Lake Naivasha

The highest fresh water lake in the Great Rift Valley

A popular first stop out of Nairobi, this shallow fresh water lake has a beautiful rift valley setting, with the distinctive volcanic outline of mount Longonot rising to the south. Lake Naivasha is said to be the highest lake in terms of altitude in the Great Rift Valley. At over 130-sq-km, the lake has encountered several fluctuations in water levels over the last few years.

It is famous for its lust papyrus beds and its euphorbia and acacia scrub plains, which act as a habitat for several water birds. Over 400 species of birds can be encountered at the lake. Amongst the birds encountered here include the giant kingfisher, augur buzzards, teals, jacanas, pelicans, lesser and greater flamingos and some migrants like the Madagascar heron. Many visitors here are welcomed to the famous boat rides, where they will have encounters with the resident hippos.

In close proximity to the lake, lies Hells Gate National Park. At 68-sq-km, it consists of overly volcanic landscapes and its name refers to a dramatic steep sided valley, carved by a former outlet of Lake Naivasha. The most famous landmark found here is the fischers Tower, a 25 meter tall volcanic plug that stands sentinel over Elsa’s Gate. It is one of the few places in Kenya where visitors are permitted to cycle or walk unguided through herds of big game, including thomson’s gazelle, grants gazelle, wildebeest, impala, eland and also the notorious buffalos.