Lake Naivasha beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus and cacti, that sits just outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County in Kenya. It lies north west of Nairobi and is part of the Great Rift Valley.
The name Naivasha derives from the local Masai name Nai’posha, which means “rough water” because of the unpredictable storms.
The lake is almost 13 kilometres across, but its waters are shallow with an average depth of five metres. At the beginning of the 20th century, Naivasha completely dried up and effectively disappeared. The resulting open land was farmed, until heavy rains a few years later caused the lake to return to existence, swallowing up the newly established estates.
Lake Naivasha experiences two dry seasons and two rainy seasons. The long, cool dry season occurs from July to October which is followed by a short rainy season in November and December. January and February are the short hot-dry season, and April through June is the long rainy season. It is advisable to visit the lake during July to October.
April and May are also considered as prime months to plan your travel to this Kenyan lake.
You need to first locate the Accra Road which has matatu’s (small Nissan buses) transporting you to the lake. Visitors can hire a taxi from the hotel or guesthouse directly to this road. There will be several people trying to get you on buses that go towards the lake. You can experience the local flavour if you travel by bus. A fare from Nairobi to Naivasha should not cost you more than 300-400ksh (187 INR). You will be charged extra for luggage that requires an extra seat.
The bus will take you on the high road and up over the Great Rift Valley, You may need to take another matatu for a 5 minute trip directly to the lake after your reach the main juncture.
When arriving in Kenya, have your passport and stamped visa ready for inspection by customs officials. Make copies of all your important documents and store one set in your check-in luggage. Have a second set with you in your hand baggage. It’s highly recommended that you keep a digital copy of your passport pages and other travel documents on your phone or tablet. While you can use Visa or MasterCard credit cards, you will have to pay a high transaction fee, and they are acceptable only in the cities. You will have to render cash when staying in remote locations, and US dollars are the preferred currency. Make sure the bills have been issued no later than 2004, have an updated version and are in good condition without any rips and tears.
While touring Kenya, you must adhere to the local customs and be respectful of resident dress codes that do not allow revealing clothing that exposes the shoulders and thighs. Accordingly, when visiting the shopping areas, local bazaars and other public areas, make sure you wear knee-length shorts or long pants with polo shirts. Women should refrain from wearing tank tops and short skirts or shorts. Topless bathing is not allowed at all locations. During city tours in Kenya, you could be barred from entering spiritual centres like temples, churches, mosques and synagogues if your clothing is not appropriate.
The luxury lodges, camps and hotels in Kenya that have been assigned the Tier 1 rating by African Mecca Safaris generally offer complimentary laundry services while those of the deluxe Tier 2 or value Tier 3 categories mostly offer these services for a charge. It is recommended that visitors check with their hotels about laundry services. Kenyans do not prefer to wash undergarments so you will need to hand wash them yourself.
More than 450 distinct birdlife species have been identified, and the resident avid-fauna are joined by migratory species from October to March. The lake, high cliffs and forests are home to spectacled weavers, red-billed fire finches, grey-backed fiscals, grey-capped warbler and many other interesting and colourful aerial creatures. The most prominent, though, are the cormorants and pelicans while the African fish eagles are the most majestic of the raptors. As you tour through the acacia forests, you may sight hawks, cuckoos, woodpeckers, shrikes and other birds, and a solo giraffe may peer through the thorn-leaves branches out of curiosity. The papyrus swamps are where you find jacanas, herons and kingfishers.
Lake Naivasha is one of the primary drinking holes for buffalos, zebras, elands, impalas, waterbucks and other grazers.
Lake Naivasha also gives you access to spectacular day trips to local communities and schools, flower farm visits, Elsa mere Museum, Lake Elementaita, Hell’s Gate and Lake Nakuru, and Crater Lake Game Sanctuary.
There are boating rides around the lake or to Crescent Island with professional guides and ornithologists who can help you locate and identify avid-fauna by colours, location and behaviour. Nature walks are another popular way to enjoy Lake Naivasha.
If you are planning a safari vacation in Kenya, it is advisable that you carry your belongings in soft-sided, sturdy duffle bags. This is because the smaller aircrafts that transfers you to the parks and reserves of Kenya have luggage compartments that cannot fit suitcases. Also, they allow you a luggage allowance of only 15 kilograms or 33 pounds per passenger.
Any added baggage weight is chargeable. If you expect you will be carrying extra baggage, make sure you inform your African Mecca travel planner in advance and prepay the excess fee to ensure your excess luggage is allowed on your flight dates. You also have the option of storing any excess baggage that you will not need at our team offices in Nairobi or Mombasa. You could also store it at your city or beach hotel but at their front desk storage room to avoid paying room tariff.
If you are doing a complete road safari in Kenya, you can carry luggage weight up to 20 kilograms or 44 pounds but again in soft-sided bags.
Entry Fee 2016 – 2017
US$, ₤ and Ksh Accepted
No dogs are allowed.
Adult: US$ 30 / 1924 INR
Student: US$ 20 / 1282 INR
Child: US$ 15 / 962 INR