Once a cattle ranch, the Lewa Conservancy was transformed into a rhino sanctuary in 1984. Come 1985, the conservancy was transformed into purely for all animals, creating a beautiful story about conservation in Africa.
Beyond the unadulterated natural Savannah grassland there is this untold narrative about the passion of protecting the northern white rhinos and the indigenous black rhinos. Lewa has 67 black rhinos and 82 white rhinos. This is a UNESCO world heritage site inscribed in 2013 as an extension of the Mt Kenya world heritage site. Lewa is home to some of East Africa’s most endangered species.
The journey began in 1980 when one of Lewa’s founders Anna Merz approached the Craig family with a request to build a rhino sanctuary aimed at protecting rhinos due to the then increase in poaching that had reduced Kenya’s 20,0000 rhinos to the mere hundreds. The duo later partnered resulting to the creation of Ngare Sergoi rhino sanctuary, a protected safe haven. The two were later okayed by the Kenyan government to rescue any rhino living in the wild in northern Kenya and form wildlife supervision teams to manage the animals. Come 1995, the Ngare Sergoi sanctuary as reestablished as the Lewa Conservancy.
How to differentiate between the black and white rhinos? Not by colour but by their bodies and behaviour of feeding. Black rhinos are browsers; meaning they feed on shrubs and shoots of trees. Their mouths are sharper. The white rhinos are grazers; meaning they feed on grass. Their mouths are formed in a triangle shape.
The 62,000 acre piece of land is now home to hundreds of wildlife species. Game density at Lewa conservancy is incomparable in the world.