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Lake Naivasha National Park

Welcome to Lake Naivasha National Park

Lake Naivasha is an ancient freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley and is set at its highest point, 1,890 m (6,200 ft) above sea level. The outlet for this lake, Njorwa Gorge, forms the entrance to Hell’s Gate National Park which has spectacular examples of rock formations and an abundance of flora and fauna, including some extremely rare breeding pairs of Lammergeyers, also known as bearded vultures.Lake Naivasha is an ancient freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley and is set at its highest point, 1,890 m (6,200 ft) above sea level. The outlet for this lake, Njorwa Gorge, forms the entrance to Hell’s Gate National Park which has spectacular examples of rock formations and an abundance of flora and fauna, including some extremely rare breeding pairs of Lammergeyers, also known as bearded vultures.

Lake Naivasha is home to a wide variety of wildlife including a healthy population of hippo, a variety of freshwater fish like black bass, tilapia and crayfish, and many fish-eating birds like fish eagles, pelicans, kingfishers and cormorants.

Attraction in Lake Naivasha National Park

Boat Rides:Lake Naivasha is a beautiful lake full of birds and hippos. A boat trip on the lake is highly recommended. You will most likely spot hippos, herons, pelicans and dozens of other birds. With a little luck, you can even see a lost flamingo. These animals used to be found in Lake Naivasha, but due to the rise in water levels, they have been migrated to neighbouring lakes such as Lake Nakuru and Lake Baringo.

Visit crescent Island:Another very cool thing to do is visiting Crescent Island. This is a small private island in Lake Naivasha. It is made into a nature reserve. Officially it is not an island but a peninsula. Here you will find wild animals such as zebras, giraffes, impalas and with great luck a leopard. Admission is 30 USD per person. You can reach Crescent island by car by driving through Sanctuary Farm. You can also reach the island by boat.

On Crescent Island, you can (if you are on time on the island) use a free guide. This guide can tell you everything about wildlife on Crescent Island. You can enter the park by car or take a walk.

Birdwatching:With over 450 bird species, the lake is a world-class destination for bird watchers. The number of bird species in the lake is at its highest from October all the way to March when the migratory birds arrive. Common birds in the lake include:

  • The pink-backed pelicans
  • Long-tailed cormorants.
  • Goliath heroine.
  • Black-lored babblers.
  • Grey-capped warblers.
  • Pelicans.
  • White-fronted bee-eaters.
  • Great white egrets.
  • Brimstone canaries.
  • Weavers,
  • and the iconic fish eagles.

Owls, fish eagles and other birds of prey known to feed on hatched flamingoes, turtles, crocodiles and rock hyraxes are also present in the lake.

The Oserian Wildlife Sanctuary:The conservancy was started in 1988 with the aim of protecting all biodiversity and becoming a sustainable ecotourism destination. The conservancy is home to herbivores such as the White Rhino, Grevy’s zebra, Burchell’s zebra, Wildebeests, Impalas, Thomson’s and Grant gazelles.

You will also see Giraffes, Warthogs, waterbucks, and buffalos. Predators in the sanctuary are also very well represented. They include; caracals, leopards, hyenas, servals, and cheetahs.

The sanctuary is also home to over 300 bird species. One such bird is the rare Somali ostrich.

Crater Lake Game Sanctuary:The Crater Lake has breathtaking jade colored waters believed, by residents, to possess some healing powers. Solo walks around the parks are allowed, giving you a chance to have close interactions with the wild animals in the sanctuary. 

Among key animals in the park are the rare white and black Colobus monkeys. Other animals in the park are giraffes, buffalos, zebras and over 150 species of birds.

Mt.Longonot climbing:Are you a lover of adventure? How about a hike up a dormant volcano? The Mt. Longonot is only 16.1km away from the lake. The hike up the mountain is a stimulating adventure that will see you interact with animals such as the leopards, antelopes and the buffalos. 

A trip from Lake Naivasha to the mountain can be combined with other fun activities.

Lake Elementaita visit:Although Lake Bogoria is the most famous flamingo site, Lake Elementaita also has its equal share of the beautiful pink colored birds. The 55.5km ride to the lake will not take you more than 2 hours, but it’s as refreshing as it can get.

Trip to Geothermal Spa:The OlKaria Geothermal Spa is situated within the Hell’s Gate National Park, 24.8km away from Lake Naivasha. The spa is the biggest of its kind in the continent. 

The human-made OlKaria pools are perfect for a dip, and our safari guides, all born and raised in Kenya, will happily take you there for this once in a lifetime experience.

Check our Popular Tour Packages for Kenya Safaris (From USD 870)

1.Kenya Long Stay Safaris

2.9 Days Best Family Experience in Kenya

3.8 Days into the Wild Mid Range

4.10 Days Best of Kenya Mid Range

5.8 Days Best of Kenya Safari

6.Kenya Private Safaris

7.3 Days Kenya Safaris

8.3 Days Lake Nakuru & Naivasha Safari

9.3 Days Amboseli Safari

10. 3 Days Tsavo East & West Safari

Kenya Medium Stay Safaris

1.4 Days Taste of Kenya Safari

2.7 Days Economical Safari,Amboseli,Nakuru & Masai Mara

3.7 Days into the Heart of Kenya Safari


For those looking to get to the shores of Lake Naivasha from Nairobi, there are several options for getting there. The most popular way is by car – as it is only a 90-minute drive from the capital. 

