Boat Ride in Hippo infested waters
Lake Naivasha is a fresh water lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley dominated by the harsh volcanic crater of Mt Longonot to the east and the Eburu Hills to the west. The lake sits at a deceptively high altitude of 6,000ft; higher in fact than Nairobi which is odd considering the massive drop you have to negotiate to get down on side of the Rift.
This area of the Rift was popular in the first half of the 20th Century, with the popularly branded 'Happy Valley set' which today sweepingly encompasses any white British person with a little bit of money who claimed their place in the sun. In fairness, the antics of the few tainted the many and while there is many a juicy scandal, there were a great deal of hard-working pioneers who laid the framework for the development of colonial East Africa.
Naivasha was home to an assortment of folk, some of whom have left impressive legacies by way of Elizabethan manors, sprawling ranch houses and beautiful areas of acacia woodland bordering the lake. Sadly, for the look of the place, if not the national economy, flower farms and vegetable farms are now the most obvious feature, although there are still some beautiful ranches and lodges with a great deal of character which offer friendly hospitality and freedom to explore.
There is also Hell's Gate National Park where game is not prolific but walking is permitted and makes for a nice diversion. It is slightly difficult to know where to place Naivasha from a visitors point of view as it won't be for everyone but there are certainly some highlights to be noted.
- Area: 53.67 sq miles
- Altitude: 1,800m
Why visit Lake Naivasha
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