The rising portion of the vast rift valley floor is home to Lake Naivasha National Park, also known as “Sheer Adventure.” The freshwater lagoon in the park’s center serves as the park’s focal point. Locals have given the freshwater lake the name Lake Naivasha, which means “rough water” Lake Naivasha is one of Kenya’s freshwater lakes, located just a few kilometers from the city of Naivasha. It is also one of the most frequently visited national parks in Kenya.
The park is located to the north-northwest of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and is part of the great rift valley region. The park’s name is derived from the Maasai term “Naiposha,” which means “rough water,” due to the constant occurrence of unusual, sudden storms. The park is bordered by two additional small lakes, Lake Oloidien and Lake Sonachi, also known as the green crater lake.
Unique features of Lake Naivasha national park include an extinct volcano named Mount Longonot and a dense forest located along crater Mountain. The park is dominated by Umbrella Acacia trees, which are located primarily along the lake’s banks. The park reserve is currently occupied by flower-growing plantations that are exported to the majority of international markets.
The national park was established on April 10, 1995, and its area is approximately 140 square kilometers. The largest portion of the park is covered by a shallow, seasonal lagoon of fresh water. The water level rises during the wet season and falls during the arid season. The Lake Naivasha national park is situated to the northwest of Nairobi along the Rift Valley. The park is renowned for its birding opportunities, particularly along the lake’s shores and in the adjacent Hells Gate National Park.
Lake Naivasha national park is approximately a one-and-a-half-hour journey from the capital, Nairobi, and offers breathtaking views of the Rift Valley escarpments. The park is the perfect location to escape the city for a breath of fresh air. In Lake Naivasha national park, a one- or two-day safari provides the opportunity for relaxation.
Attractions at Lake Naivasha National Park
The modest Lake Naivasha National Park is endowed with a variety of attractions that make a quick safari enjoyable. The proximity of Lake Naivasha national park and Hells gate, which can be visited on the same day, distinguishes the park as a transit route between the two national parks. The following are the most notable features of Lake Naivasha national park:
Along the shores of Lake Naivasha, these sisal-stippled trees constitute a dense forest. The forest contains numerous tree species, such as yellow fever trees, whose name derives from their color, and Candelabra euphorbia, among others. The park was once home to the famous conservationist Joy Adamson, author of the best-selling book Born Free.
Along the Great Rift Valley, this is one of the private island sanctuaries. The lack of fencing on the island allows animals to travel freely. The island is accessible by canoe or 4×4 vehicle via a narrow, muddy path leading to the sanctuary. The road is primarily used by buffaloes and other animals; during the monsoon season, it becomes impassable. This is one of the few areas in the park where nature excursions are permitted.
The blue lake is the main attraction in the park, which was named after it. The lake is seasonal, though during the monsoon season it becomes extremely turbulent. Papyrus and other forest species cover the lake’s shores, attracting more wildlife and animals. Birdwatchers enjoy sailing on Lake Naivasha as they observe species of swamp birds along the lake.
Mount Longnot is an extinct volcano that stands at an elevation of 2,776 meters above sea level. The last mountain eruption occurred in the 1860s. Maasai inhabitants gave the mountain its current name, Olo Nongot, which translates to “Mountain of Many Peaks.” It takes between two and four hours to hike to the large crater rim, depending on your hiking experience.
Crater Lake Game Sanctuary
The name Crater Lake indicates the lake’s modest size, but it is a stunning jade-colored lake formed by volcanic activity. Located in the heart of the park, the crater game sanctuary is a popular destination for birdwatchers, with over 150 recorded bird species in its immediate vicinity. It is also home to numerous species of large fauna, including giraffes, zebras, and leopards.
Lake Naivasha national park is one of the two sites designated by Kenya as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention. The park is home to more than 350 bird species, which are supported by the park’s diverse vegetation cover, which ranges from swamp vegetation to forests. The thick papyrus is home to additional species of swamp birds, including weaver birds, gonolek, Palearctic duck, African fish eagles, Oxyura, flamingo, red-knobbed coot, little Greb, African Spoonbill, and Porzana pusilla, among others.
At Lake Naivasha national park, deep blue lakes surrounded by Acacia forests, an extinct volcano, and imposing unfathomable gorges all contribute to the park’s drama. There are over 100 species of grazers and predators in the park. There are large animals such as leopards, lions, and others, as well as hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, and other species. Animals are observed throughout the year with no evidence of migration. Game viewing can be done on bike, foot, safari van or horse excursion.
Lake Naivasha National Park Activities
Despite being a modest park, Lake Naivasha National Park offers visitors an exceptional experience. Lake Nakuru, Hell’s Gate, and Masai Mara can be visited in addition to Masai Mara in order to see additional wildlife. The park is parked dramatically.
The park is home to over 100 animal species, and guests can experience all-day game drives that bring them close to the animals in their natural habitat. The ideal time to visit the park is during the dry season, when the park grass is short and animals congregate around the lake and water catchment area. Hippos, giraffes, zebras, waterbuck, wildebeest, and many other animals are among the available wildlife.
Lake Naivasha national park is home to over 350 avian species, constituting an extraordinary variety of birdlife. The extensive variety of birds that inhabit papyrus marshes, Acacia trees, and others. Kingfishers, Jacanas, herons, flamingos, fish eagles, lovebirds, doves, marabou stork, weavers, and others are the most frequently observed birds. The park is regarded as a birding paradise that cannot be overlooked on a Kenyan birding trip.
Horseback equestrian safariThis is a popular activity in a number of Kenyan national parks. Utilize a horse for a game drive; get near to the wildlife while riding a horse. As your guide, the game ranger will bring you near to the animals. You will be mounted on the horse when you detect camouflage. They allow honeymooners and first-time visitors to Africa to breathe in the pure air of the continent.
Longnot Mountain hike
You have no mountaineering experience, but you want to reach the summit of some mountains. Mount Longonot is an excellent opportunity that requires no prior hiking experience. Depending on your level of physical fitness, the hike will take between two and four hours. The base of the volcano is home to zebras, giraffes, bison, hartebeest, and other animals. With the enormous crater on the mountain’s summit, you will have a breathtaking view of the entire Lake Naivasha national park.
The largest portion of the park is dominated by a freshwater lake that permits boat rides during the rainy season. As they travel to the lake’s shores for birding and other activities, the birders utilize boats.
Lake Naivasha national park is always a stopover point for tourists traveling between Masai Mara national reserve and Lake Nakuru national park. It is the best option for a one-day safari during your business journey to Nairobi.
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