Lewa Marathon : Memories are made of This
The 17th edition of the Safaricom Marathon and Half Marathon, more commonly known as the Lewa Marathon will take place at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Ndare Forest, Kenya on Saturday 25th June 2016. This year has 1,200 registered runners from over 20 countries all aching to have a taste of running wild among rhinos, zebra and many other wildlife species.
The Lewa Marathon tests the endurance of the competitors and it is for this particular reason that more and more people are attracted each year since it’s inception in 2000. There is a 5km kids’ race, a 21km half marathon and a 42 km marathon for those daring enough to test their limits at a whooping oxygen-deprived 5,500ft with an altitude of almost 30 degrees Celcius. Add in the possibility of a buffalo charging at you as you run and you can see just how much adrenaline this marathon promises.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 2013, covers over 62,000 acres and is almost all fenced providing security to the wildlife within from the neighbouring communities. That’s the way conservancy works; protect the animals from human beings and not vice versa.
Registration for participants (read the runners) has been closed but Lewa Conservancy offers more than just the marathon. There are so many reasons to pack up the family, leave the city behind and head over to this special event:
The simplest way of reaching Lewa is by flying direct from Wilson Airport. If you choose to fly Safarilink, $5 will be donated for every ticket to the Lewa Conservancy. You will be assured of having made a contribution to the conservation program.
For those who love taking in the sights, you can opt to take a four hour drive from Nairobi using the Thika Superhighway. This trip will take you through Thika, Karatina, Nanyuki and many other towns giving you a chance to #TembeaKenya. Be sure to take a few catchy photos where the Equator line runs, through Nanyuki.
Did you know Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton smack in the middle of this scenic location? Make time to visit the rustic Rutundu cabin at the foothills of Mt. Kenya.
Lewa’s 61 black rhinos constitute 12% of Kenya’s entire population. There are 73 white rhinos as well. Visit Nicky, the blind rhino born in August 2012, under the care of the Lewa Safari Camp.
Get to meet Lewa’s oldest matriach elephant who is tracked using a GPS collar. Through tracking her herd’s movements, the rangers are able to know the whereabouts of the elephants almost in real time. She is famed as very gentle.
Visit Ngiri House now known as Lewa House, the original home of the family that began this conservancy back in 1983. The family came to Kenya in 1922 to start a cattle ranch but began Lewa Conservancy later when it became clear that something needed to be done to save the black rhino before it became extinct. Technology takes a step back here, as there is no TV giving you a chance to really absorb nature.
Make the trip special by spending the weekend at Sirikoi Game Lodge and Lewa Safari Camp and enjoy real sundowners with Mt. Kenya at the background.