Lake Naivasha is one of Kenya’s most stunning Rift Valley freshwater lakes. It is surrounded by feathery papyrus, marshy lagoons and grassy shores. The lake itself is not technically a national park as most of the land around the lake is privately owned, but there are enough wildlife attractions to warrant a listing.
Flying boats from Europe used to land on the water. Even today when the water is low you can see the wooden post beginning of the 20th century, Naivasha inexplicably completely dried up and the land was farmed, until heavy rains a few years later caused the lake to return.
Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow-barked Acacia tree, full of birds andblack and white colobus monkeys and offers guests an opportunity to adventure with boat trips and reach the hippos, pelicans and fish eagles ground that is a close quarters to get to Crescent Island – a protected reserve where you can walk amongst zebra, antelope and giraffe that come to the water’s edge to drink. There are no predators, so this is one of the few places in Kenya offering the opportunity to walk amongst the animals.
Strong afternoon winds cause the lake to get very rough quite suddenly which made the local Masai called the lake Nai’posha, meaning “rough water”, which the British later spelled incorrectly as Naivasha. The region was first settled in the 1930s by the notorious British ‘Happy Valley’ set who bought all the neighbouring farmland – much of which is still owned by white Kenyans.