NAIROBI, KENYA JULY 2014
Naivasha has officially taken the stand where out-of-town partying is concerned; from her serenity, proximity to the capital and its versatility as a destination-Nairobi may soon be begging Naivasha Naivasha to break her spell!
Located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya is a place with a talent for combining many different elements and aspects of nature with a remarkable expertise! Commenting on Naivasha as a major tourist attraction, Lillian Gaitho the PR Manager at JOVAGO , a leading online hotel booking and travel site, acknowledges the unprecedented rise in her popularity; you need to allocate more than a few days for a full excursion of this legendary town. There is something for everyone; from naturalists to geologists and romantics dreaming of fairytales to film-makers chasing adventures worth prime time on Discovery Channel”
This coming weekend, the town will be hosting the Great Rift Valley Festival, and judging by history-the host camp; Fisherman’s Camp might already be fully booked! Here are some of the few stop overs you may need to make on your way, and where to safely keep your travel kits while you party the-Naivasha -Way!
- THE ITALIAN CHAPEL
This could make our very slice of the Roman’s architectural finesse! The Catholic Chapel was built by Italian prisoners as a sign of compassion for their hard labor during the construction of the Naivasha-Nakuru road in the 1940s.
The little chapel is a big attraction for wedding ceremonies and offers serenity and peace to travelers without discrimination. Inside the church, there are Latin inscriptions while a picture of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph surrounded by angels stand behind the altar. The nearby Triple Eden Naivasha Hotel will make a good stay for group visitors who may also want to reach out to their Religious Being.
- A BOAT TRIP ON LAKE OLOIDEN
Once your inner being syncs with the environment, you may want to give back to the local conservationist and nature protectors; a small community who live by the shores of Lake Oloiden about six kilometers away from Naivasha town. There are a number of hotels not too far from the lake such as Enashipai Resort & Spa and Kiboko Luxury Camp, Naivasha which offer great packages inclusive of a visit to Lake Oloiden. The small, serene lake is a festival of senses; from sites of hippo families, sounds of the giant fish eagle, fresh pure breeze emanating from the lake and beautiful wildlife gracefully grazing meters away.
It’s of great fulfillment to know that the proceedings from the boat trips and related adventure directly support the Oloiden community who live by the lake shore.
- AN EXPEDITION ON CRESCENT ISLAND
Crescent Island is considered one of the most beautiful parks in Kenya with an unprecedented and impressive number and variety of wildlife per acre.
The docking area accessible from Lake Naivasha Country Club safely tucks you on a breathtaking cruise to the Crescent Island. While here, enjoy panoramic views from the hilltop; Lake Naivasha glitters right beneath you while Mt Longonot stands fiercely in your eye path, further ahead are the Mau Escarpments, one of the country’s water catchment block while the Aberdares rise towards the skies as if in an embrace.
- HIKE AND PICNIC ON Mt LONGONOT
Thought to have last erupted in the 1860s, this extinct volcano is a big attraction for hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and even geologists. This colossus of bewitching beauty dominates her surrounding landscape with lava canyons running on her steep sides in frozen ashy rocks. On the rim of the mountain is a circular caldera over a kilometer in which forms a magnificent view. Looking down on the crater floor, a thick forest stands abode to dozens of an unperturbed wildlife.
Families vacationing with children will find Mount Longonot Lodge great since they have cottages designed to cater for diverse family needs.
- HELL’S GATE NATIONAL PARK
If you are not fortunate enough to spot wildlife at Mt Longonot, worry not; Hell’s Gate National Park, though small by African Standards is home to diverse and an amazing birdlife in the region.
Apart from the wildlife, the park allows activities such as biking, motorcycling, and hiking is allowed in the park an aspect that’s only found in one more park. You may consider staying close by in camps such as Camp Carnelley's just to ensure you rise early enough to catch the wildlife by the waterholes!
You cannot miss one of the major highlights of Hell’s Gate National Park; a big deal for Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raiders. The Ol-njorowa gorge is very scenic, from the steep and incised rock moldings to the pumice lava and green algae thriving in the “day lighting” spots of the underground springs. The gorge is very picturesque and especially at the section named “Devil’s bedroom” apparently so named by early visitors because of the monkeys who usually congregate here and make unearthly noises.
Rock climbers will have a great time scaling the rocky extrusions of Fischer’s tower at the mouth of the gorge. Picnics and team building are great here, but beware of the flash floods-we shall need to document your stories from the cradle of life!
- ELSAMERE CONSERVANCY (JOY ADAMSON CENTER)
English high tea on the manicured lawn, shadows floating on the lake’s shimmer and the golden rays of the sun sinking behind the horizon; this is how you describe the English high tea party at Elsamere. The conservancy was established in memory of Elsa of the Born Free fame, it is a treasure for lovers of nature, rustic and vintage countryside.
The house is full of exciting photos and paintings and artifacts by Joy Adamson. Accommodation is available at both the cottages and at the spectacular makuti- thatched Chui Lodge a few minutes away.
- FIRED EARTH AND ELEMETAITA WEAVERS
Fired Earth is a small pottery workshop with a great collection for styled clay pottery with customized and signature themes. For both functionality and aesthetic purposes, Fired Earth will make a great stop over if you are anywhere near the Southern shores of Lake Naivasha.
There is a little cute shop where you can watch weavers weave away lovely hand-woven fabrics ideal for keepsakes after a hospitable stay at the nearby Sawela Lodge
- CRATER LAKE
Tucked away in a hidden part of Africa, is this little lake comes with great blessings including a tastefully put together camp Crater Lake Tented Camp to host her visitors. The lake is believed to have mystic healing powers by the local community. The air is quite magical, and the view ecstatic.
This will make glorious memories for couples on holidays or just taking some time off. Down in the “wheat fields of Ndabibi” are the mysterious “caves of God” believed to bear oracles.
- Go Golfing at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort
Voted as the Leading Golf Resort in Kenya at the 2010 World Travel Awards, this 18-hole gold course will make a good tee for any golf enthusiastic. Whether you are a pro, handicap or secret admirer of its panoramic views will certainly enthrall you. The vistas stretch from the shoes of the sparkling Lake Naivasha to the rugged terrains of the Aberdares and the incised edges of Mt Longonot. It’s a perfect backdrop regardless of the sun’s position! Situated less than an hour’s drive from the Golf Course, Naivasha Peppercon Holiday Resort makes a great alternative to the resorts accommodation.