Lake Naivasha Activities, Entrance Fee and Airbnbs

Lake Naivasha Activities

This blog post explores the best activities you can engage in at Lake Naivasha. Also, lays down the entrance fee at the Lake and lists down some of the best Airbnbs and Hotels you can find around. Welcome!

Lake Naivasha is a breathtaking freshwater lake situated in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, East Africa.

Known for its remarkable beauty and ecological significance, Lake Naivasha spans approximately 139 square kilometers and stands at an elevation of 1,884 meters above sea level.

The lake’s allure lies in its crystal-clear turquoise waters, surrounded by lush greenery and bordered by picturesque acacia trees.

Lake Naivasha serves as a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

The lake supports a rich ecosystem, hosting over 400 bird species, including the iconic African fish eagle, pelicans, and flamingos. Additionally, Lake Naivasha is home to a thriving population of hippos, which can often be seen basking along the shoreline.

Lake Naivasha’s shores are dotted with several lodges and resorts, providing visitors with opportunities for boat safaris, fishing excursions, and serene nature walks. Its proximity to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, makes it easily accessible and a favored weekend getaway for both locals and tourists.

In general, Lake Naivasha’s serene ambiance, combined with its remarkable biodiversity, make it a true gem within Kenya’s natural landscape.

10 of the Best Activities to do in Lake Naivasha

1. Take a Boat Safari

Lake Naivasha Activities

A boat safari on Lake Naivasha is a fantastic way to explore the lake and its wildlife up close. Here’s what you can expect from a boat safari on Lake Naivasha:

  • Wildlife Spotting: Lake Naivasha is home to a diverse array of wildlife, and a boat safari allows you to get closer to the animals. Keep an eye out for hippos, which are abundant in the lake. You’ll often see them lazing in the water or grazing along the lake’s edges. Additionally, you may spot other wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and various bird species.
  • Bird Watching: Lake Naivasha is renowned for its birdlife, making it a paradise for bird watchers. As you glide across the lake, you’ll have the opportunity to spot numerous bird species, including African fish eagles, pelicans, cormorants, herons, and kingfishers. The sight and sounds of these beautiful birds in their natural habitat are truly captivating.
  • Crescent Island: Many boat safaris include a visit to Crescent Island, a small crescent-shaped island in Lake Naivasha. Here, you can disembark from the boat and take a guided walk to observe wildlife up close. Giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and wildebeests roam freely on the island, and you can explore the area on foot, providing a unique safari experience.
  • Scenic Views: The boat safari on Lake Naivasha offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. The calm waters, surrounded by lush greenery and the backdrop of Mount Longonot, create a picturesque setting that’s perfect for photography and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
  • Relaxation and Serenity: A boat safari on Lake Naivasha provides a peaceful and serene experience. The gentle rocking motion of the boat, the sounds of nature, and the tranquil atmosphere of the lake allow you to unwind and connect with the natural surroundings. It’s an excellent opportunity to relax and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of the lake.

When planning a boat safari on Lake Naivasha, it’s advisable to book with a reputable tour operator who follows safety guidelines and respects the wildlife and environment.

They can provide knowledgeable guides who will enhance your experience by sharing interesting facts and stories about the lake and its inhabitants.

Point to note: The charges for riding a boat on Lake Naivasha is USD 25 – USD 30 per person for every hour.

2. Tour Crescent Island

Lake Naivasha Activities

Crescent Island is a small private game reserve located in Lake Naivasha, Kenya. It is not an actual island but rather a peninsula that juts out into the lake.

The reserve is known for its picturesque landscapes and abundant wildlife, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and tourists.

What sets Crescent Island apart is its unique feature of being a sanctuary for various animals, including giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, and many species of birds. Visitors can take guided walking safaris on the island, allowing them to get up close to the wildlife without the restrictions of a typical vehicle-based safari. It’s a great opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat and capture amazing photographs.

The absence of large predators on Crescent Island makes it a safe place for walking safaris, as visitors can explore the area on foot without the fear of encountering dangerous animals. However, it’s still important to follow the instructions of the experienced guides and maintain a respectful distance from the wildlife.

Lake Naivasha itself is a freshwater lake located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, approximately 90 kilometers northwest of Nairobi. It is one of the few freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley and serves as a vital water source for wildlife and local communities. The lake is also famous for its stunning scenery and is surrounded by various lodges and resorts that offer accommodation and recreational activities for visitors.

