Lake Naivasha National Park Kenya
Also called “Sheer Adventure”, Lake Naivaisha National Park is located in the Northeast of Nairobi city. The park was established in April 1995 and sits over an area of 140 square kilometres. Lake Naivasha National Park derives its name from Lake Naivasha; the second largest freshwater lake in Kenya and it is one of the unique features found on the Great Rift Valley. The Lake is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes at an elevation of 1,884 metres and with no viewable outlet but assumed to have an underground outflow because of its relatively fresh water.
The Maasai christened the lake “Naiposha” which means “rough water” because of the very odd and sudden storms that occur always especially in the evening. Lake Naivasha National Park’s unique feature is Lake Naivasha’s exceptional blue waters and the park’s central location with only about 2 hours’ drive from Nairobi and close to Aberdare ranges and Hell’s Gate National Park. The park is surrounded by an incredible swamp area of about 64 square kilometres and other two smaller lakes; Oloidien and Sonachi.
Main attractions and activities in Lake Naivasha National Park
Accessible by boat, this peninsula formed after the water levels of Lake Naivasha significantly dropped and it offers a perfect spot for a picnic at any time of the day. The island is also home to some animal and bird species which enhance the experience of both bird watchers and wildlife lovers. Crescent Island also offers other activities like hiking, walking safaris and cycling.
Despite the fact that Lake Naivasha National Park is small in size, it hosts over 100 animal species. A game drives through the park will expose you to a variety of these animals which include Hippos, Giraffes, Waterbucks, Zebras, and many other wildlife species. During the drive, you are also able to sight the various bird species that nestle in the park.
Exploring Lake Naivasha by boat brings you closer to its unique and rich species of wildlife, birds, and other aquatic life. The Fish eagle is the most captivating of the birdlife here. The lake also presents an opportunity to do fishing.
With over 500 bird species, the birds of Lake National National Park are the foremost attractions. These can be spotted during a boat trip on the lake and commonly seen species include the Grey-backed Fiscal, Spectacled Weaver, cormorants, pelicans, Jacanas, Herons among others.
Your safari never gets as exciting as when you sit astride the back of a horse to explore the park. Horse riding allows you to get up close to nature to appreciate it better. This guided ride allows visitors to see herds of buffalos, giraffes, warthogs, antelopes among other varied species.
Located Southeast of Lake Naivasha, Mount Longonot presents an irresistible urge to conquer its crater. The hike to the top of this dormant volcano takes you through a trail with possibilities of spotting leopards, buffalos, antelopes among other species.
Best time to visit Lake Naivasha National Park
The summer season (June to October) presents the best time to visit Lake Naivasha National Park. During this time, the skies are clear and the sun heat is bearable therefore allowing scenic views of the park and easy sighting of wildlife.
The winter season provides a cold and pleasing atmosphere for exploring the lake. It is during this season that also migratory bird species flock to the Lake Naivasha National Park therefore ideal for the bird watchers.
How to get to Lake Naivasha National Park
Road access to Lake Naivasha National Park from Nairobi can be by use of a privately owned vehicle or public transport to Naivasha town and eventually to Lake Naivasha National Park.
Where to stay in Lake Naivasha National Park
Naivasha National Park has some of the accommodation facilities within and those near the park. These facilities include the following;
- Sawela Lodge
- Naivasha Sopa
- Enashipai Lodges
- Naivasha Crescent
- Naivasha Kongoni Lodge
- Kiboko Luxury Camp