Something of an oddity in a land of soda lakes and hot springs, Lake Naivasha boasts clean, fresh water. Between 1937 and 1950 this tranquil lake was used as a landing place for plane passengers destined for Nairobi.
Today the lovely Naivasha, with its cool climate, has become a peaceful haven for Nairobi residents and tourists. Because the lake is a freshwater one, and the surrounding soil fertile, this is a major production area for fruit, vegetables and, more recently, vineyards.
Over 400 birds have been recorded on the lake and it supports a large number of hippo. Sadly, despite conservation efforts the ecological balance has been tipped by the introduction of sport fish, including the Nile perch, the North American red swamp crayfish and various aquatic plants.
For the keen birder, head north for the saline, flamingo-packed Lake Elementeita and Lake Nakuru.
There are great day trips to do from here, including visiting Hell’s Gate National Park and Elsamere – former home of Joy Adamson (author of ‘Born Free’). Continuing on South Lake Road past Elsamere, look out for the signage directing you to the emerald Crater Lake. This is one of the best places in the area to see black and white colobus monkeys and there is also fantastic swimming.