Lake Naivasha National Park

The park is also called Sheer Adventure located in the raising part of the Great Rift Valley floor. The park is centred in the fresh water lake found in the center of the park. The fresh water lake-Lake Naivasha, which means rough water, by the locals. Lake Naivasha is one of the few fresh water lakes found in Kenya located just a few kilometers away from Naivasha town. It’s also one of Kenya’s oftenly visited national park.

The park lies in the Northwest of the capital Nairobi, it’s part of the Great Rift Valley features found in the Great Rift Valley region and is surrounded by other two small lakes, Lake Oloiden and Lake Sonachi called the green Crater Lake. The park derived its name from a Maasai word Naiposha, which means rough water, because of its unusual sudden storms that arise always.

Established in 1995, the park covers an area of 140 square kilometers and the Lake has a surface area of 139 square kilometres (54 sq. mi), and surrounded by a swamp, which covers an area of 64 square kilometres (25 sq. mi), but this can vary largely depending on rainfall. It is situated at an altitude of 1,884 metres (6,181 ft.). The lake has an average depth of 6 metres (20 ft.), with the deepest area being at Crescent Island, at a maximum depth of 30 metres (98 ft.). Njorowa Gorge once formed the lake’s outlet, but it is now high above the lake and forms the entrance to Hell’s Gate National. The town of Naivasha (formerly East Nakuru) lies on the northeast edge of the lake.

The rich flora around Lake Naivasha attracts a variety of animals, park has over 100 species of grazers and hunters that include buffalo, leopards, lions, antelope, giraffe, warthog, zebras and monkey, and you will almost certainly catch sight of hippos lazily watching proceedings from the cooling water. The highest and purest of the Great Rift Valley’s lakes, Naivasha also plays host to a variety of birdlife; more than 400 species have been recorded here. Many can be spotted along the shoreline – from pelicans and fish eagles to weavers and warblers. The thick papyrus is also a home to more bird species like Little Greb, African Spoonbill, Flamingos, Oxyura, and Porzana pusilla among others.

Lake Naivasha national park has unique features like an extinct volcano-Mount Longonot with a height of 2776 meters above sea level. The mountain last erupted in the 1860’s. The mountain, which is now days a park of its self was named by Maasai locals with the name Olo Nongot which means mountain of Many Summits. It has a large crater rim on top with no water, it takes between 2 to 4 hours hike depending on one’s hiking experience. Other unique feature is the Elsamere stippled tress with sisal that form a forest along the banks of Lake Naivasha. The forest is composed of more tree species like yellow fever trees, which got their name from the colour of the trees, Candelabra euphorbia and many more. The park was once a home of the great conservationist Joy Adamson who wrote the popular book Born Free Fame.

What to do in Lake Naivasha National Park

Despite the fact that Lake Naivasha is a small lake, it gives great experience to its guests. It only remains silent if one isn’t interested in viewing the African big 5 but has more game and can be supplemented by visiting Lake Nakuru, hells gate and Masai Mara. Below are some of the must do activities in the park.

 

Game Viewing

With over 100 species of grazers and hunters found in the park, guests can enjoy full day game drives that takes you close to view the game in their natural habitat. Game drives can be done throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season when the park grass is short; animals also gather around the lake and water catchment areas to quench their thirst. The available games include Hippos, waterbucks, giraffes, wildebeest and many more animals.

 

Hike to Longonot Mountain

Hike to mount Longonot is a great chance to enjoy the beauty of the park; it does not need any experience as one only needs to be physically fit. The hike takes 2 to 4 hours depending on one’s fitness. The volcano base is a home of zebras, buffaloes, hartebeest and giraffes among others. The mountain is also scenic with the large crater on top of the mountain; you will have an aerial view of the whole of Lake Naivasha national park.

 

Birding

Lake Naivasha national park has extraordinary birdlife of all kinds; the park inhabits over 350 bird species. The wide range of swamp birds that leave on papyrus swamp, Acacia trees and others. The most sighted birds are Kingfishers, Jacanas, herons, flamingos. Fish eagles, lovebirds, doves, weavers among others. The park is considered as a birding paradise, which cannot be missed during your birding trip to the country.

 

Horseback Riding Safari

Horse back riding is one of the great safari activity done in a few national parks in Kenya. This involves the use of a horse to do a game drive, go close to the wildlife while on the back of the horse while escorted by the game ranger. You will be astride with the horse as you sense camouflaged.

Horseback safaris are better for honeymooners and first-time travellers to African to feel the fresh air of the African environment.

 

Boat Cruise

The fresh water lake that dominates the largest part of the park allows boat rides especially during the wet season. Birders do boat rides as they go to the lake banks for birding as well as other activities.

Lake Naivasha national park is an ideal place for one to dodge city life for afresh-new environment. One can also relax for one to two days safari at the park, as it’s always a one-stop destination where guests break their long drive from Masaai Mara national reserve.

Please contact us for all your safaris to the park.

WhEN TO VISIT Lake Naivasha National Park

The park is open for visitors throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season. Lake Naivasha experiences two dry seasons and two rainy seasons. The long, cool dry season occurs from July to October and 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; though welcoming and departure of rains start around the end of March and early July respectively.

 

Both the long dry season and long rainy season, though, have advantages and disadvantages. Wildlife viewing is finest during the long, cool-dry season, and the lack of rainfall means that roads and trails are in good condition for your exploratory Lake Naivasha tour activities. The flora, though, may be less vibrant and lush than during the rainy. The arrival of the long rainy season that runs from April through May and June brings much-needed moisture and transforms the landscape into a beautiful setting of rich flora. Wildlife is not as concentrated. There are also reduced prices for accommodations; though logistical costs, conservation fees, activities, guiding services etc. remains constant throughout the year.

HOW TO GET To Lake Naivasha National Park

Lake Naivasha is only a short journey from Nairobi, so it is easily accessible from the capital.

The 98km journey takes around 2.5 hours along the Old Naivasha Road.