Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus. It is the highest lake in Rift Valley at 1884m above sea level. Lake Naivasha has a surface area of 139 km2. Lake Naivasha is a Ramsar site — a wetland of international importance — since 1995. Lake Naivasha is almost 13kms across, but its waters are shallow with an average depth of five meters.
Lake Naivasha is fed by the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers both of which originate from Aberdares Ranges. Other streams that empty their water in the lake have their source in Mau escarpment. There is no visible outlet, but since the lake water is relatively fresh it is assumed to have an underground outflow. Lake Naivasha is known as a world-class birding destination,
Lake Naivasha is home to a variety of types of wildlife including over 400 different species of birds and a sizeable population of hippos, buffaloes, wildebeest, impalas, zebras, giraffes, waterbucks. There are two smaller lakes in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha:
Which was a salt lake but has since turned into a freshwater lake. In 1982, when Lake Naivasha’s water levels began to fall.
Lake Oloiden steadily became separated from Lake Naivasha and gradually turned so saline. By 1995 it had lost all its plants and fish but in the meantime, the green photosynthetic bacteria called Spirulina (Arthrospira) was growing. It’s the favorite food of the Lesser flamingos.
Lake Sonachi (Green Crater Lake).
Lake Sonachi or Green Crater Lake, is a small, saline-alkaline lake to the immediate west of Lake Naivasha, inside a larger volcanic crater, with sides intact. Sonachi Lake is believed to be maintained by the level of Lake Naivasha, through a groundwater link, but this has never been proven
The flat land within the crater is partly wooded and holds populations of black & white Colobus monkeys, The Leleshwa bushes are a nice place to see the rare Grey crested Helmet Shrike
Other attractions around Lake Naivasha
There are other attractions close to Lake Naivasha are; Mount Longonot National Park which is known for hiking, Hell’s Gate National Park (named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley).
Mau Eburu Forest the easternmost conservatory of the 22 gazetted forest blocks that form the vast 420,000 hectares Mau Forest Complex good for birding and hiking, it has a healthy population of the endangered Bongo with more than 100 believed to be living in the forest
To explore the Lake, there two options; taking a boat ride for an hour or more, also walking along its shore, There are various accommodation facilities within the lake for budget to luxurious