15 Interesting Things to do in Naivasha
Naivasha is most often the first choice for a weekend getaway because of its ideal location. With a variety of activities available, Naivasha caters to every type of traveller be it solo, luxury, budget, family, adventure, outdoor, vacation, or a group of friends looking to party.
Here is a video of my experience.
How to Get to Naivasha
Naivasha is located about 2-hours away from Nairobi.
The fastest way to get to Naivasha is through private means. Visiting Naivasha is the perfect excuse to go on a road trip. From Nairobi, you can either use the Old Naivasha route which passes by Maai Mahiu or the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway.
If using public means, board a matatu from Accra Road in Nairobi CBD, fares start from Kshs.400 per person.
Alternatively, you can take the SGR passenger train to Suswa and connect to Naivasha through public means. I’d highly recommend the former options though.
There are various ways to get around the town. You can use public means ie matatus, boda bodas, order a cab or hire a car.
Things to do in Naivasha
On the road:
- Stop by the Great Rift Valley View Point and enjoy some mahindi choma (roasted maize) as you marvel at the wonder that is the Great Rift Valley, Mount Longonot and the escarpments. Did you even go to Naivasha if you don’t stop at the viewpoint and take pictures? The view NEVER gets old.
- Pass by Wine Life (located at the view point) for some wine, delicious food, music, and good vibes as you take in incredible views of the Rift Valley .
- If you are using the Maai Mahiu route, visit the Maai Mahiu Catholic Church/Traveller’s Church. It is the smallest church in the country and was built by Italian slaves. Entry is free.
- For the petrol heads, make your way to TGRV Circuit for go-karting, ziplining, swimming and archery.
- Hike up Mt Suswa, visit the caves and Baboon’s Parliament.
- If using the Gilgil route, pass by Kikopey for some delicious nyama choma and Camp on the shores of Lake Elementaita
Things to do in Naivasha:
- Go on a wine tour at Leleshwa, Kenya’s first winery (note that tours are seasonal). Read more about my experience here.
- Try your hand at golf at the Barons Park Golf Centre.
Barons Park Golf Centre is a golf practice centre located at Delameres Kobil Service Station along the Naivasha-Nakuru highway. Charges start at Kshs.200. Contact Barons for more information.
- Visit a flower farm
Naivasha is the home of floriculture and you can book a tour around a greenhouse to see and learn more about the flower farming process. You can buy a bouquet or two of your favourite flowers if you fancy. There are plenty of greenhouses before getting to Delamere and along Moi South Lake Rd. Make sure you call the greenhouses in advance to book a tour.
Please note that the majority do not open over the weekends and the tours are free of charge.
Highly recommended farms include Interplant Roses, Oserian, Nini Flowers, DeRuiter, Wildfire Flowers etc.
Moi South Lake Road
- Go on a boat ride on Lake Naivasha.
A visit to Naivasha is incomplete without a visit to Lake Naivasha. Enjoy a ride in the eerie lake as you pass through the dead acacias trees and spot the resident hippos.
There are plenty of companies and hotels that offer boat riding services along Moi South Lake Road. You can visit Karagita Public Beach for the same and enjoy some fried fish while you are at it. I went to Karagita and paid Kshs.1,500 for a 30-minute boat ride (prices are for the whole boat not per person, so it is very affordable when going as a group).
Prices are per hour and also depend on the circuit you take, as the boats also drop people off at Crescent Island Sanctuary.
If going to Karagita, avoid visiting on weekends and public holidays. The beach is very crowded and dirty.
- Visit Crescent Island Game Sanctuary and walk amongst the wildlife. Located on Lake Naivasha, the Island is perfect for wildlife and bird watching.
|Kenya Citizens (Kshs)||Residents (Kshs)||Non-Residents(USD)|
Local School Groups
(Must be pre-booked by email)
Primary: Ksh 250
Secondary: Ksh 350
Teacher: Ksh 450
(Guide: 500/- per school group)
- Visit Lake Oloiden
Go on a boat ride and camp at the lush shores.
