I didn’t plan for this particular trip. However, thanks to Instagram, one of my good friends discovered I was in Kenya from my recent posts and excitedly told me she had a forty eight hour layover in Nairobi (she’s a flight attendant), for the very first time. To make the most of the wait, she and her colleague had a full excursion planned … and she convinced me to come along. The trip was to Lake Naivasha, which I hadn’t visited before. Needless to say, not much convincing was needed.
Lake Naivasha is part of the Great Rift Valley and is a fresh water lake located in Nakuru County, Kenya. It’s about a two hour journey by road from Nairobi. En route, we made a quick stop over at a Rift Valley viewpoint, to break our journey and take in the scenic views.
Before we knew it, we had arrived at Lake Naivasha and we were all set up for a boat ride on the lake. The boat ride was calm and interesting and not quite like any boat ride I’ve had before. Long tree trunks protrude from the waters of Lake Naivasha where the mainland once was, before the lake expanded due to heavy rains. We witnessed what our guide referred to as “Sport Fishing” – where men spend hours standing on the tree trunks hoping to catch some fish. The other fascinating thing about Lake Naivasha was the large number of hippo families spread out over the lake. We got very close to quite a few hippo families as we navigated our way to our drop off point, Crescent Island, located on Lake Naivasha.
Crescent Island, Lake Naivasha
Crescent Island is a private island sanctuary and wildlife reserve located on Lake Naivasha. As we approached the island by boat, we spotted the masai giraffe and a herd of impalas grazing by the island shores. Our guide took us on a walking tour of the island (also known as a walking safari) that lasted about an hour and a half. We spotted impalas, zebras, waterbucks, wildebeests, pelican birds and of course, the masai giraffes.
I was amazed at how bold the animals were, particularly the zebras. On my last walking safari, I could hardly get near any zebras without them shying and running away. This time though, we got pretty close. It was an amazing experience. Take a look …
Final stop, Lake Elementaita
We left Lake Naivasha and drove about another hour north to Lake Elementaita. We originally thought we would visit Lake Nakuru to see the flamingos (I have very fond childhood memories of a road trip from Kampala to Lake Nakuru and a giant sea covered in pink). However, our guide informed us that the flamingos migrated in 2013 due to an alarming increase in water levels on the lake. They are now found on Lake Bogoria and Lake Elementaita. The number of flamingos on Lake Elementaita was significantly lower than my memories of Lake Nakuru as this time, the flamingos merely dotted the lake. Nonetheless, it made for a stunning landscape and a gorgeous view.