Naivasha, a market Town and a popular tourist destination has increasingly become a sensation to the tours & travel industry. This market town is located just one hour from Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Naivasha has earned a reputation as a top tourist destination not just for domestic but also international tourists, and it is one place that has countless tourist attractions dotted in the magnificent Great Rift Valley.
Naivasha also has hotels and camps in almost every part of the town, Hotels in Naivasha are found near Lake Naivasha and others are perched around the serene Lake Elementaita and the famous Moi South Lake Road.
If you are planning to visit Naivasha, the list below sums up some of the best attraction sites in Naivasha:
- Hell’s gate National Park
Named after a narrow break in the cliffs and once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley, hell’s gate is located South of Lake Naivasha, this place offers magnificent sceneries such as; water gouged gouges, volcanoes, stark rock towers and wildlife (zebras, buffalos, gazelles, hartebeests).
This park is also equipped with three basic campsites and has a Maasai Cultural Center which provides education about the Maasai tribe’s culture and traditions.
Visitors to hell’s gate can enjoy activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, nature walks, picnic in the park’s plains and also enjoy a moment in the natural spa.
It surely is a place you can’t afford to miss visiting while at Naivasha.
- Crescent Island
With a maximum depth of 30m (100ft), Crescent Island is the deepest area around Lake Naivasha. This Park is 15 minutes by boat from the shores of Lake Naivasha and 80 kilometers from Nairobi via the Moi South Lake Road.
While at the Crescent Island you can enjoy nature walks and view wild life such as giraffe, zebra, dik dik, steenbok, impala and gazelles.
This Park is also known as the bird sanctuary, it hosts a variety of bird species.
- Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha is a fresh water lake located 93km North West of Nairobi. It derives its name from the Maasai name Nai’posha, meaning “rough water” because of the sudden storms which occasionally arise from the lake.
Tagged as the highest elevation of the Rift valley, Lake Naivasha It is one of the best places to tour in Naivasha, the lake boasts a dense population of hippos and over 400 different species of birds.
Surprisingly there is no visible outlet but being a fresh water lake it is assumed to have underground outlets. This lake is fed by the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers.
Hotels near Lake Naivasha include Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort, Naivasha Kongoni Lodge and Sawela Lodge. Other hotels in the outskirts of the lake include Lake Naivasha Panorama Park Lodge & Lake Naivasha Resort.
- Lake Oloiden
This is one of the least popular tourist attraction sites around Naivasha, the most striking feature at Oloiden is its Flamingoes.
Oloiden is also home to Kenya’s largest flower farms, tourist visiting this place can enjoy a boat ride and camp at OLoiden Camping Site a serene escape.
- Crater Lake
The Crater Lake is a green soda lake at the bottom of an extinct volcano on the western side of Lake Naivasha and north of the village of Kongoni, it is located 10 kilometers from Naivasha town and about 90 km from Nairobi.
This Lake lies within a private game sanctuary with spectacular green water.
The lake attracts many flamingo, and the surrounding forests and plains have plenty of game (birds, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes and elands.). It is a good place to explore on foot as it has nature trails the vegetation around the crater.
- Mount Longonot
About 90km from Kenya’s Capital Nairobi and 28km from Naivasha Town, Mount Longonot is one place you wouldn’t want to miss on your visit to Naivasha.
Mt. Longonot is one of the places you see when driving into the Great Rift Valley as it rises from the floor of the Rift Valley and provides great views all the way to the famous Lake Naivasha.
One unique feature about this mountain is the thick forest that lies within the crater of the Mountain.
While here tourists can enjoy game viewing such as buffaloes, elands, lion, leopard, bushbucks, common zebra, giraffe and Grant’s gazelles.
- Lake Elementaita
Elementaita is derived from the Maasai name “Muteita” meaning dusty place. This soda lake is located in Gilgil town between Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha.
This lake is popular for its hot springs and birdlife, it is also home to a sizable population of flamingoes. The reed beds near the lake are fishing grounds for night herons and pelicans.
A popular tourist destination near this lake is the kariandusi Museum.
- Ol Karia
Olkaria is located to the south of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley right at the heart of Hell’s gate National Park.
It is popular for its geothermal spa which offers recreational and therapeutic swimming with its Blue Lagoons with naturally heated water, the pools have water with temperatures ranging from 30°c to 40°c. It is the first of its kind in Africa.
This is the ultimate destination for revelers, away from the hustle and bustles of the city. The breath-taking scenery creates a memorable experience.
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
Kigio is wildlife conservancy center protected by the local community. It is located near Gilgil in the Great Rif Valley.
This conservancy center contains diverse habitat of indigenous plant species, it is also home to over three hundred bird species including what is said to be the world’s largest population of grey-crested helmetshrikes.
Besides the birds and plants, this is one place that hosts several wildlife including African buffalo, common eland, impala, waterbuck, hippopotamus, caracal, and other species of gazelle.
- Sanctuary Horseback Safaris
This is a 500 acre spot located on the shores of the fresh water Lake Naivasha.
Sanctuary Farm is the perfect place to use as a base for climbing Mt Longonot, rock climbing & gorge walking in Hell’s Gate, game viewing in Nakuru National Park.
While at this farm tourist can relax around the beautiful swimming pool and watch game grazing.
Activities such as horse riding, bird watching and cycling are on site. It is a perfect getaway from the hustle and tassel of the city life.