Overall, Crescent Island in Lake Naivasha is a remarkable destination for nature lovers, providing a unique opportunity to experience wildlife up close in a beautiful and serene environment.

Below is a table showing the entrance charges to Crescent Island.

Non-Residents

CategoryCharges
Non-Resident AdultsUSD 33
Non-Resident ChildrenUSD 16
Non-Resident StudentsUSD 16

Residents

CategoryCharges
AdultsKES 1100
ChildrenKES 550

Citizens

CategoryCharges
AdultsKES 800
ChildrenKES 400

Crescent Island Contacts

+(254) 722 20 38 04

3. Visit Elsamere’s Conservation

Lake Naivasha Activities

Elsamere is a conservation center located on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya. It is famous for being the former home of Joy and George Adamson, renowned conservationists who dedicated their lives to wildlife conservation, particularly their work with lions.

The main purpose of Elsamere Conservation Center is to promote wildlife conservation, environmental education, and community development. Here are some key features and activities associated with Elsamere:

Joy Adamson’s Gardens: Elsamere is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens that were originally developed by Joy Adamson herself. The gardens are home to a variety of indigenous plants, flowers, and trees, creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere for visitors.

Museum: Elsamere features a museum dedicated to the life and work of Joy and George Adamson. The museum exhibits their personal memorabilia, photographs, and information about their conservation efforts and interactions with wildlife, especially the lioness Elsa, made famous by Joy’s book and subsequent movie adaptation, “Born Free.”

Wildlife Viewing: The conservation center offers opportunities for visitors to observe wildlife. You may encounter various bird species, including fish eagles, pelicans, and kingfishers, as well as monkeys and other small mammals within the premises.

High Tea: Elsamere is known for its traditional high tea experience. Visitors can enjoy a delightful afternoon tea with a view of Lake Naivasha. It’s a chance to relax, savor delicious pastries and sandwiches, and soak in the tranquil surroundings.

Conservation Education: Elsamere provides educational programs and initiatives to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability. These programs are targeted at both local communities and visitors, with a focus on promoting conservation values and understanding the importance of preserving Kenya’s natural heritage.

Boat Tours: Elsamere offers boat tours on Lake Naivasha, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the lake, appreciate its scenic beauty, and observe birdlife and other aquatic species.

Accommodation: Elsamere Conservation Center also operates as a lodge, offering accommodation options for visitors who wish to extend their stay. The lodge provides comfortable rooms, stunning lake views, and a chance to experience the ambiance of Elsamere during the early mornings and evenings when the day visitors have left.

In general, visiting Elsamere Conservation Center allows you to learn about the inspiring conservation work of Joy and George Adamson and their contribution to preserving Kenya’s wildlife.

It’s a place where you can appreciate the beauty of Lake Naivasha while supporting ongoing conservation efforts.

4. Crater Lake Game Sanctuary

Crater Lake Game Sanctuary

Crater Lake Game Sanctuary is a protected area located near Lake Naivasha in Kenya. It is named after the Crater Lake, a stunning volcanic lake situated within the sanctuary. Here’s some information about the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary:

  • Location and Landscape: Crater Lake Game Sanctuary is located on the western side of Lake Naivasha, approximately 13 kilometers from the town of Naivasha. The sanctuary is set in a volcanic crater formed by an extinct volcano, and the Crater Lake itself occupies the center of the crater. The area is characterized by picturesque landscapes, including steep cliffs, dense forests, and the serene lake.
  • Wildlife: The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife species, both on land and in the water. Visitors can spot animals such as giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, elands, gazelles, and several species of monkeys and antelopes. The lake is known for its population of hippos and a rich diversity of birdlife, making it a haven for birdwatchers.
  • Activities: Visitors to Crater Lake Game Sanctuary can engage in a range of activities to explore and appreciate the natural beauty and wildlife in the area. These activities include guided walking safaris, birdwatching, hiking, and picnicking. There are also opportunities for fishing in the Crater Lake, but permits are required.
  • Scenic Views: The sanctuary offers breathtaking panoramic views from various vantage points, allowing visitors to capture stunning photographs and appreciate the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes, the crater rim, and the tranquil lake.
  • Accommodation: While the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary itself does not provide accommodation facilities, there are lodges and camps located in the vicinity that offer comfortable lodging options for visitors. These accommodations provide an opportunity to stay close to the sanctuary and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
  • Conservation and Research: The sanctuary plays a vital role in conserving the local flora and fauna. It also serves as a site for scientific research and environmental studies, contributing to a better understanding of the area’s ecosystems and the importance of conservation efforts.

