Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp rises from the ashes

Holidaymakers ride a boat on Lake Naivasha as they celebrate Christmas.

Holidaymakers ride a boat on Lake Naivasha on Christmas Day.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

When this year started, many investors along the shores of Lake Naivasha had big plans to refurbish their facilities as they prepared for business ahead of this festive season.

However, early in the year, their plans were dealt a big blow by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many local and international tourists avoided Lake Naivasha, one of the most preferred travel destinations in the region.

The investors also had some of their investments submerged by the rising waters of Lake Naivasha.

One such investment is Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp, where some premises had been submerged in the rising waters.

"The rising waters, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, threw the camp's management into a tricky situation," said a boat rider on Christmas Day.

A partially submerged meat shop on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

A partially submerged meat shop on the shores of Lake Naivasha.


Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

Dusting his boat as he waited patiently for boat riders, he said this was a tough year for the camp.

"The landing bay was submerged by the rising waters while some of the rooms were submerged," said the boat rider.

The rising waters did not spare three stores for keeping boat equipment and a public toilet.

"We had stored equipment, including safety jackets and boats which were under repair, but we cannot access them as they are under the water," said another boat rider.

Several visitors' rooms were also submerged in water and this saw the management of the hotel incur huge losses.

"During the festive season like this, our bed occupancy is almost full with local and international visitors,'' said another boat rider.

Good number

However, he said that the camp received a good number of visitors who enjoyed a boat ride and watched wildlife, including hippos and birds.

"We thank God that this festive season we managed to get more than 50 per cent bed occupancy, unlike other competitors who were forced to shut down their premises," he said.

Holidaymakers ride a boat on Lake Naivasha as they celebrate Christmas.

Holidaymakers ride a boat on Lake Naivasha on Christmas Day.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

At the Karagita Public Beach, several business premises, including eateries, were submerged leaving hundreds of youths jobless.

"I used to deliver about 50 fish in a day to a fish seller at Karagita Public Beach but since the water submerged his premises, I do not have a steady income as some of the traders buy my fish at throw-away prices," said Mr Caleb Kiarie.

Close shop

Another fish seller said that he also used to sell curios at the Karagita Public Beach, but due to dwindling numbers of high-end visitors at the Naivasha Crescent Camp, he has been forced to close his shop.

"During the festive season, I was assured of between Sh10,000 and Sh15,000 but this year, I felt like quitting and going back to my rural home in Makueni County," said Mr Kioko Mwema.

Another curio seller said he was heavily indebted as he had an outstanding loan of Sh30,000 which he is struggling to clear.

"I was looking forward to a bumper festive season but my plans were scuttled by Covid-19," said Mr Johnstone Kitavi.

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