The road trip to Naivasha is always amazing. The memories of trailers on their way to Salgaa, the plains of Mai Mahiu a place that has claimed several lives, the vast floor of the Great Rift Valley that runs across East Africa and seen clearly at its viewpoint all stick to the memory.
The journey from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to Naivasha takes only two hours. Initially, Naivasha was not known for much tourist activity due to competition from other places such as Nakuru and Mombasa. However, in the recent past, it has become one of the best tourism sellers in the country. This can be attributed to several facts.
First, is the locality. Naivasha is on the Great Rift Valley a home to lakes, mountains, and escarpments. Lake Naivasha which is a freshwater lake unlike most of the other lakes in the Great Rift Valley lies only a few kilometers from Naivasha town. Its proximity to Nairobi city is also a favorable factor.
Secondly, Naivasha has numerous tourist attractions. The lake is the most prominent. It is divided into two; the wider Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloiden. It is home to thousands of birds such as the grebes, cormorants, geese, fish eagles, marabou storks, hadada ibis, and ducks. Right in the middle of the lake is Crescent Island given the name due to its shape. Boating communities offer cheap transport to and from the island. This allows one to view hippos hidden in the water during the day on one edge of the island. On the island is a variety of wildlife such as waterbucks, giraffes, impalas and python snakes that are seen hanging on one of the trees on the forest shore of the island. The experienced boat riders know where each is located ensuring you miss none.
Hell’s Gate National Park is another attraction. The name itself raises eyebrows. It is one of the few Kenyan parks where walking is allowed. People occasionally flock the place for bicycling, climbing and walking through the gorges. An experience on earthly hell! There are also Thompsons gazelles, buffaloes, elands in the park. A geothermal spa located inside the park gives one a natural steambath relaxing the muscles after a tiresome walk through the gorges.
A few kilometers from here is Mt.Longonot, a volcanic mountain. A climb to the top of the mountain is fantastic. The top is a ring surrounding a gravity-free zone in the middle. When one throws a stone into it, it comes back to you. Isn’t that wonderful to see for yourself?
The third reason why tourism in Naivasha has seen a rise in the variety of accommodation facilities that have come up with time. Land here was cheap. Landowners developed it into hotels, lodges, and resorts all around the lake. The hotels extend into the lake where they also offer boat activities. Kenyan Members of the National Assembly hold some of their meetings from here in the famous Simba Lodge. Enashipai hotel is also a five-star hotel hosting dignitaries. Camping sites like the Oloiden and Carnelley’s camping sites are the best for independent travelers. Located right on the lake shore you get an amazing experience.
I think it is time you visited Naivasha. What do you think?