When visiting Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, it’s important to respect the natural environment, follow the guidance of experienced guides, and adhere to any rules or regulations in place to ensure the preservation of the sanctuary and the well-being of its wildlife.

Below is a table showing the entrance fee/charges to Crater Lake Game Sanctuary

CategoryCharges
ResidentsKES 800
Non-ResidentsKES 1,200

5. Camping at Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha Activities

Camping in Lake Naivasha is a popular activity for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The serene environment, scenic landscapes, and abundant wildlife make it an ideal destination for camping.

Here’s some information to help you plan your camping experience in Lake Naivasha:

  • Campsites: There are several campsites in and around Lake Naivasha that cater to different preferences and budgets. Some popular campsites include Fisherman’s Camp, Camp Carnelley’s, Crayfish Camp, and Naivasha Kongoni Lodge Campsite. These campsites offer various facilities such as tent pitches, cottages, basic amenities like toilets and showers, picnic areas, and some may even have restaurants or cafes on-site.
  • Equipment: If you have your own camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment, you can bring them along. Alternatively, many campsites offer rental services for camping equipment, allowing you to enjoy the experience without the need for bringing your own gear.
  • Activities: Camping in Lake Naivasha offers a range of activities to make your experience memorable. You can go for nature walks or hikes around the lake, birdwatching, fishing (with the required permits), or enjoy water activities such as boating, kayaking, or even swimming (if allowed in certain areas). Some campsites may also organize guided tours or offer facilities for outdoor games like volleyball or football.
  • Wildlife and Safety: Lake Naivasha is known for its wildlife, including hippos, various bird species, and other animals that may roam the area. It’s important to be cautious and follow safety guidelines provided by the campsite or local authorities. Keep a safe distance from wild animals, especially hippos, and avoid walking alone at night. Always listen to the advice of campsite staff and adhere to any guidelines they provide for your safety.
  • Campfire and Cooking: Many campsites allow campfires in designated areas. Enjoy the experience of sitting around a crackling fire, sharing stories, and preparing meals. However, always exercise caution and ensure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the area. Some campsites may have communal cooking facilities, while others may require you to bring your own camping stove or grill for cooking.
  • Amenities: While camping offers a back-to-nature experience, some campsites provide basic amenities such as clean toilet and shower facilities. However, it’s a good idea to check the specific amenities offered by your chosen campsite beforehand, as they can vary.

Point to note: Camping in Lake Naivasha allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area, enjoy wildlife encounters, and create lasting memories amidst the peaceful surroundings.

6. Hike around Lake Naivasha and its Sorroundings

Lake Naivasha Activities

Hiking in Lake Naivasha and its surrounding areas provides an opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes, enjoy scenic views, and encounter wildlife.

Here are some hiking options and tips for hiking in Lake Naivasha:

  • Hell’s Gate National Park: Hell’s Gate National Park, located near Lake Naivasha, offers excellent hiking opportunities. You can embark on various hiking trails within the park, such as the Ol Njorowa Gorge, Fisher’s Tower, and the Central Tower Circuit. These trails take you through dramatic gorges, towering rock formations, and open grasslands, offering breathtaking views and a chance to spot wildlife like zebras, giraffes, and antelopes.
  • Mount Longonot: Mount Longonot is a dormant volcano located a short distance from Lake Naivasha. Hiking to the summit of Mount Longonot is a popular activity. The trail takes you through lush forests, along the crater rim, and up to the summit, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha.
  • Crater Lake Game Sanctuary: The Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, with its picturesque landscapes and the stunning Crater Lake, offers hiking opportunities. Explore the sanctuary on foot, taking in the beauty of the volcanic crater and its surroundings. Some lodges and campsites within the sanctuary provide guided walks and hikes for visitors.
  • Nature Walks: Many lodges and campsites around Lake Naivasha offer guided nature walks within their premises or in nearby areas. These walks allow you to appreciate the local flora, observe birdlife, and sometimes spot small mammals. It’s a more relaxed option for those looking for shorter and easier hikes.

