, with wonderful views across the surrounding landscape.
Power and hot water at Lewa House is provided by the sun and water comes directly from a spring that emerges on Lewa at the base of the Ngare Ndare forest, fed by the snows of Mt Kenya.
The heart of Lewa House is a large elegant building with an open fireplace at one end where guests can relax during the day and mingle with a drink before dinner, and at the other is a large family dining table where the evening meals are served, hosted by Calum and Sophie Macfarlane.
There is a large shaded verandah extending away from the main house with a comfortable seating area from which you can enjoy a cool afternoon drink and soak in the very special atmosphere of Lewa House.
Beautiful shaded gardens surround the house and breakfast or lunch is often served on the lawn. The house also has a large swimming pool which overlooks a waterhole providing some of the best game viewing on Lewa!
However, our wish is …….. that you spend as little time at the house as possible! Being on safari is all about being out in the bush watching game, appreciating how conservation of rare species works, understanding the challenges for communities living nearby and savouring this ancient and diverse environment.
Games 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 viewing but it is the richness of the game that our guests talk about. All the main safari predators, the rare Grevy zebra and of course the threatened rhino can be viewed in abundance. A particular favourite and well recognised aspect of the area near the lodge are the good elephant numbers and at least weekly sightings of the illusive wild dogs. The game drives are on your terms using our experience and are not limited to daylight hours. We often explore the conservancy by night using spotlight and the full moon when it obliges.
Game walks with Calum, a FGASA qualified Trails Guide, which we hope will open up the landscape and let you appreciate the smaller (or sometimes very large) animals as well as the tracks, trails, signs, sights, sounds and smells of the wilderness – something you often miss from the car.
Conservancy activities – guests can also visit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy headquarters to find out more about their pioneering conservation and community work such as a visit to the anti-poaching tracker dogs or a visit to the LWC sponsored local school or other community project.
Horse riding – for guests staying 3 nights or more we also include a horse riding excursion on the conservancy – a competely different way of seeing the wildlife. As you are on horse back the animals don’t recognize you as human allowing you to get much closer. All riding levels are catered for so don’t worry if you are novice.
Camel rides (optional extra)
Cultural trips – to the local Il Ngwesi village can be arranged with all proceeds going to the village itself.
Scenic biplane flights (optional extra)
Scenic swimming pool overlooking the waterhole
Lewa House supports the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and their wildlife conservation and local community development programs.
As part of Lewa’s conservation efforts LWC have invested extensively in the local community through several innovative programs ranging from micro-credit schemes to medical clinics and schools.
Through these projects as well as recruiting from the local community the conservancy has gained their support and people living in the area now view wildlife as an asset and help protect it.
As local communities have come to see the benefits of wildlife Lewa has helped initiate and promote community driven conservation programmes in surrounding communities, one of these is the Il Ngwesi Group Ranch which neighbours Lewa.
As one of our activities we offer trips to the Il Ngwesi village, there is a small fee for this visit however all proceeds go direct to the community helping to support them. The visit itself offers a fascinating insight into how people live in this wild and enchanting area.
LWC has a number of projects some of which you will be able to visit during your stay, you can also donate money to any of the projects during or after your stay at Lewa House – giving you the opportunity of seeing exactly where you money will be used.
These projects include:-
Community Health Care
Lewa has 3 clinics supporting up to 90% of staff and local communities
Community Water Management
Spring conservation, drip irrigations schemes and much more
Women’s micro credit scheme
Helping women start small businesses and generate money to support their communities
Community Forestry Projects
Tree nurseries started in local communities to cut down on firewood collecting and charcoal burning which is leading to widespread deforestation in East Africa.
Sustainable Agricultural Development
Training local farmers in techniques that preserve soil quality, increase efficiency and sustain biodiversity.
Lewa Education Programs
Supporting local schools, feeding programs, bursaries, orphans and adult literacy
Sophie & Calum Macfarlane are a couple with a young family whose connections to Lewa goes back over 5 generations, to Sophie’s Great Grandfather (our childrens great great grandfather!) who first started conserving wildlife here.
Sophie’s grandparents were innovative in establishing tourism on private land in Kenya with their tented camp and it was here that Sophie spent every school holidays working with them, watching hospitality in action – the old fashioned way!
Calum and Sophie met in Scotland where Sophie had gone to study, were introduced by mutual friends and the story continues….
Calum, of Scottish origin, grew up with a passion for nature. He went onto study Zoology and was working as specialist African tour operator when Sophie met him. Since then he has gone on to attain the FGASA Trails guide qualification and leads most of the walks at Lewa House.
They both moved to Kenya in 2008 and spent 4 years running Elephant Pepper Camp in the Masai Mara for Cheli & Peacock, where Calum has enjoyed entertaining guests with his quirky wildlife knowledge. They made Lewa House their home in 2012 and the adventure continues!