Lake Naivasha or (E) Nai’posha, rippling, heaving rough waters, in the language of the Maasai, forever corrupted by Early Europeans who recorded not the locals’ place-name, but the mispronunciation of their Swahili porters is a freshwater lake, located a]in the Rift Valley. The name denotes the sudden storms, which can turn the placid waters into a churning mass of waves.
The lake is famous for its pods of hippo and abundant birdlife.
Naivasha is the second site listed by Kenya as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1996 and is ranked as the 48th Important Bird Area in the country.
If Naivasha’s islands seem never to be quite in the same place, it is because they are papyrus-clamps, constantly splitting and drifting. And if reliable guidebooks never mention its depth or height above sea-level, it’s because Enaiposha rises and spreads, or sinks and shrinks, with the rainfall.
Enaiposha supports resident hippos, and at times, the largest waterfowl population in Kenya. It is the ideal safari destination for birdwatchers.
The waters of Lake Naivasha draw a great array of game to the shoreline. Buffaloes wallow in the swamps, while the large hippo population lazes their days away in the shallows. Giraffes wander among the acacia, whilst Colobus monkeys swing from the canopies above.
What To See
Vervet monkeys and olive baboons live in woodlands adjoining the south-western shore; and game corridors from nearby Hells Gate National Park allow buffaloes, kongonis, antelopes and Maasai giraffes access to browse and grazing areas. Hippos and good birdwatching can be enjoyed from the dock at Fisherman’s Camp.
Naivasha is the ideal safari destination for birdwatchers. Fish attract a good number of birds such as fish eagles, cormorants, pelicans, and heron, while other resident birds include ospreys, Lilly-trotters, black crakes, swallows, hawks, vultures, sparrows, hornbills, nightjars, and a host of others (populations of both predators and prey fluctuate). Mats of water lilies and Nile cabbage on the southern shore attract jacanas and long-toed plovers; weavers and warblers breed in papyrus reed beds.
Crescent Island hosts flocks of heron, storks and a variety of waterfowl, while lesser flamingos, various ducks, and grebes feed in the green-black waters of Crater Lake.