Safety Tips When Hiking Lake Naivasha

When hiking in Lake Naivasha, it’s important to prioritize your safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always inform someone about your hiking plans, including your intended route and estimated return time.
  • Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes, and dress in layers according to the weather conditions.
  • Carry sufficient water, snacks, a first aid kit, and any necessary medications.
  • Follow marked trails and avoid venturing off the designated paths.
  • Be mindful of the presence of wildlife, especially in areas where encounters are possible. Maintain a safe distance and do not feed or approach the animals.
  • Stay hydrated and take regular breaks as needed.
  • Respect the natural environment and leave no trace of your visit by taking your trash with you and avoiding damage to plants or wildlife.

Before embarking on any hike, ensure that you have adequate information about the trail, its difficulty level, and any permits or fees required. It’s also advisable to hike with a guide or join organized hiking tours for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Hiking in Lake Naivasha allows you to connect with nature, explore the stunning landscapes, and appreciate the abundant wildlife in the area.

7. Enjoy a Picnic at Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha Activities

Having a picnic at Lake Naivasha is a wonderful way to enjoy the scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere of the area. Here are some tips to plan a memorable picnic at Lake Naivasha:

Choose a Picnic Spot: Lake Naivasha offers several picturesque spots for picnicking. You can opt for a lakeside location with a view of the water or find a shaded area under trees. Many campsites, lodges, and public parks around the lake provide designated picnic areas with tables and benches, making it convenient for visitors.

Pack a Picnic Basket: Prepare a delicious picnic meal by packing a variety of foods and snacks. Include items like sandwiches, wraps, fruits, salads, cheese, crackers, and beverages of your choice. Don’t forget to bring utensils, plates, cups, napkins, and a picnic blanket or mat to sit on.

Stay Hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the African sun. Bring plenty of drinking water and other refreshing beverages to keep everyone hydrated throughout the picnic.

Wildlife Viewing: Keep an eye out for wildlife while picnicking at Lake Naivasha. You might spot birds, such as fish eagles, pelicans, or kingfishers, around the lake. Observe hippos in the water, but maintain a safe distance and avoid disturbing them. Enjoy the natural surroundings and take in the sights and sounds of the wildlife.

Enjoy Recreational Activities: Besides relaxing and enjoying the food, you can engage in various recreational activities during your picnic at Lake Naivasha. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shores, fly a kite, play outdoor games like frisbee or volleyball, or bring along some musical instruments for a fun jam session.

Sun Protection: Lake Naivasha can have a sunny and warm climate, so it’s essential to protect yourself from the sun. Apply sunscreen, wear hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, breathable clothing to stay comfortable and shielded from the sun’s rays.

Clean Up and Respect the Environment: After your picnic, make sure to clean up the area and dispose of any trash responsibly. Leave the picnic spot as clean as you found it to help preserve the beauty of Lake Naivasha and ensure its cleanliness for other visitors.

A picnic at Lake Naivasha offers a peaceful and scenic experience, allowing you to savor a meal surrounded by nature’s beauty. It’s a perfect opportunity to unwind, connect with loved ones, and create lasting memories.

8. Attend the WRC Safari Rally Championships in Naivasha Town

Lake Naivasha Activities

The Naivasha Safari Rally is a prestigious motorsport event held in Kenya. It is part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and attracts top rally drivers and teams from around the world. Here’s some information about the Naivasha Safari Rally:

  • History: The Safari Rally has a rich history dating back to 1953 when it was first held as a motorsport event in Kenya. It gained international recognition and became part of the WRC calendar. After a long hiatus, the rally returned to the WRC in 2021, with Naivasha being one of the host locations.
  • Location: Naivasha serves as one of the key locations for the Safari Rally. The rally stages are set in the scenic landscapes around Lake Naivasha and the nearby areas. The diverse terrain, including gravel roads, open plains, and challenging sections, adds to the excitement and difficulty of the rally.
  • Rally Routes: The Naivasha Safari Rally features multiple stages and routes that span various terrains and landscapes. The exact routes and stages may vary from year to year, but they often cover sections in the surrounding national parks and wildlife conservancies, showcasing the beauty of the Kenyan wilderness.
  • Spectating: The Safari Rally provides an opportunity for spectators to witness the thrilling action up close. Spectator areas are designated along the rally routes, allowing fans to catch glimpses of the high-speed rally cars and experience the atmosphere of the event. It’s important to follow safety instructions and guidelines provided by the organizers while spectating.
  • Rally Experience: The Naivasha Safari Rally offers a unique motorsport experience, with powerful rally cars racing through challenging terrain and battling against the clock. It’s a test of both driver skill and the endurance of the vehicles as they navigate through rugged landscapes, unpredictable weather conditions, and potential encounters with wildlife.
  • Tourism and Economic Impact: The Safari Rally not only promotes motorsport in Kenya but also boosts tourism and local economies. The event attracts international visitors, media coverage, and generates revenue for the hospitality sector, as fans and participants require accommodation, transportation, and other services during their stay.

