Naivasha is a beautiful town in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.


Naivasha Kenya

Naivasha is a town in Kenya's Rift Valley Province. The area around the town was one of the first to be settled by white people and one of the hunting grounds of the hedonistic 'Happy Valley' set. In fact Delamere Estates, originally owned by the eccentric Lord Delamere, surrounds the town.

Something of an oddity in a land of soda lakes and hot springs, Lake Naivasha boasts clean, fresh water.


Lake Naivasha is unusual in having no known outlet, normally a prerequisite for a freshwater lake! The lake edge supports dense vegetation which, in turn, supports a thriving bird population including the Grey-capped Warbler, Spectacled Weaver, Brimstone Canary and Red-billed Fire-finch. All told the area has a bird list of over 350 species. Being a freshwater lake; Naivasha has a healthy fish population which attracts a variety of fish-eaters. Both Long-tailed and Great Cormorants can be seen, along with Fish Eagles and Pied Kingfishers.

Lake Naivasha is also known as Elsamere Lake Naivasha. Soon after arrival at the tranquil retreat of Elsamere, you are invited to "see the video". Elsamere was the home of Joy Adamson, who wrote about her relationship with Elsa the lioness in several books, starting with Born Free, so, after dinner, we were shown a faded interview with her and her husband George. It was at Elsamere that she nurtured orphan cubs and reintroduced them into the wild. Now, the Elsamere Trust carries on the conservation work, and her home has become a comfortable, if idiosyncratic, guest house.

If you sleep in the Elsamere guest house, early in the morning expect, the strange cries of colobus monkeys act as a wake-up call.

They were introduced by Joy, and their antics at the feeding tray in the afternoon entertain the guests being served tea. Superb starlings with turquoise wings wait for crumbs from the scones and five sorts of cake. It is heard that this is considered the best afternoon tea in Kenya.

Today the lovely Naivasha, with its cool climate, has become a peaceful haven for Nairobi residents and tourists. Because the lake is a freshwater one, and the surrounding soil fertile, this is a major production area for fruit, vegetables and, more recently, vineyards.There are great day trips to do from Naivasha, including visiting Hell's Gate National Park and. Continuing on South Lake Road past Elsamere, look out for the signage directing you to the emerald Crater Lake. This is one of the best places in the area to see black and white colobus monkeys and there is also fantastic swimming.

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