Lake Naivasha may just be the most exciting lake I have ever been to. It is absolutely thriving with life, from the locals who use it for fishing and clothes washing, to the hundreds of different species of birds flying overhead, to the little pink ears of the massive hippos poking out just above the surface and all the other wildlife surrounding it. Not to mention it's a stone's throw away from Hell's Gate - one of Kenya's most exciting National Parks - where you can take yourself on a safari by bike, riding past grazing giraffe, zebra and buffalo. Luckily Naivasha is only a couple hours drive away from Nairobi centre, so it's an easy get-away trip for the weekend. Although you do have to brave the Nairobi-Nakuru highway to get there first.
I headed out to Naivasha with a few friends after work a couple Friday's ago. We rented out a little Suzuki cruiser who we nicknamed T-Swift and with our packed car we headed out. The 2-hour drive took 4 hours (thank you Nairobi traffic) so our first night we set up tents in the dark and headed to bed. Thanks to the good night's rest I was able to wake up early enough to catch a jaw-dropping sunrise with perfect pink and purple spectrums - my favourite!
We grabbed our coffees and went out for a self-directed morning safari. T-swift wasn't the most reliable 4wd so we didn't go as far as we wanted to, but we still saw some beautiful animals along the way including buffalo, giraffe and monkeys with those pink bare butts.
Before heading back to Fisherman's Camp to get ready for our day, we stopped by the lake front and watched the fishermen preparing for the morning catch and the women finish up the laundry. The lake was so calm and serene at this time of day, definitely a great place to sit and reflect.
Back at the camp I was delighted to spot these colourful birds. Until this point I had only seen birds of white, black and brown shades in Nairobi, due to the drier climate. But since Naivasha is west of Nairobi and at the border of the more sub-tropical regions, the birds are more colourful too. How cute are these little yellow-green birds? I absolutely adored them and their awkwardness.
Next stop was Hell's Gate National Park. This park is dry and dusty with a deep valleys of rusty-hued rock walls. Home to a fantastic gorge carved out by water channels which you can hike into. We saw zebras, giraffes, warthogs, water buffalo and many monkeys! My favourite part of this day was riding through the park on bikes. It seemed surreal to be biking past a tall giraffe so nonchalantly.
After hiking through the gorge we didn't feel ready to go back to the campsite, so we took some advice from the locals and decided we were fit enough to take on the buffalo circuit. This path was not marked well at all and we were highly doubtful of this supposed peak with a great view after pushing our bikes up a steep gravel slope for almost an hour. But when we did finally reach the top, I can say it was worth it, especially the bike ride down. It was golden hour about this time and as we rode down we could see Lake Naivasha in the distance with the cool breeze blowing through our hair on the way down. Absolutely epic.
After a beautiful adventure-filled day, we settled down by the campfire, drank some wine and I played my ukulele - a new hobby I picked up recently. I tried taking a few cool photos of the fire - but definitely need some practice with this!
Sunday was a chill day, starting with a late breakfast, some afternoon beers and finishing off with a fun boat ride onto Lake Naivasha. We went out far enough from the shore so we could jump into the lake and avoid getting eaten by hippos - such a treat!
Will definitely be back again - till next time Naivasha! <3