What you need to know:
Looking to enjoy one quick getaway before going back to work? Here are some ideas
The holidays are drawing to a close. If you are like most people you will be reporting back to work by Monday. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, you may have missed out on that getaway with friends or family.
If you are in Nairobi and its environs, you may be looking for a weekend destination, that offers not only amazing scenery but one that is pocket-friendly and within easy reach. If this is your dilemma, then Naivasha is your answer.
But apart from being the quintessential road trip, partying and lovers’ hideout, what more does Naivasha have to offer? Here are the top ten outdoor activities you may partake in while in Naivasha.
Boat ride on Lake Naivasha
A Lake Naivasha boat ride is a safari on the water with remarkable sights to see and can be taken from any of the countless locations around the lake. Each boat carries between six and twenty people depending on its capacity and the rates start from Sh2,500 per hour inclusive of a tour guide and life jackets. The ride through the dead acacia trees and above the blue waters will expose you to a lot of birdlife among them pelicans, fish eagles, herons, and giant kingfishers that makeup part of over 300 bird species found in the area. Hippos are easily spotted from the several hotels dotted along the shores.
Crescent Island Game Sanctuary
This beautiful nature sanctuary is a peninsula located on the eastern side of Lake Naivasha and can only be accessed by boat. It is one of the places you can enjoy the wilderness. They boast of having more animals per acre than any other Kenyan Park. They have a watch tower on a hill with a 360-degree view across the lake to Mau Escarpment onto Aberdare ranges. African Masai giraffes, Impalas, zebras, buffaloes, wildebeest, defassa waterbucks, and gazelles are the most abundant in the area.
BMM Bikers Recreational Center
Located on Moi South Lake, BMM Bikers Recreational Center is a one-stop shop for adrenaline lovers. The center offers numerous fun activities such as horse riding, hoverboarding, quad bikes, archery, dirt bikes, skating, PS4 games, table tennis, volleyball, and drive club simulation for children to learn driving skills. They also host boot camp sessions with unlimited challenges and obstacles to try out for Sh200. Dirt bikes cost Sh1,500 for 15 minutes while quad bikes go for Sh900 for the same period inclusive of safety gear. If you want to spend a night at the center, they have beautiful sleeping pods that can accommodate two people for Sh4,000, breakfast included.
Hells Gate National Park
Just 5km from Naivasha town, this picturesque National park allows visitors to enjoy a walking or biking safari to view the wildlife in the area. There are no predators in the park thus making it safer than other parks. With its spectacular scenery from towering cliffs, rock towers, and water-gouged gorges, the park is a walk on the wild side. The charges are Sh300 per adult and Sh215 per child.
Hiking up Mt. Longonot
The best views come after the hardest climb. That’s what you will get from Mt. Longonot’s peak. This extinct volcano is a hikers’ paradise with scenic landscapes and unobstructed views of Lake Naivasha and the great rift valley. The hike will take about four to six hours depending on one’s endurance. For beginner hikers, you can start with Sleeping Warrior and Ugali hills in Elementaita, about 30 minutes from Naivasha.
Swim at Olkaria Geothermal Spa
Located inside Hell’s Gate National Park, Olkaria Geothermal spa is one of Africa’s largest natural spas. It has three lagoons with temperatures ranging from 30 to 100 degrees centigrade. Visitors are only allowed to access and swim in the third lagoon which has the lowest temperatures (30°- 40°) and is 1.5 meters deep. A visit to the spa costs Sh400 per adult and Sh100 per child for unlimited access to the pool. The water in the spa is believed to have health benefits such as ironing out wrinkles, promoting fluid balance, and improving the immune system. The geothermal spa also has a separate steam sauna, a cafeteria, and an exhibition hall.
Learn and play golf at Barons Park Golf Centre
Barons Park is Kenya's first dedicated golf practice Centre located at Delamere Kobil Service station on the Nairobi -Nakuru highway. Here, you will learn and play golf for just Sh200. They aim to demystify the notion that golf is only for the elite. It has a day and nighttime golf practice area, multi-hole putting greens that are full size, a pro shop, a clubhouse, and golf instruction facilities.
Take a flower farm Tour
Naivasha accounts for 40 per cent of Kenya's cut flower exports and is the horticulture industry's hub, with around 70 flower farms. This is due to the region's fertile soils and the availability of water. You can book a free flower farm tour to learn more about the various flower varieties grown in the area. Like me, you will be surprised to learn that there are approximately 14 varieties of roses.
From luxury-tented camps to budget-friendly pitch-your-own-tent grounds, Naivasha caters to all types of travellers. Enjoy a bonfire under the stars and chat the night away. Some of the camps include Oloiden, Crayfish, Fisherman’s Camp, Camp Carnelleys, and Naivasha West beach among many others.
Enjoy Naivasha nightlife
A trip to Naivasha wouldn't be complete without taking in some of the city's nightlife. The recently established Party Island lounge on Moi South Lake offers the best nightlife in the region and is challenging established clubs like Bubbles and Old Station Lounge. Enjoy good music and dance the night.