Hippos in the water at Lake Naivasha

Safaris to Lake Naivasha

About Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake, unlike many in the Rift Valley region which are soda lakes, and backed by purple-hued mountains with floating islands of vegetation dotting the water's surface. The lake is shallow and the area varies depending on the rainfall, ranging from 114 to 990 square kilometres. The name Naivasha is a British corruption of the original Masai name of Nai'posha, meaning 'rough water', so named for the surprisingly strong afternoon winds that can unsettle the lake's water and make it quite rough.

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The fresh waters of Lake Naivasha are home to a sizeable population of hippo with a variable community of fish species, numbers and types of which change with the water levels, increases in temperatures, local fishing and sometimes disastrous introduction of non-native species. The fish in Lake Naivasha attracts a variety of birds including cormorants, pelicans and kingfishers. The unspoilt savannah and woodland surrounding the lake are also home to plenty of wildlife including the occasional giraffe. The lack of predators makes it a top spot for hiking.

Back in the mid 1900s the lake was used as a landing place for plane passengers heading to Nairobi. Today the Lake Naivasha Country Club marks the spot where aircraft would land and passengers disembark for a bus to continue their journey to Nairobi. When the water is low you can see the wooden posts that mapped out the runway. The fertile farmlands around Lake Naivasha have seen the region become a major producer of fruit and vegetables with a number of small vineyards starting up in recent years.

Lake Naivasha Tours

Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Lake Naivasha. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Lake Naivasha on a bespoke touring itinerary to Kenya, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.

BudgetMountain Gorilla | Uganda | Africa

Gorilla and Game Trek

15 days FROM $1,195
BudgetGorillas | Uganda | Africa

Gorilla Trek and Tanzania

25 days FROM $2,195
BudgetHerd of Elephants | Africa Safaris | Africa

Big Five Safari Explorer

36 days FROM $2,695
BudgetZebras | African Safaris | Africa

The Big Overlander

47 days FROM $3,495
BudgetLions in Samburu National Park | Kenya | Africa

Great African Expedition

57 days FROM $3,895
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