About an hour drive from the ever-busy capital city of Nairobi lies a rare “gem” outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County – the famous Lake Naivasha. This freshwater lake towers at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at almost 2000 meters in a fascinating geological combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits.
Fringed by thick papyrus and no visible outlet, Lake Naivasha is believed to have an underground outflow since the lake water is relatively fresh. It also boasts serene surroundings, an abundance of activities and lots of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. If you’re planning a Kenyan safari trip, Lake Naivasha should definitely be on your bucket list.
Lake Naivasha National Park
Home to an extravagance of plain game and birdlife where walks are permitted, Lake Naivasha National Park offers thrilling adventures like rock climbing, biking, and hiking. Here, you can spot endangered species like the black and white rhinos as well as huge herds of waterbucks, zebras, wild buffalos, tree-climbing lions, and Rothschild giraffes. Just beside it is the Hell’s Gate National Park, which was christened for its pair of rather massive red tinged cliffs that frame a geometrically active interior of bubbling spring and steam vents.
Oloiden and Sonachi are two smaller lakes near the park and are well worth exploring as well. Much of the lakes are surrounded by forests of yellow fever trees abounding with birdlife. A great range of game is usually drawn to the shores of the lake. Giraffes can be easily spotted wandering among the acacia, while lots of buffalos wallow in the swamps. You could also hear primates and colobus monkeys call out from the topmost parts of surrounding trees, while the lakes large hippo population sleep the day out in the shallows.
Lake Naivasha Boat Ride
Lake Naivasha National Park is a bird lover’s paradise and taking a boat ride can get you real close (as close as 5 meters) to these avian wonders — pigeons, flamingoes, crows, and even fish eagles. You can take a leisure boat ride, usually for about 90 minutes during which you get to witness dozens of hippos wallowing in water and the different species of birds on Crescent Island. This island was one of the settings for the 1985 movie “Out Of Africa” starring Meryl Streep. While here you can do a walking safari with a guide, see animals like zebra wildebeest, etc… relax and even do a picnic. At night, it’s not so safe as this is when hippos graze.
Lake Naivasha Flamingos
Thousands of bright pink colored flamingos are spread across the lake like a carpet and due to their proximity to each other, the bright pink create an awe-inspiring spectacle on the water. Both the lesser and greater flamingos can be seen here. The greater flamingos are characterized by their red bill with a black tip and a deep pink plumage, while the lesser flamingos have a pink bill and a white plumage.
Lake Naivasha Weather
The climate in lake Naivasha is warm and temperate with average temperatures of 18 degrees C, while the average annual rainfall is 677mm. The driest month is in January, with 34mm of rainfall, while the most precipitation falls in April with an average of 119mm.
Camping in Lake Naivasha
Camping in Lake Naivasha is quite easy due to the myriad of camping options; from stylishly furnished tents situated on the shores of the lake, to bringing your own tent or renting one and pitching it in the lush green garden sites. These camps provide basic facilities and amenities ranging from internet services to modern toilet and bathrooms, and activities ranging from boat rides, birdwatch, fishing, swimming, nature guided walks, etc.
Lake Naivasha Outlets
Njorowa Gorge was the known outlet of Lake Naivasha in the early days, but today, it is found high beyond the water level and this forms the gate to Hell’s Gate National Park. Being a freshwater lake, it is expected to have underground outlets, but lately, it has no visible outlet, thereby adding to the interest surrounding the lake.
Accommodation in Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha offers a range of accommodation that caters for your budgetary needs. You can choose to stay off the shores of the breathtaking lake where there are resorts, lodges, camps, even Airbnb. Some resorts and cottages are positioned strategically on the banks of the lake so you can enjoy scenic views of the lake directly from the balcony. Some include:
- Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp – The camp, Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp located on the shores of a freshwater lake in Kenya is about 90 minutes of leisurely drive North West of Nairobi, outside the town of Naivasha along Moi South road. It made of canvas; all tents offer en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water with flushing toilets. All lodgings provide an ambiance and style of a traditional tent with all the comforts of a home.
- Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge – Set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland, Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge is studded with Acacia bushes and trees. Not only that it’s the home to resident giraffes, waterbucks, and both Vervet and Colobus monkeys, but it is also a night stop for the hippos when they leave the lake every night and trim the grass on the property’s expansive lawns. The buildings were carefully established to avoid cutting any trees to help conserve the environment.
- Enashipai Resort And Spa – Located at Moi South Lake Road, Enashipai Resort and Spa is where a strong local heritage and abundant nature is blended with pure luxury, delivering a generous sense of warmth. Only one hour drive away from Nairobi you can reach the shores of Enashipai Resort and Spa. The lodging is culturally rich, blanketed with nature, and historically decadent.
Lake Naivasha Country Club
Lake Naivasha Country Club is a lively home base for tourists looking to explore the tranquil natural beauty of Lake Naivasha and Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Known as the oldest property in Naivasha, the Naivasha Country Club is a 55-acre property gorged with lavish gardens in Naivasha, outdoor swimming pool, open lawns, a spa and lots of shady acacia trees.
It houses an array of comfy, elegant guest rooms and cottages. Asides the country clubs onsite facilities which include lots of space for outdoor and indoor events and gatherings, guests can also make the most of the onsite fitness center enjoying cocktails while sitting in front of the crackling fireplace or the large bay windows in the resident’s lounge. Exotic bird watching activities and boat excursions to the nearby Crescent Island known for an abundance of wildlife are often organized by the country club.
Things to do in Lake Naivasha
Undoubtedly, the most popular attraction at Lake Naivasha is the chance to take a guided boat safari out on the water. There are also a host of other things to do at lake Naivasha including:
- A walk with the animals at Crescent Island
- Exploring Hell’s gate national park
- Climbing Mt Longonot
- Seeking out for flamingos at Lake Elementaita
- Taking a dip at Ol Karina Geothermal Spa
Lake Naivasha Tour
Boat excursions, Crescent island walks, Hell’s gate national biking and hiking are day trips that are featured in lake Naivasha tour. Other tour highlights include boat rides, guided walks, nature trails and circuits, buffet lunch, birdwatching, and a host of others.
Lake Naivasha is an experience like no other. That’s why it features so prominently on many travelers bucket lists, as it should on yours. So how about you start prepping for your trip today?
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