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

Mountain Gorilla | Uganda | AfricaActive Days, Rustic Nights

Gorilla and Game Trek

15 days FROM $1,615
Gorillas | Uganda | AfricaActive Days, Rustic Nights

Gorilla Trek and Tanzania

25 days FROM $2,785
Herd of Elephants | Africa Safaris | AfricaActive Days, Rustic Nights

Big Five Safari Explorer

36 days FROM $3,505
Zebras | African Safaris | AfricaActive Days, Rustic Nights

The Big Overlander

47 days FROM $4,405
Lions in Samburu National Park | Kenya | AfricaActive Days, Rustic Nights

Great African Expedition

57 days FROM $5,035
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Lake Naivasha Hotels

If you are planning a Lake Naivasha holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:

Elsamere Conservation Centre Lake Naivasha

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Lodge

Originally the home of Joy and George Adamson, the Elsamere Conservation Centre is of great historical and cultural significance. The rooms in the lodge are cosy and comfortable and all have verandahs with lake views, allowing guests to make the most of their stunning natural surroundings. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea are all served in the dining room. Elsamere Conservation Centre is situated on the southern shore of Lake Naivasha in Kenya's Rift Valley.

Lake Naivasha Country Club Lake Naivasha

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The historic Lake Naivasha Country Club became famous in the 1930s as a staging post for a flying boat service between Durban and London. Featuring old colonial architecture typical of the period, the Country Club provides comfortable accommodation in rooms and cottages set in 12 hectares of green lawn shaded by green mature acacias and spreading fever trees. Guests can soak in the views through the large bay windows of the resident's lounge or enjoy a game of snooker in the cozy bar. The property also features a pool and spa with a variety of activities available. The hotel is on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge Lake Naivasha

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Lodge

Set within attractive, manicured grounds on the banks of Lake Naivasha, the Simba Lodge offers an ambient stay with finely furnished guestrooms featuring wrought iron and mahogany furniture. The restaurant serves an array of tempting dishes from local cuisine to international. Watch the day pass by from the heated swimming pool or indulge in the health and beauty rooms. The lodge is situated on the banks of Lake Naivasha and is only 90 minutes away from Nairobi by road.

Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge Lake Naivasha

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Lodge

Set amongst extensive gardens filled with frangipani and protea, the Sopa Lodge in Naivasha is an ideal location for exploring the local area. Double storied cottages with spacious rooms, beautiful en suite facilities and private balconies all set around a crescent shape make up the lovely accommodation here. The pool bar is a great way to cool off at the end of the day and if guests feel peckish they can head to the pizzaria next to the pool for a taste of Italy. The lodge is on the southern shores of Lake Naivasha.

Lake Naivasha Tailor made suggestions

Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Lake Naivasha.

Other Places to Visit in Kenya

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