THINGS TO DO WHILE IN NAIVASHA
Naivasha, the sparkling gem of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, is a stunning destination that combines stunning landscapes, rich wildlife, and a vibrant local culture. Located just 90 km northwest of Nairobi, this charming town has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike for its breathtaking scenery, serene ambiance, and plethora of activities.
One of Naivasha’s most popular attractions is Lake Naivasha, a vast freshwater lake that is home to a wealth of birdlife, including kingfishers, pelicans, and cormorants. The lake also offers an excellent opportunity to spot hippos and giraffes grazing along the shores, while boat safaris allow visitors to get up close and personal with the wildlife.
For the adventurous, there are plenty of adrenaline-fueled activities to choose from, including hiking, rock climbing, and biking through the surrounding hills and forests. Naivasha is a destination that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, explore the local culture, or get your adrenaline pumping, Naivasha has it all.
Below are some of the places one can visit while enjoying their stay with us, conveniently located within our neighborhood.
A TOUR AT HELL’S GATE NATIONAL PARK
The park is known for its unique geology, including towering cliffs, gorges, and geothermal activity, as well as its diverse wildlife, which includes over 100 species of birds and several species of mammals such as zebras, giraffes, and baboons.
It is a popular destination for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and wildlife viewing. The name “Hell’s Gate” is believed to have been inspired by the park’s steep cliffs and deep gorges, which can be quite imposing and intimidating to visitors.
There are many things to do at Hell’s Gate National Park. Here are some of the popular activities:
- Hiking – Hell’s Gate is a popular destination for hiking due to its unique landscapes, including towering cliffs, deep gorges, and hot springs. There are several hiking trails in the park, including the Fisher’s Tower Trail, the Central Tower Trail, and the Njorowa Gorges Trail.
- Rock Climbing – Hell’s Gate is also known for its rock climbing opportunities. The cliffs in the park offer a variety of routes suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers.
- Game Drives – You can take a game drive through the park to spot wildlife such as zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, baboons, and several species of antelopes. The park is also home to some rare species of animals such as the klipspringer and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck.
- Camping – Hell’s Gate has several campsites where visitors can set up tents and enjoy the park’s natural beauty. There are also lodges nearby for those who prefer more comfortable accommodation.
- Bird Watching – The park is home to over 100 species of birds, including vultures, eagles, and hawks. Bird watching enthusiasts will have a great time spotting different species of birds in the park.
VISIT CRESCENT ISLAND
Crescent Island is a small, private wildlife sanctuary located in Lake Naivasha, which is a freshwater lake in Kenya’s Rift Valley. The island is known for its abundance of wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, buffalos, and various species of antelopes. The island was originally a peninsula, but it became an island when the water level of Lake Naivasha rose.
Only a 30 -minute boat-ride from our resort, Crescent Island is a popular tourist destination and visitors can go on guided walking safaris to see the animals up close offering a unique and immersive experience of wildlife and nature that is worth visiting for anyone interested in eco-tourism and outdoor activities.
Some of the activities you can do while visiting Crescent Island are:
- Guided Walking Safari – The island is perfect for walking safaris as it has no predators, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the animals. You will be guided by an experienced ranger who will help you spot different wildlife and educate you about the island’s flora and fauna.
- Bird Watching – Crescent Island is a great place for bird watching, with over 200 species of birds including pelicans, cormorants, fish eagles, and the endangered grey crested helmet shrike.
- Picnicking – There are several picnic spots on the island with beautiful views of Lake Naivasha. You can bring your own picnic or pre-book one from the island’s restaurant.
- Boating and Fishing – Lake Naivasha offers opportunities for boating and fishing, and you can hire a boat from the island to take you on a scenic tour of the lake or try your hand at fishing.
- Photography – The island’s stunning scenery and abundant wildlife make it an ideal location for photography. You can capture some breathtaking shots of the animals and the lake from different viewpoints on the island.
- Nature Walk – You can take a nature walk through the island’s lush vegetation and learn about the plants and trees that make up the island’s ecosystem.
A DAY AT THE OLKARIA GEOTHERMAL SPA
The OlKaria Geothermal Spa is a natural hot spring located in the OlKaria geothermal field in Kenya, Africa. The spa is known for its mineral-rich waters and therapeutic properties, and it attracts many visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
Situated in Hell’s Gate National Park, the spa is surrounded by stunning landscapes and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy soaking in the hot spring water, which is naturally heated by the earth’s geothermal activity, and take in the views of the surrounding geysers and steam vents.
In addition to the hot spring, OlKaria Geothermal Spa offers a variety of other amenities, including changing rooms, showers, and a restaurant. The spa is open daily from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and admission fees apply.
It’s worth noting that while the spa is a popular tourist destination, it’s important to be respectful of the natural environment and to follow any guidelines set by the park and spa management to help preserve the area’s unique ecosystem.
There are several things to do at OlKaria Geothermal Spa, including:
- Soak in the Hot Spring: The main attraction of the spa is the natural hot spring, which is believed to have therapeutic benefits for the body. The water is rich in minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and silica, which are said to be good for the skin, muscles, and joints. The hot water is also relaxing, and many people find it to be a soothing experience.
