Lake Naivasha is slightly over an hour’s drive from Nairobi and is one of the few fresh water lakes in Kenya. Being so close to Nairobi the lake is a popular destination for locals as well as tourists.  The ecology and feel of the lake has changed over recent years, since the large flower and vegetable farms established themselves, and the lakeshore is now a much busier place. However it is still an idyllic place to while away a few days and we often use it as somewhere for people to unwind after a night flight to Kenya.

After leaving the airport you will experience the joys of Nairobi’s early morning rush hour, before heading west and climbing up into the highland forests, near Limuru, to the top of the escarpment at around 8,000 feet where we generally stop, so people can take in the stunning views of the Rift Valley, before then dropping down toward Naivasha.

There is a good range of activities available at Naivasha.  Boat trips to view the lake’s wildlife, water skiing and fishing are available and you can hire bikes to visit the nearby Hell’s Gate National Park.  Once at Hell’s Gate it is possible to go on guided walks through the gorge or be taken rock climbing.  It is also possible to take boat trips to both Crater Lake and Crescent Island Game Sanctuaries where you can walk amongst the animals including giraffe and zebra.

If none of this appeals, you can just sit and relax by the lakeshore. Hippos come out of the lake after dark and can often be seen grazing the lawns around the hotels and camps.  In the daytime troops of vervet and colobus monkeys scavenge the bins and there is a constant parade of birdlife to be seen both in the grounds and on the water.

There are a number of hotels and campsites based along the South Lake Road that leads from the main Nairobi-Naivasha highway around the eastern side of the lake.  We tend to use Fisherman’s Camp and the Fish Eagle Inn, both of which are situated right on the lakeshore. Fisherman’s Camp comprises of a large, lakeshore campsite in extensive grounds, mainly catering for overlanders and locals on weekend breaks from Nairobi, with a communal ablutions block including flush toilets and hot and cold running water for the showers.

There are also a small number of basic bandas (huts) with en-suite facilities and a rudimentary kitchen plus a cottage that was once the owner’s home.  The bandas are self-contained and good value for those wishing to self-cater but not fancying the hassle or the prospect of sleeping in a tent.  The cottage is ideal for a single family, with two bedrooms, private facilities and a fully equipped kitchen for people wishing to self-cater. For those who don’t fancy cooking, the camp’s bar and restaurant provides a good selection of reasonably priced meals ranging from soups and salads, pizzas, made in the bar’s own pizza oven, steaks, fish from the lake and the ever popular Amarula cheesecake.

Next door to Fisherman’s Camp, Fish Eagle Inn is a more conventional hotel with a range of different room types, gym and swimming pool.  The pool is available to non-residents, so if you are staying next door you can pay a daily membership fee to make use of the hotel’s facilities.  Wherever you are staying, the same activities are on offer on and around the lake.

With an early morning arrival in Nairobi you should be at Naivasha by mid-morning and will have the rest of the day to relax or we can organise a boat trip for the late afternoon.  The following morning you will move on to Ndhiwa by crossing the floor of the Rift Valley, through the Maasai town of Narok and then on past the tea country around Kisii until finally arriving in Ndhiwa.  The journey from Naivasha normally takes between seven and eight hours depending on stops.