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Lake Naivasha

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Lake Naivasha

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... is a major Rift Valley lake in Southwest Kenya, the first that one encounters when travelling out by road from Nairobi.


During the Colonial Era, this lake was used as the main airport for the country, an essential stop on the flying boat mail service which connected London with Cape Town.

Soon the aristocratic settlers were building fabulous mansions around the shoreline, becoming the infamous 'Happy Valley Set', renowned for their debauched lifestyle which has since been immortalised by Hollywood.

These days Naivasha is a considerably less salubrious location, with the village having grown into a sprawling town straddling a major highway and huge industrial flower farms and budget tourist lodges now dominating much of the shoreline.

However there are still areas where you can still get a sense of this remarkable period of history, especially on the western side and around the shores of the Little Lake to the southwest.


How we like to include this area in trips ...

Up to around 1995 Lake Naivasha was considered to be a near essential component of a trip around Kenya. But these days the place has become so overrun by population, traffic and industry that it really is a lot less attractive.

The infrequency with which higher quality trips include Naivasha these days means that it is no longer even included in the regular morning flight schedule between Nairobi and Maasai Mara.

We tend to most commonly include Naivasha in trips for guests who specifically want to return here after many years away. But this we tend to do with a heavy heart, since such a return is so likely to lead to disappointment.


Loldia House ... is a lovely old Colonial Era house in a wonderful private area on the lakeshore, still capable of delivering a relatively clean and high quality experience.

Olerai House ... is another very pleasant private estate on the western shore, a very intimate and pleasant place to stay.

Hippo Point House ... is a ridiculously magnificent Colonial Era mock Tudor mansion in a gorgeous private estate alongside the Little Lake, a very high class place to stay.

Hippo Point Tower ... is a folly of the highest order, with seven floors of accommodation for a handful of guests, immediately overlooking the Little Lake.


Most visitors to this Lake Naivasha area tend to stay for 2 to 3 nights, usually in combination with popular Kenyan safari areas such as Maasai Mara, Meru, Samburu, as well as time down on the Kenya Coast.

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Lenny Franklin
Lenny Franklin, Senior Safari Consultant
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