Lonely Planet reports that 2016 was a banner year for rhino conservation at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in north-central Kenya, with no less than 14 babies born on the reserve.
The location of Elewana’s Lewa Safari Camp, the reserve was already home to more than 150 black and white rhinos — around a sixth of all rhinos that survive in Kenya. Using around-the-clock security and sophisticated monitoring, Lewa has gone three years without having one of its rhinos poached.
The birth of eight white rhinos and six black rhinos last year adds to Lewa’s legacy as Kenya’s most successful rhino conservation operation.
“Kenya is home to slightly over 1,100 rhinos, making every rhino birth a triumph for conservation in the country,” Wanjiku Kinuthia, director of communications at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, told Lonely Planet. “To us, the rhino is an umbrella species — when you protect rhino you make the landscape safer for both people and other wildlife species.”
Kinuthia went on to say that tourist dollars from rhino conservation trickle down to local people. “Last year, Lewa supported 21 government-owned schools, provided educational bursaries to 426 children, 40,000 people got healthcare from our four health clinics, and 1,800 women got funding to support their small businesses.”
In case you didn’t know – Lewa Safari Camp is the only property in the conservancy where all profits benefit the conservancy!