Situated on a rocky outcrop in the north of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, this intimate and environmental award-winning lodge prides itself on its successful efforts to integrate community development and sustainable environmental management. The comfortably furnished open-walled bandas with open-air showers are made of local materials and built on a slope—their fronts rest on wooden stilts—thus giving uninterrupted views of the surrounding wilderness. Make sure you take the opportunity to sit out at the main lodge and watch the water hole below or cool off in the horizon pool, which gently flows down into the bush below; water is gravity-piped from a nearby natural spring. You'll see plenty of game including lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, the elusive wild dog, and large herds of elephants and buffalo, plus the plains game. Learn about hunting, gathering honey, animal trapping with indigenous poisons, or fashioning beadwork with the local Maasai at the nearby Masai Cultural Manyatta.
You won't want to miss the dancing of the warriors and maidens—it's the genuine article. Il Ngwesi Camp is a shining example of how a safari lodge can reduce poverty and strengthen partnerships between the tourist trade and local communities. Built only with local materials, the camp is completely solar-powered, and its water comes from a nearby spring and is gravity fed to the lodge. The local Maasai community helped build and continues to run the camp through a communal group.
Laikipia Plateau, 10406, Kenya