Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has created a much emulated model of collaborative conservation involving multiple stakeholders, in particular the surrounding local communities. Originally a cattle ranch owned by the Craig family, Lewa welcomed its first rhino in 1984 and has since become renowned for its incredibly successful rhino conservation program. Its rhino population has grown steadily, not only restoring local numbers but enabling black rhino relocation and reintroduction in regions where they had long been absent.
The conservancy currently holds over 10% of Kenya’s black and 15% of Kenya’s white rhino population as well as the largest single population of the critically endangered Grevy’s zebra in the world. With corridors open to the north, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and giraffe, to name but a few species, move freely in and out of this protected area and onwards to the greater Laikipia ecosystem. Hugeherds of elephant migrate between the conservancy and the forests of Mt Kenya via a safe corridor created in 2010/2011.