10 Exciting Things to do in Naivasha

If you still have Naivasha on your bucket list, you are missing out. It should be one of the places you have already visited in Kenya. Pack your rucksack, call a couple of friends and head out in pursuit of the most memorable things to do in Naivasha. To get you started on that list of adventures, here are 10 adventures I think you should have experienced already.

1. A tour of Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park’s adventures are cycling, rock climbing, walking in picturesque gorges and game viewing.  You don’t have to bring your bike; rent a bike at the KWS office and cycle through the plains while viewing wild animals. A day tour of Hell’s Gate is one of the most publicised things to do in Naivasha, and for a valid reason because the park’s gorges and its plains, with otherworldly rocks, are amazing.

Hell’s Gate National Park Prices

Park entry citizens – adult KSh 300, child KSh 215

Residents – adult KSh 600, child KSh 300

Non – residents – adult USD 26, child USD 17

Vehicle entry less than 6 seats – KSh 300

Rock climbing – KSh 500 per person

Cycling fee (if you have own bike) – KSh 215

Bicycle hire – KSh 500

2. A tour of Crescent Island

On the eastern side of Lake Naivasha is Crescent Island, a strip of land that floats over the freshwater lake. You can drive to this island through Sanctuary Farm, along Moi South Lake Road. There is not much to see here, but it is one of the top things to do in Naivasha for the sheer ease of walking along the shores of Lake Naivasha. Giraffes, impalas, a variety of birds and monkeys are some of the island’s fauna. Additionally, the vistas around the lake; and the view of other Great Rift attractions like Mount Longonot is worth the trip to Crescent Island.

On Crescent Island, you will find the Terminal and Customs sheds that date back to the 1940s when Lake Naivasha was a landing spot for flights from England to South Africa.

Crescent Island Charges

Park entry residents & citizens – adult KSh 800, child KSh 400

Non – residents – adult USD 3, child USD 15

Vehicle entry at Sanctuary Farm – about KSh 400

3. A picnic on Crescent Island

When in Naivasha, ditch restaurant meals and head to Crescent Island for a relaxing walk and a picnic. Drive through Sanctuary Farm, alongside wildebeests, zebras and waterbucks, to find a nice picnic spot on the lake shores or on a hill on the island. Imagine enjoying sandwiches and fresh fruit juice, catching up with friends and family members, while delighting in views of giraffes and impalas.

4. Camping on the shores of the lake

Camping is one of the most popular things to do in Naivasha especially for groups and families looking for a holiday destination not far from Nairobi. Instead of exploring Naivasha in a day, spend the night for an under the canvas experience. Spend the day in Hell’s Gate National Park or other major attraction in Naivasha, and retreat to a camp for dinner and rest ahead of a second day of adventure. You could combine a tour of Hell’s Gate with a tour of Crescent Island.

Top camps and hotels with camping sites are Fisherman’s Camp, Crayfish Camp, Burch Resort and Fish Eagle Inn. Find out more about camping rates in Naivasha.

5. Swimming in Ol Karia Geothermal Spa

Ol Karia is a geothermal power plant adjacent to Hell’s Gate National Park. This power station houses a unique attraction, a swimming pool with naturally heated water. The temperatures are between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius. The water is harvested from wells in the power plant, and fed into a large pool with a capacity of 400 people. Ol Karia Geothermal Spa has a children’s pool too.

Ol Karia Geothermal Spa prices

Citizens – adult KSh 400, child KSh 100

Residents – adult KSh 1,000, child KSh 500

Non – residents – adult KSh 1,800, child KSh 850

6. A Tour of Wileli Conservancy

While camping at Camp Oloiden, enjoy a nature walk in Wileli Conservancy, which is a private conservation area.  Animals to see in Wileli Conservancy include giraffes, buffalos, hippos, and about 200 species of birds.  Additionally, Camp Oloiden organises Maasai boma visits.

7. Horse riding in Sanctuary Farm

Horse riding is not one of the most popular things to do in Naivasha, but riding a horse in Sanctuary Farm will be one of your most memorable adventures. Sanctuary Farm is a family-run 400 acre property on the shores of Lake Naivasha. Nestled in mature acacia trees, this dairy farm is also a conservation area teeming with gazelles, impalas, giraffes, waterbucks, buffalos and a variety of bird species.

Horse riding in Sanctuary Farm is your unobtrusive encounter with the hundreds of mammals that roam the acacia forest. Get close to them, but from the back of your horse; watch these species graze, and follow them as they explore the shores of the lake.

Sanctuary Farm Naivasha prices

Conservancy fee – KSh 500 per person

Horse riding – KSh 3, 000 (per hour)

8. Hiking Mount Longonot

Hike to the crater of this extinct volcano, and go around it to see its full splendour. In about 7 hours, you can hike to the crater and back. Mount Longonot day hikes cost between KSh 2, 000 and KSh 2,500 for Kenyan citizens. These packages are inclusive of transport from Nairobi, guide fees, park entry fees and in some cases, lunch.

You can also drive to Mount Longonot with your friends, pay the park entry, vehicle entry and guide fees, and explore this attraction. Carry plenty of drinking water, energy drinks, and food.

Mt Longonot Charges

Park entry citizens – adult KSh 300, child KSh 215

Residents – adult KSh 600, child KSh 300

Non – residents – adult USD 26, child USD 17

Vehicle entry Less than 6 seats – KSh 300

9. A boat ride on Lake Naivasha

Before you leave Naivasha, explore the lake. Enjoy a 30 minutes to one hour boat ride on the lake, viewing birds, hippos and other species. The lake also yields panoramic view of other Great Rift attractions.

Lake Naivasha boat ride price

Crayfish Camp boat ride – KSh 2,000 per half hour per boat (seats 7 people)

Fisherman’s Camp boat ride – KSh 3,500 per hour per boat (seats 7 people)

Fish Eagle Inn boat ride – KSh 3,000 per hour or KSh 1,500 per half hour per boat

Sanctuary Farm boat ride – KSh 3,000 per boat (seats 6 people)

10. Fishing in Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is one of the two freshwater Great Rift Valley lakes in Kenya (the other is Lake Baringo). Enjoy a fishing excursion in Lake Naivasha when staying in camps and resorts around it. Such camps include Camp Carnelley’s and Fisherman’s Camp.

These 10 activities top the list of things to do in Naivasha. Did I forget to mention any activity you think is a must-attempt in Naivasha?

Sources: KWS and the websites of the attractions mentioned in the article.

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