Forging part of East Africa’s famous Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha may not be the best known Kenyan location but for what it lacks in global recognition, it makes up for in pure aesthetic beauty.
Lake Naivasha, in Nakuru County, resides around a two-hour drive north west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and lies west of the township of the same name representing an easily accessible pursuit on tailor-made Kenya holidays.
Given its Great Rift Valley location, many are often surprised that the lake itself resides above sea level at 1,884 metres and given this point, this further explains why the lake is called as such, as Naivasha is translated as Nai’posha (rough water) in the Maasai language.
This elevation exposes Naivasha to strong winds which can all of a sudden whip the usually calm waters up into a rather bumpy waterline for vessels.
A wildlife paradise
Lake Navaisha is a must-visit location for wildlife enthusiasts who can witness everything from birdlife to warthog and monkey within the surrounding area.
Travellers should keep their eyes peeled for the colobus monkey that reside in the vast green areas of papyrus that encircle the lake.
It is estimated that up to an incredible 400 different species of birdlife inhabit Lake Naivasha while hippo are also commonly sighted in the area.
A range of possibilities
When travellers reach Lake Naivasha, there are a range of things to see and do. Many tourists enjoy taking a boat cruise of the lake itself which is actually rather shallow with an average depth of just six metres.
Travelling by boat is the only way to reach Crescent Island which is located on the eastern fringes of the lake and is a game park in its own right. Giraffe, hippo, buffalo and impala are all found here.
While boating on the lake, eyes can’t help being averted to Mount Longonot that casts a shadow over Naivasha. Longonot is actually a volcano but hasn’t been recorded to have erupted since the 1860s.
Longonot resides in a National Park of the same name and reaching the crater takes four to five hours by foot, but for those brave enough, the views of the surrounding Great Rift Valley are incredibly gratifying at the top.
Explore Naivasha your way
Given its close proximity from Nairobi, not to mention the existence of numerous National Park’s encircling the lake’s waters, there is great scope for travellers to discover the surrounding area their way.
As well as the Longonot National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park is another pursuit that is commonly associated with Naivasha.
Entitled rather fearsomely, Hell’s Gate earns its name from the slender passageway in the cliffs south of Naivasha whereby the first humans once relied upon water coming from this one-time tributary.
Nowadays, large groups on Kenya tours are often photographed standing within the gorge where water once flowed.
Lake Naivasha is quite truly a fascinating lesser-known location for any would-be adventurer.
- Safari Packing List
- Samburu National Reserve
- Tsavo National Park
- Aberdare National Park
- Shaba National Reserve
- Masai Mara National Reserve
- Lake Nakuru
- Amboseli National Park
- Lake Naivasha
- Mount Kenya National Park
- Top 5 Kenya Safari Accommodation
- Lewa Wildlife Reserve
- Ten Reasons To Visit Kenya
- Top 10 Kenya safari experiences
- Kenya Climate
- Flights and getting around Kenya
- Kenya Health Advice
- Safari photography tips
- Top 5 Safari Lodges in Kenya
- Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Kenya
- Kenya people and culture
- Another Kenya Safari Guide