Just as the name suggests, the lake is in an extinct volcano. Hike up the hill to get spectacular views of the beautiful crater lake. Have lunch and swim at the lodge.
- Spend a day in Hell
Hell’s Gate National Park is a must-visit when in Naivasha. Go on a game drive, cycle in the park, walk in the gorges, and for the adrenaline junkies, go rock climbing at Fischer’s Tower.
Hell’s Gate Park Fees
The beauty of Hell’s Gate is that there are no predators in the Park, so it is relatively safe to cycle and move about.
The Park is also well marked so you do not need a guide. You can also set up camp at the Park’s many campsites.
Hell’s Gate is home to naturally formed cliffs, vistas and gorges. The gorges have been closed off to tourists because there was a fatal accident a couple of years ago. The area is prone to flash flooding and walking is not recommended during the rainy season. Make sure you do your research before planning your visit.
The gorges are managed by the Olorkarian Community and you pay a separate fee to access the gorges.
I went on the 40-minute walk and our guide Solomon did an excellent job of explaining the history of the gorges and the lay of the land. I can’t recommend him enough. Reach out to him at +254710606937 if you are looking to visit the gorges.
The walk ends at a mini-market where women from the community sell beaded jewellery and crafts.
Swim at the Ol Karia Geothermal Spa
Located inside Hell’s Gate National Park is the naturally heated pool. A separate entry fee of Kshs 400 is paid to access the Spa. There is also a restaurant on-site where you can enjoy light meals and beverages.
Visiting the Spa on weekdays is best, to avoid the crowds.
- Horseback riding at Sanctuary Farm
Sanctuary Farm is located along the shores of Lake Naivasha along Moi South Lake Road. Enjoy spectacular views of the lake on horseback. Rates start from Kshs 2,500 per person per hour.
- Hike up Mt. Longonot
If you enjoy hiking, visiting this extinct volcano is a must-do and if you are adventurous, go round the crater. The crater rim has sweeping views of the rift valley.
Mt Longonot Park Fees
- Bike at Kongoni
- Try your hand at paragliding at Mt Margaret and fly over Lake Naivasha and Mt Longonot.
- Visit the Elsamere Conservation Trust. Tour the Adamsons home(of BornFree fame), the museum and learn about the history of the place.
- Pass by the Naivasha Raptor Centre. Learn about Kenya’s birds of prey and the work done at the centre to rescue, rehabilitate and conserve raptors.
The Naivasha Raptor Centre is open to visitors daily at 11:00 am and 15:00 pm (by appointment only) and visitors are required to give a minimum donation of Kshs 1,000 for adults and Kshs 500 for children. For more information about the centre visit their website.
Buffalo Mall Naivasha is conveniently located and has a variety of stores and restaurants.
Check out Elementaita Weavers for unique rugs, placemats and other woven pieces.
Where to stay in Naivasha:
Naivasha has a variety of accommodation options depending on one’s budget, style, and preferences. I stayed at Eseriani Resort and would highly recommend it. Read more about my experience here.
Other highly recommended accommodation options include:
- Camping Picks- Camp Carnellys, Crayfish Camp, Oloiden Camp Site
- Budget Picks- The Symphony Hotel, Rocky Eco Lodge, Esesriani Hotel
- Hotels- Enashipai Resort and Spa, The Great Rift Valley Lodge, Kiboko Luxury Camp, Chui Lodge, Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort, Naivasha Kongoni Lodge, Lake Naivasha Resort
- If you are looking for more intimate stays for groups, check out these enchanting properties.
Places to Eat while in Naivasha
Make sure you try out fried fish while in Naivasha.
Highly recommended restaurants include: Matteo’s Italian Restaurant, Ranch House Bistro, Camp Carnelly’s etc
Feel free to reach out to me to help you plan your Naivasha trip.
Which place is a must-visit for you when visiting Naivasha? Which activity are you most excited to try when you visit? Let me know in the comments below.
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Stay safe and travel safe and until next time, bye!