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Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus. The lake is almost 13kms across, but its waters are shallow with an average depth of five metres. Lake area varies greatly according to rainfall, with an average range between 114 and 991 sq kms. 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.
Afternoon wind and storms can cause the Lake to become suddenly rough and produce high waves. For this reason, the local Maasai christened the lake Nai’posha meaning ”rough water”, which the British later misspelt as Naivasha..
The lake and its surrounds are rich in natural bounty, and the fertile soils and water supply have made this one of Kenya’s prime agricultural regions.
Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree. These forests abound with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world class birding destination.
The waters of the lake draw a great range of game to these shores. Giraffes wander among the acacia, Buffalo wallow in the swamps and Colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the Lakes large hippo population sleep the day out in the shallows.
The region surrounding the Lake is well worth exploring. There are two more smaller lakes nearby, Oloidien, and Sonachi, a bright green cater lake.
Hell’s Gate National Park lies beside the lake. This Park was named for its pair of massive red tinged cliffs framing a geothermically active interior of steam vents and bubbling springs. The park is home to a profusion of plains game and birdlife. Walking is permitted, making it ideal for hiking, biking, and rock climbing.
Boat trips on the lake are widely available, and is a great way to spend an afternoon or morning.
Sunsets are always stunning, with the haunting call of a Fish Eagle high over the Lake bringing the day to a perfect end….
Main road access to Naivasha is directly from Nairobi by bus/Matatu or private transport. The main highway continues from Naivasha to Nakuru. Naivasha is just over an hour from Nairobi. There is an airstrip in Naivasha, with charter flights available. Some lodges and guesthouses here have private airstrips. Many hotels and lodges here can organize transfers from Nairobi to Naivasha. See the Accommodation section for details.
Most of the places in interest in Naivasha are around the Lakeshore, out of town. There are taxis available in Naivasha town. A private car is a good way to explore this region. Many hotels and Lodges organize local excursions