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.
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.
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.
Ecology of Lake Naivasha
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.
Crescent Island in Lake Naivasha and Hells Gate National Park are great places for walking safaris because of the lack of big predators.
Places to stay at lake Naivasha
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.