The rally typically takes place over several days, providing an exciting and immersive experience for motorsport enthusiasts.

Attending the WRC Rally is the best way to witness ultimate speed and precision in the high-adrenaline action.

9. Sport Fishing

Lake Naivasha Activities

Fishing in Lake Naivasha can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake located in Kenya, known for its diverse fish species and beautiful surroundings. Here are some key points to consider if you’re interested in fishing in Lake Naivasha:

Fishing Permits: Before you start fishing, it’s important to obtain the necessary permits. Check with the local authorities or the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) for information on fishing regulations, permits, and any fees associated with fishing in Lake Naivasha. They will provide you with the most up-to-date guidelines and requirements.

Fish Species: Lake Naivasha is home to various fish species, including tilapia, catfish, black bass, and crayfish. Tilapia is particularly abundant and popular among anglers. Different species may have specific fishing regulations, such as size restrictions or catch limits, so it’s essential to be aware of these regulations to ensure sustainable fishing practices.

Fishing Methods: Depending on your preferences and the species you’re targeting, you can use various fishing methods in Lake Naivasha. Common techniques include spin fishing, bait fishing, and fly fishing. It’s advisable to bring your own fishing gear, including rods, reels, lines, hooks, and appropriate bait for the type of fish you’re targeting.

Boat Rentals: Lake Naivasha offers boat rental services, allowing you to access different areas of the lake for fishing. You can rent motorized boats or traditional fishing boats known as “masuas” or “dugout canoes.” These boats can be arranged through local operators or the accommodations around the lake.

  1. Fishing Guides: If you’re new to fishing in Lake Naivasha or simply want some assistance, hiring a local fishing guide can be beneficial. Experienced guides are familiar with the lake’s fishing spots, techniques, and regulations, which can increase your chances of success and help you navigate the waters safely.
  2. Safety and Environment: Always prioritize safety while fishing. Wear appropriate safety gear, including life jackets, especially if you’re fishing from a boat. Additionally, practice responsible fishing by following catch and release guidelines for certain species, disposing of waste properly, and respecting the environment and wildlife.

Remember to be mindful of the local community and the lake’s ecosystem. Sustainable fishing practices are essential to preserve the lake’s resources for future generations.

It’s worth noting that fishing conditions, regulations, and available services can change over time, so it’s best to inquire with local authorities or research recent information before planning your fishing trip to Lake Naivasha.

10. Tour Naivasha Town

Lake Naivasha Activities

Naivasha is a place of breathtaking beauty and serene tranquility. It is situated approximately 90 kilometers Northwest of Nairobi, on the shores of Lake Naivasha

The town serves as a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to several national parks and reserves, including Hell’s Gate National Park and Mount Longonot National Park. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Lake Naivasha itself is a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts, with numerous species of birds inhabiting the area.

In terms of amenities, Naivasha has a range of accommodation options, including hotels, lodges, and campsites, to cater to the needs of tourists.

Where to Stay while Visiting Lake Naivasha

For the best Airbnbs, visit either or all of these sites!

  1. 18 Best Airbnb Vacation Rentals In Naivasha, Kenya – Updated 2023
  2. 20 Enchanting Airbnbs in Naivasha

Hotels to Stay Near Lake Naivasha

  1. Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort
  2.  Chui Lodge
  3. Enashipai Resort & Spa
  4.  Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort
  5. Muthu Lake Naivasha Country Club
  6. Lake Naivasha Resort
  7. Astorian Grand Hotel Naivasha
  8. Montana Guest Resort Naivasha 
  9. Naivasha Kongoni Lodge
  10. Muthu Lake Naivasha Country Club

Point to note: All of these hotels have Free WiFi, Free Parking and offer unbeatable rates!

Check Out:

  1. Olkaria Geothermal Natural Spa Rates 2023
  2. Hell’s Gate National Park Entrance Fees 2023

There are no entrance fees charged to view Lake Naivasha! Entry is free on every corner of the lake.

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