Everything You Need To Know About Lake Naivasha
With time, Lake Naivasha is slowly overtaking Mombasa as the ultimate tourist destination in Kenya. With over 63 properties to sample from and a wide array of wildlife to sample. It includes ver 400 different species of bird and a sizeable population of hippos. There is also fish which has greatly reduced overtime due to climate change and pollution.
Some of the properties include lodges, holiday homes and hotels.
And there are a myriad of things to do in Lake Naivasha if you are the exploring kind. I specifically enjoy bike riding in the wild while in the confines of Hells Gate and do a bit of rock climbing while at it as my way of relaxing during weekends.
However there is so much more to do. You can for example go bird watching, relax and unwind in one of the many lodges, go site seeing, play golf, go mountain climbing at Longonot and so much more.
One of the things that you’ll most definitely enjoy in Lake Naivasha is a boat ride in the expansive lake which is the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at 1,884 metres (6,181ft) in a complex geological combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits from a larger pleistocine era lake.
The lake has a surface area of 139km² and is surrounded by a swamp which covers an area of 64 square km with the main feeders of the lake being the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers. There is no outlet for the lake but the lake is a fresh water take so many experts have assumed there must be an underground outlet.
The boat rides are available across the various lodges or you can take one at the public beach which a buzz ofactivities especially during weekends. It’s 500 per person to ride in one of the canoes or speeds boats which will take you around the lake. Here you get to sample some great views, get to taste the lake water for the crazy ones and for some extra coins get to visit to visit crescent island.
This is a private island on the lake which prides itself for having more animals per acre than any other Kenyan Park. Some of the wildlife there includes herds of Wildebeeste, Waterbuck, Zebra and Gazelle. It’s normally open from 8AM and closes at 6PM.
And speaking of wildlife, you can find a lot of it at Hells Gate National Park which is run and managed by Kenya Wildlife Service. Named for the intense geothermal activity within its boundaries, the Hell’s Gate National Park is a remarkable quarter of the Great Rift Valley. Spectacular scenery including the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam make it one of the most atmospheric Parks in Africa. Hell’s Gate is an ideal venue for a day trip from Nairobi where, in addition to the bio-diversity that includes raptors, visitors can enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing and a natural spa.
There is also Mt. Longonot National Park. Rising from the floor of the Great Rift Valley like a monolith is the extinct volcano of Mount Longonot. A unique feature is the thick forest that lies within the crater of the mountain. The crater rim also provides great scenic views across the beautiful Rift Valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. Major wildlife attractions at Mount Longonot include buffaloes, elands, lion, leopard, bushbucks, common zebra, giraffe and Grant’s gazelles.
Entry fees for the two sanctuaries are 26 USD for adults and 17 USD for kids.
There are over 50 hotels situated in the confines of Lake Naivasha all with unique facilities and offerings. There is for example Club House, The signature eatery at Sanctuary Farm which is relaxed but stylish, with tables strewn over a wooden verandah where you can have sumptious brunches while catching up with loved ones on a Saturday afternoon.
And for those sundowners, best to sample them at Ranch House Bistro sipping some beers and nibbling on some pork chops. This is while girraffes and hippos watch from a distance.
If also looking for a place to relax and unwind then there are many places to along Lake Naivasha to sample from. There are places like Enishipai resort and spa with all manner of offerings like conference facilities, nature walks on crescent island, boat rides, spa treatments and the likes for newly wed couples, organizations and families.
There is also Great Rift Valley Lodge, a haven for golfers and companies especially conferences. Other hotels and lodges in Naivasha include: ARR Kongoni Lodge, Astrorian grand hotel, Chui lodge, Lake Naivasha Country club and many more.
And all this cater for different people and different budgets with some of the hotels going as high 200 USD per night per person and others going as low as 20 USD per night per person.
Luxury camps and camping options are also options that offer great tourism insight in Lake Naivasha. This mostly excites the adrenaline junkies who’s purpose is to seek adventure and danger and not necessarily luxury.
Most of these camps are located near the lake and offer great opportunity to sample the many flamingoes that are synonymous with Lake Naivasha. Thousands of bright pink flamingoes are spread over the lake like a carpet, and the pink picture they paint is a natural spectacle.
The flamingoes are the poster birds for Lake Naivasha and both the lesser and the greater flamingoes can be seen here. The greater flamingo characterized by a red bill with black tip and a deep pink plumage is less commonly seen than the lesser flamingo which is slightly smaller and has a pink bill and a white plumage.
We have camps like Crater lake camp, Eutut camp, Crayfish camp and such with various offerings and options. There is a huge variety from luxury ones to free style ones which all to entice the different clientele.