Great way to experience the Kenyan wilderness at Lewa
Posted Thursday, July 5 2012 at 19:23
The zebras look up as the vehicles zoom past them before returning to their grazing. Unperturbed by the traffic heading into the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, they stroll around the area like they own it.
Once a year, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy comes alive as thousands of athletes, tourists, both local and foreign, stream into the area to take part or just watch the Safaricom Marathon.
Mary Sullivan from the UK has always enjoyed watching wildlife documentaries in her country and finally had a chance to come down to the Lewa conservancy to see the animals she has always admired as she also cheered her husband, who was taking part in the marathon on.
Those not running took time to relax and appreciate the scenery and the great outdoors.
Located 230 kilometres from Nairobi in eastern Kenya, Lewa is off the Nanyuki - Isiolo highway and just 4 hours drive from Nairobi and 45 minutes by air using a small plane or chopper as it has an airstrip in it.
This year, the marathon organisers registered 37 different nationalities from as far as Hungary, Italy, Israel and even Columbia in South America.
The marathon gives participants an opportunity to experience the Kenyan wild in a most unique way.
Rugged, fun and breathtaking, it is an enticing experience which has continued to inspire long distance runners and athletics fans alike.
The marathon brings together experienced athletes to run and test one of the world’s most tasking routes.
“I have run in the London Marathon and this year, I thought I should give Lewa a try,” commented Betsy from the UK.
She had come in with a group of friends to get a new experience and she was not disappointed.
George Ndegwa, too, had come in from Nairobi to run and enjoy the scenery that Lewa has to offer.
With Mt Kenya to the south and Samburu and Mount Lololokwe to the north, this backdrop adds to the whole Lewa experience.
But many others take the name literally and come in for a ‘Lewa’ (getting drunk) marathon.
“Every year, my friends and I plan a road trip to Lewa simply to have fun and socialise. We come down with a supply of drinks and spend the weekend here having fun,” says Jane Wamaitha from Nairobi.