Located only 55 miles (89 km) northwest of Nairobi, Lake Naivasha is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning Rift Valley setting and the distinctive volcanic outline of Mount Longonot to the south. The first thing that strikes visitors to Lake Naivasha is its sheer size.
Covering an area of approximately 139 square kilometers, this expansive lake is the second-largest freshwater lake in Kenya. Its vastness provides a habitat for a wide range of wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike.
One of the most iconic parts of Lake Naivasha is its Crescent Island Game Park. This privately-owned sanctuary is home to an array of animals, including giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and various species of antelopes. The absence of predators on the island allows visitors to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures, making for a truly unforgettable experience.
For bird lovers, Lake Naivasha is a paradise. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the area, including the African fish eagle, pied kingfisher, and the elusive African spoonbill. The lake’s rich birdlife provides a captivating spectacle, especially during the annual bird migration when flocks of birds grace the skies above.
In addition to its wildlife, Lake Naivasha boasts stunning landscapes that are sure to take your breath away. From the tranquil waters of the lake itself to the surrounding acacia woodlands and grassy plains, the scenery is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Visitors can embark on scenic boat rides to fully appreciate the beauty of the lake and its surroundings.
Things to Do in Naivasha
When it comes to activities, Lake Naivasha offers something for everyone. For wildlife enthusiasts, game drives and guided walks in the Crescent Island Game Park are a must. The chance to observe animals in their natural habitat, without the constraints of a vehicle, is a unique experience that sets Lake Naivasha apart from other destinations.
Boat safaris are another popular activity, allowing visitors to explore the lake’s diverse ecosystems and get close to hippos, crocodiles, and other aquatic creatures. Fishing is also a common pastime, with tilapia and black bass being the most sought-after catches.
For those seeking a more active adventure, hiking, and biking trails are available around the lake. These trails offer stunning views and an opportunity to explore the surrounding landscapes at your own pace. Additionally, nearby Hell’s Gate National Park provides a unique opportunity for rock climbing and canyoning, making Lake Naivasha a hub for outdoor enthusiasts.
When to Go?
When planning a visit to Lake Naivasha, it’s important to consider the best time to go. The dry season, from July to October, is generally recommended as wildlife sightings are more frequent during this time. However, the rainy season, from March to May, brings lush greenery and is a great time for bird watching. It’s advisable to check the weather conditions and plan accordingly.
Where to Stay?
Accommodation options around Lake Naivasha range from luxury lodges and resorts to budget-friendly campsites. Whether you prefer a cozy room with a view or a tent under the stars, there are plenty of choices to suit every traveler’s preference and budget.
How to Get There
Transportation to Lake Naivasha is relatively convenient. Getting to Lake Naivasha is easy via a 3-hour drive along a well-maintained road from Nairobi. Access to the lake is along the surfaced Moi South Lake Road, which leads to the Moi North Lake Road and the northern entrance to the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary. Alternatively, some tour operators offer organized day trips or multi-day packages to Lake Naivasha, taking care of transportation arrangements for you.