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Lake Naivasha

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Situated only 100 kilometres from Nairobi (1 1/2 hours driving), Lake Naivasha has become a popular destination for weekend trips as people come to enjoy the tranquil surroundings and the varied birdlife.

Goliath heron (Ardea Goliath) in flight at Lake Naivasha. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

Goliath heron in Lake naivasha
Goliath heron (Ardea Goliath) right before sunset at Lake Naivasha. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

Also there is the option of visiting either Hells Gate National Park or Crescent island – a privately owned peninsula in lake Naivasha shaped like a crescent moon and now a game sanctuary where one can walk safely amongst zebras, gnus, giraffes, impalas and other wildlife, without the fear of dangerous African predators as there are none.

Crescent Island in Lake Naivasha and Hells Gate National Park are great places for walking safaris because of the lack of big predators. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

Both in the water as well as on land hippos can move fast and swift. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

There are a big population of hippos along the shore of Lake Naivasha but no crocodiles as the altitude (1900m above sea level) makes the water too cold for their liking. Lake Naivasha lies at the foot of Mount Longonot – a perfectly shaped Volcano and the lake was once flourishing with waterlillies and along its shores there were great papyrus swamps.

Fishermen wade through the lake and competes with the pelicans and the hippoes and now tourists over the same territory. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

Unfortunately for the lakes environmental health, there are several flower factories with huge greenhouses that uses the water from the lake for irrigation and so the waterlevel has gone down dramatically. Still lots of Goliath herons, other species of heron, pelicans, kingfishers and many other species of bird are to be found in the lake.

Cormorant Lake Naivasha
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Carbo) drying its wings in the last rays of sun at Lake Naivasha. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

Places to stay

Naivasha is a great place to spend some days away from the big city and there are many places to stay ranging from campsites where you can pitch your own tent to luxury lodges like Sopa Lodge.

Sopa Lodge is styled in a traditional fashion but the rooms are spacy and with modern facillities. Just remember to close the windows or Vervet Monkeys may enter your room and split your suitcase to pieces while you are dining or sailing on the lake. At night you can watch the hippos from the big dining hall as the come on land to feed but remember they are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and you should always have one of the askaris (swahili word for soldier/guard) to escort you to your room. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

The swimmingpool at Sopa Lodge is a great place to spend the afternoon but at an altitude of almost 2000m the water is a bit chilly

People enjoying the tranquil surroundings around Sopa Lodge at Lake Naivasha. Photo © Mikkel Grabowski

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