- Take a Nature Walk: The OlKaria Geothermal Spa is located in Hell’s Gate National Park, which is known for its stunning landscapes and wildlife. Visitors can take a nature walk to explore the park and see animals like zebras, giraffes, and buffaloes. The park also has several hiking trails that offer scenic views of the surrounding area.
- Enjoy a Massage: The spa offers a range of massage therapies, including deep tissue, Swedish, and hot stone massages. A massage can help to relax the muscles and relieve tension, making it a great way to unwind after a day of exploring the park.
- Dine at the Restaurant: The spa has a restaurant that serves a variety of local and international dishes. Visitors can enjoy a meal while taking in the beautiful views of the geothermal field.
- Take a Dip in the Cool Pool: In addition to the hot spring, the spa has a cool pool where visitors can take a refreshing dip after soaking in the hot water.
HIKE AT MT. LONGONOT
Mount Longonot is a stratovolcano located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, about 90 kilometers northwest of Nairobi. It rises about 2,776 meters above sea level and its name is derived from the Maasai word “Oloonong’ot”, which means “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”.
It is a popular hiking destination and nature reserve, known for its beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife. The mountain has a well-defined trail that leads to the summit and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The hike to the summit is about 3-4 hours and is considered a moderate level of difficulty.
The crater of the mountain is another popular attraction, which is about 1.8 kilometers in diameter and is home to a variety of vegetation and wildlife. The crater is also a popular spot for picnics and camping.
This mountain is an important ecological site, as it is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw and a number of bird species. It is also an important water catchment area, providing water to nearby communities and supporting agriculture in the region.
There are several things to do at Mt. Longonot, including:
- Hiking – One of the most popular activities at Mt. Longonot is hiking. There is a well-defined trail that leads to the summit of the mountain, which takes about 3-4 hours to complete. Along the way, hikers can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area, including the Great Rift Valley.
- Wildlife watching – Mt. Longonot is home to a variety of wildlife, including buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and several species of birds. Visitors can take a guided tour of the reserve to see these animals in their natural habitat.
- Camping – The mountain is a popular camping spot, with several campsites located within the reserve. Camping is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Mt. Longonot and the surrounding area.
- Bird watching – Mt. Longonot is an important bird watching site, with over 70 species of birds recorded in the area. Some of the birds that can be seen include the Verreaux’s Eagle, Augur Buzzard, and the endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw.
- Rock climbing – The rocky terrain of Mt. Longonot makes it a great destination for rock climbers. There are several challenging routes available for experienced climbers.
- Picnicking – The crater of the mountain is a popular spot for picnicking, with several picnic tables available. Visitors can enjoy a meal while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding area.
- Photography – The beautiful scenery of Mt. Longonot makes it a great location for photography. Visitors can capture stunning images of the mountain, the Great Rift Valley, and the wildlife that inhabits the area.
EXPERIENCE LAKE NAIVASHA
Boat riding on Lake Naivasha is a popular activity for visitors to the region, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature and see some of Kenya’s most iconic wildlife in their natural habitat.
Boat tours typically last between one to two hours and offer stunning views of the lake and its wildlife. Visitors can also expect to see local fishermen and their boats in action, as fishing is a major industry on Lake Naivasha.
It’s important to note that while boat riding on Lake Naivasha can be a fantastic experience, it’s also important to practice responsible tourism and respect the natural environment and wildlife. Visitors should follow the instructions of their tour guide and avoid disturbing or feeding the wildlife.
VISIT THE BUFFALO MALL
Buffalo Mall Naivasha is a shopping and entertainment center located in Naivasha, Kenya.
There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or have fun with friends and family. some of the things one can do at Buffalo Mall Naivasha are:
- Shopping – Buffalo Mall Naivasha has a variety of stores where you can shop for clothes, electronics, groceries, and other items.
- Dining – There are several restaurants and cafes at Buffalo Mall Naivasha where you can enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee.
- Movie watching –The mall has a cinema where you can catch the latest movies.
- Bowling – The mall has a bowling alley where you can have fun with friends or family.
- Arcade games – There’s an arcade room with a range of games suitable for all ages.
- Kids’ play area – There is a designated play area for children that features a range of fun activities.
- Fitness – Buffalo Mall Naivasha has a gym where you can work out and keep fit.
- Spa and salon –There are several salons and spas where you can get your hair done, get a massage, or have a beauty treatment.
EXPERIENCE WRC SAFARI RALLY
The WRC Safari Rally Naivasha is an annual motorsport event that takes place in the month of June in Naivasha, Kenya. It is part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), which is considered the highest level of international rallying. The event has a rich history, with the first Safari Rally taking place in 1953.
In 2021, the Safari Rally was re-introduced to the WRC calendar after a 19-year absence. The event was held from June 24 to 27, 2021, and featured challenging routes through the scenic Kenyan countryside.
The Safari Rally Naivasha is known for its tough and demanding terrain, which tests both the drivers’ and the cars’ endurance. The stages often include rough, rocky, and muddy sections, and the event requires a combination of speed, precision, and durability.
The event is a major sporting spectacle in Kenya and attracts thousands of spectators from around the world. It also provides an opportunity for the local economy, as it generates significant revenue for hotels, restaurants, and other businesses in the region.
Overall, the WRC Safari Rally Naivasha is a thrilling and exciting event that showcases the best of international rallying and Kenya’s natural beauty.