Popular as a weekend retreat for Nairobians, Lake Naivasha has history, wildlife and a wealth of activities.
This beautiful lake, one of the largest in the Great Rift Valley, is surrounded by wildlife and attracts a diverse selection of birdlife including water birds and migrants. Pods of hippos live in its water and graze on its banks at night. Boat trips and water skiing are on offer, and there are numerous attractive places to picnic and bird watch around the lake. Crescent Island, in the deepest part of the lake, is an arc of land attached to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Home to ample game but no predators, this makes a lovely place to wander amongst the animals and to view the lake.
Hells Gate National Park, named for the bubbling geysers in its midst, has abundant game, rugged cliffs, weathered rock towers and a deep gorge. Running, mountain biking and rock climbing are the attractions here, as well as game drives, game walks and exploring the striking gorge. Mt Longonot, a dormant volcano rising from the floor of the Rift Valley, has beautiful views of Lake Naivasha; climbing the mountain and walking around the rim of its impressive crater give the chance to spot the wildlife and birds that reside on its slopes.
In colonial times, Lake Naivasha was a stop for the Imperial Airways flying boats travelling from the UK to South Africa; several of the notorious ‘Happy Valley’ set had houses around the lake in which they threw decadent parties. Nowadays, flower farms surround the shores of the lake and the most popular activities are fishing, bird watching, game viewing and playing golf.