There are also various shuttle bus services that can take visitors to Naivasha. While these buses may be more affordable than cars, they take longer and can be less reliable. Another option is taking a SGR train to Naivasha from Nairobi – although this does require an extra transfer, it is still a popular choice for many visitors as it offers great views of the surrounding landscapes. Finally, some people choose to fly to Naivasha – there are several airstrips around Naivasha that offer flights from Nairobi.

Taxi: A taxi to most accommodations in Naivasha costs 1500 KES (15 USD), although it is perfectly possible to negotiate.
Matatu: From the city of Naivasha it is still half an hour to most accommodations on Lake Naivasha, indicate in advance to where you want to be dropped of. The price is 100 KES (1USD) per person, even though they will try to make you pay 200 KES.

 1.Naivasha Simba Lodge – This luxury lodge offers stunning views across the lake and is great for couples or groups looking to enjoy a luxurious holiday in the region. 

2. Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort – This five-star resort offers a range of amenities, from exquisite dining to an outdoor swimming pool and spa. 

3. The Great Rift Valley Lodge – Located in the heart of the Great Rift Valley and overlooking Lake Nakuru, this luxury lodge is perfect for those looking for a relaxing holiday with exceptional service.

4. Lake Naivasha Resort – Located at the mouth of Hell’s Gate National Park, this resort offers a variety of adventure activities and stunning views across the lake. 

5.Lake Naivasha Country Club– This Lake Naivasha hotel is set in beautiful gardens and overlooks the lake, with plenty of amenities for golfers, swimmers and sports enthusiasts alike.

6.Sawela Lodges:Relax in Beautiful, Natural Luxury With a variety of recreational activities to choose from, Sawela Lodge in Naivasha, Kenya is one of the region’s best choices in safari lodges or hotels. The name means comfort in a bird’s nest something we deliver every day.

Sawela Lodge is 90 minutes’ drive from Nairobi, Kenya (85 Kilometres). Our hotel offers guests a variety of activities, from an organic Swimming pool for both adults, large lawns for football and other contact sports, Volleyball and Netball pitches, A kids play area, Bicycles, Boating, Lawn Racket Ball, a guided nature walk and lastly the SAWELA TRAIL, which gives you the opportunity to blow off steam during your stay

There are no entrance fees applicable for entry into Lake Naivasha. Visitors can gain access to Lake Naivasha between 7am and 6pm daily. Travelling 60 miles north from Nairobi, the journey to Lake Naivasha takes approximately two hours and twenty minutes along the A104 and Old Naivasha Road.

Other charges related to the Lake Naivasha safari may include:

Boat riding:$30 USD

Crescent Island visit:

Non Residents

Adult:                    US$ 33
Student:                US$ 22
Child:                    US$ 16

Kenya Residents (Proof of ID required)  

Adult:                    Ksh 1100   

Child:                    Ksh   550

Kenya Citizens   (Proof of ID required)

Adult:                    Ksh   800
Child:                    Ksh   400


Local School Groups

(Must be pre-booked by email)


Primary: Ksh   250                      

Secondary: Ksh   350

University:Ksh   400                                         Teacher:       Ksh   450

(Guide: 500/- per school group)

Uganda safaris

Safari Experience:Safari experiences within Lake Naivasha comprise a game drive usually early in the morning or late afternoon, sightings of plains game, incredible bird life including flamingos and cheeky hippos. Boat rides are an incredible way to experience scenic Lake Naivasha and its inhabitants. For a chance to spot more wildlife, game drives can also be conducted in neighbouring Hells Gate National Park.

Guided Walking Safaris:Guests who wish to explore Lake Naivasha and surrounds can enjoy a guided bush walkon Crescent Island, which lies on the east of Lake Naivasha. Animals that can be seen here include wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, and impala. Walks on Crescent Island are possible, an incredible way to see smaller wildlife and a magnificent view of Lake Naivasha.

Safari Knowledge Base

If your key purpose to visit Lake Naivasha is to see flamingos, you may want to consider travelling in November and in May, when sightings of these vibrant animals are excellent. Safaris around Lake Naivasha or nearby Hells Gate National Park are best in the cooler, drier months of June, July and August.

Lodges and camps offer accommodation in and near Lake Naivasha and range from $300 per person sharing right up to over $1000 per person sharing, depending on where guests choose to stay. Guests coming in as day visitors to Lake Naivasha won’t have to pay entrance fees, but will be on a safari package with a qualified guide, an average fee of $155 per person.

The drive from Lake Naivasha is under two and a half hours along the A104. A flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport takes 15 minutes.

The scenery of this fresh water lake plus the sight of thousands of pink flamingos, all surrounded by swampland, is quite spectacular. It is home to a plethora of birdlife and boating and game drive options available to visitors.

The pink flamingo is one of the most popular reasons to visit Lake Naivasha, along with sightings of hippos, baboons, giraffe and zebra, making the park a wonderful wildlife destination. Buffaloes roam alongside wildebeest and other antelope, and a rich birdlife add to the animals one can see at Lake Naivasha.

Some key hotel chains have properties located in or near Lake Naivasha. Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge and Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge are two popular and well-located options to consider. Enjoy the smaller Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp with only 20 tents or the many activities on offer at Great Rift Valley Lodge.

Guests visiting Lake Naivasha can enjoy a safari in the Hells Gate National Park and spend time walking on Crescent Island with uninterrupted views of Lake Naivasha. Take some time out in the Olkaria geothermal spa and be sure to visit the Farm Shop either on the way to Lake Naivasha or on your return to Nairobi.

Most visitors will plan ahead when looking to visit Lake Naivasha, either as a day trip or as part of their safari accommodation package. 

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