Sail, Walk, Ride & Bike Amongst The Animals

Lions? Leopards? And Chimps

When we say ‘Lake Naivasha’ we’re really talking about a close-knit series of parks, accented with acacia forests, waterfalls, lakes, springs, geysers, and ancient volcanoes filled with every sort of wildlife. Another benefit of this colorful region: no other park area offers so many types of safaris to get close to the animals.

Where else can you sail by hippos, bike alongside grazing giraffes, and even horseback ride up close to impala and gazelle?  The lake provides an active habitat for rich and varied birdlife and the parks and reserves are a steady surprise of wildlife. In just one day you can experience a brilliant palette of landscapes and track the many species that thrive in this pulsing environment.

A giraffe by a large tree in Lake Naivasha National Park
Bird standing on the back of a hippo in Lake Naivasha safari park

Lake Naivasha

Picture a freshwater lake hosting hippos, pelicans, kingfishers, and hundreds of other bird species. While on the nearby shore zebra, antelope, eland, buffalo drink from their favorite watering hole.

This is a typical scene at Lake Naivasha, just a short drive from Nairobi but home to a world of wildlife – even leopards are known to prowl its forests. You can take an easy sailing safari over this high altitude Rift Valley lake and then go for a colorful game drive through its acacia forests, tracking its many grazers.

Crescent Island Game Sanctuary

It’s a quick ride, sail, or even walk to this private sanctuary where you’ll find grazing buffalo, zebra, impala, and plenty of birdlife along the island’s shoreline. Lightly touristed, this small, easy reserve is a relaxed way to get close to the wildlife in a quiet, peaceful setting.

You may choose to take a guided walk amongst the giraffes and waterbuck. Bring a picnic lunch and watch the hippos, cormorants, and fish eagles move through their day alongside you.

Giraffes seen on a East African safari tour with Africa Kenya Safaris

The Maasai

Sharing this land flocked with distinctive acacia trees are the Maasai people, nomadic herders from whom the park takes its name. They construct traditional villages surrounding the reserve and live as they have for eons, herding their cattle and pushing back at an ever-encroaching modern world.

Known for their brightly colored shukas and deft beadwork, the Maasai are a living link to a past that stretches back beyond colonial Africa, to an era when the entire continent was wild and untouched.

Masai tribe living in the Masai Mara National Reserve


Open bush

Dense bush

Riverine Forest


Zebra walking in Ol Pejeta during the dry season

Hell’s Gate National Park

Mineral springs, geysers, and steam vents create the “hellish” atmosphere of this unusual park, punctuated with towering cliffs, steep canyons, and dramatic rock formations. Perhaps an unlikely place to go on a bicycle safari but you can (or just walk) at Hell’s Gate National Park, gliding by the giraffe, zebra, and buffalo. 

The park is safe and lined with guided trails. Look for eland, gazelle, baboon, and impala as you pedal past the dramatic columns of steam generated by the geothermal activity below. For those who want to push themselves a bit more, try climbing Fisher’s and Central towers – safe and doable peaks.

Horseback Riding

There are few places in Africa where one can view the animals while actually astride an animal. Nearby Sanctuary Farms presents such an opportunity. Saddle up for a guided safari on horseback.

You’ll move easily amongst the zebra, giraffe, buffalo, gazelle, hyena, and impala as the wildlife view you as one of their own. There’s no better way to immerse yourself right into the core of the safari experience. No matter your skill level, your ride will be tailored to your skill level.

A pair of buffalo in a Kenyan safari park
Tourists standing and looking out of the open top of a 4x4 safari jeep

Community Projects

These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.

  • Education for local students, including computer skills training
  • Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
  • Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.

Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts

  • Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
  • Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
  • The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.
A rare brown spotted zebra seen on safari in Lake Nakuru

Survey: Lake Naivasha Area

The parks and reserves of the Lake Naivasha area are near each other so it is easy to visit several or all in a single day of exploring. The area is only 137 sq. km. (53 sq. mi.) but includes an unusual variety of landscapes.

Location: Only 76 km (46 mi) northwest from Nairobi, it is a quick, easy drive and allows for plenty of safari time in the parks and reserves.

Climate: Lake Naivasha is near the equator, but it also rests at 1898 m (6227 ft.) above sea level. It’s temperate with temperatures averaging 16.8 °C (62.2 °F).

The area features a long dry season from July to October with a rainy season occurring from April to June.

Best Time to Visit: Naivasha’s dry season is optimal for animal viewing. Not only is the vegetation more sparse, affording better visibility of the wildlife but water is not as plentiful, forcing the animals to frequent known watering holes.

Getting there: Book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. We’ll take you there in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 Safari Jeep.

Birdwatching in Lake Naivasha

This is Lake Naivasha

Few safaris offer the variety of choices you’ll see at Lake Naivasha and its surrounding parks. From easy sailing trips across the pretty lake to biking and climbing amidst towering rock formations complete with steaming vents, you’ll find every sort of environment and animal spotting opportunity here.

An exotic bird eating a moth as seen on safari

Join us at Lake Naivasha Park

Africa Kenya Safaris offers several safari adventures to this versatile area of parks and preserves.  Just contact us to get your safari started.

Here are some of our Lake Naivasha and Area tours:

A charged elephant seen on safari in Kenya
Baby Lion cub resting in the shade seen at the Masai Mara National Park

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All fields with an asterisk (*) are required

Tour Information

Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.