Hidden Gems in Kenya: 5 Places to Visit in Naivasha

  • A collage of giraffes at the Crescent Island and the Ol Njorowa gorges in Naivasha
    A collage of giraffes at the Crescent Island and the Ol Njorowa gorges in Naivasha
    TripAdvisor
  • The tourism sector in the country has progressed over the years, with new attraction sites being discovered every day.

    Nakuru county is home to more than the pink flamingoes at Lake Nakuru. From the many tourist attraction sites in the county, some of these unique gems are located in Naivasha town.

    In 2021, the town gained added fame for hosting the thrilling World Rally Championship (WRC). Nicknamed vasha, the town attracted thousands of tourists.

    However, you can not wait for the next rally to visit Naivasha, here are some of the beautiful places to visit if you are looking for a weekend full of memories. 

    Crescent Island in Naivasha
    Crescent Island in Naivasha

    Crescent Island
    This exotic island can only be accessed by boat. It rose to fame in 1985 after the movie "Out of Africa" highlighted the beauty that is Lake Naivasha.

    Crescent was formed as a result of reduced water levels in Lake Naivasha. 

    Surrounded by bushy grasslands, papyrus swamps, and acacia woodlands, the island is reported to host about 1,000 guests every year.

    Visitors on the island get to enjoy picnics, guided nature walks, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, boat riding, and game viewing.

    It is home to different bird species including fish eagles, herons, black crakes, cranes, pelicans, ospreys, and lily-trotters among many more.

    For citizens, it charges Ksh600 for adults and Ksh300 for children while for non-citizens, it charges Ksh2,500 ($20) and Ksh1,850 ($15) for kids.

    A collage of the interior and exterior of the Malewa Wildlife lodge
    A collage of the interior and exterior of the Malewa Wildlife lodge
    TripAdvisor

    Malewa Wildlife Lodge
    This lodge also known as Shadows of Africa, it is located along the Malewa River.

    At the lodge, guests get to enjoy an all-encompassing nature experience that includes gentle walks with expert naturalists, fishing, bush breakfasts, or lunches between day or night game drives.

    This luxurious lodge is surrounded by large acacia trees that can make you assume you are deep in the jungle. From accommodation to the food to the scenery, Malewa Wildlife Lodge seems like a beautiful dream you would not dare wake up from.

    Even though it appears to be off the grid, the lodge has a reliable internet connection and solar power for charging.

    Some of the activities on-site include biking, fishing, and excursions.

    A collage of a camp site at Camp Carnellys in Naivasha
    A collage of a camp site at Camp Carnellys in Naivasha

    Camp Carnellys
    It offers camping facilities to Kenyans seeking to get away from the city. The entire property sits under the shade of fever trees, with colobus monkeys swinging from tree to tree and woodpeckers flitting through the trees.

    While at Camp Carnellys, tourists can kayak to watch the hippos lazing in the shallows and enjoy the incredible bird life.

    It is a terrific atmosphere, not contaminated by smoke from loud matatus, which makes it so unique.

    Its famous Lazybones bar is a fabulous eco-bar and restaurant decorated with lots of plants, big colorful cushions, and hammocks.

    A section of the Ol Njorowa gorge in Naivasha
    A section of the Ol Njorowa gorge in Naivasha
    TripAdvisor

    Ol Njorowa Gorge
    This spectacular site is located inside Hell's Gate National Park. 

    They are amazing spots for a hike, but tourists are urged to check the weather since the area is prone to flash flooding.

    Trained tour guides will also direct you in learning the history of the gorges. It is an amazing place to test your upper body strength as you try to climb up the gorges.

    In the past, the area had been closed due to the looming danger of flash floods.

    Ol Njorowa Gorge winds left and right all the time. In a few places, there are also bunches of graffiti, etched into the soft rock. This is expected from tourists who want to leave a mark everywhere they go -Koko was here- typical Kenyans.

    An aerial view of Mt Longonot in Naivasha
    An aerial view of Mt Longonot in Naivasha
    TripAdvisor

    Mt Longonot

    Also in Naivasha lies Mount Longonot, a mesmerising work of nature. It sits on the floor of the rift valley. The extinct volcano mountain has a thick forest within the crater.

    From experience, I can tell you hiking the mountain is not for the faint-hearted, wear comfortable shoes and lots of sunscreens- I had sunburns for days. 

    Also, carry enough energy drinks, I was on my third can before I got halfway up the mountain. But remember to keep the environment clean by throwing the garbage in designated places.

    Tourists at the bottom of Mt Longonot ready for a hike
    Tourists at the bottom of Mt Longonot ready for a hike

    It is worth it to take a photo at the Kilele Ngama summit situated at an altitude of 2,780 metres and enjoy the breeze while staring deep into the crater.

    Conclusively, Kenya is a beautiful country, brush through every corner and enjoy the beautiful scenery.