There are places on this planet that are just built for relaxation. Kenya, thankfully, is about 80% made up of those kinds of destinations. Think about it; what’s your idea of the perfect getaway location? For most people, the options are simple. The list goes something like this:
- It needs to have a large water body nearby
- It needs to have great sunny weather
- It should have some wholesome activities for the family
- You should be able to get there without spending a lifetime on the road
Naivasha has all this and more. About just 80KM from Nairobi, Naivasha is one of the most attractive and popular towns in the Rift Valley. Almost an hour and a half by car from Nairobi, this gorgeous destination is a favourite for many Kenyan’s looking to spend some quality time with the family. Here are 5 wholesome family activities for a weekend getaway in Naivasha.
Take a boat ride on Lake Naivasha to Crescent Island
Absolutely one of the biggest attractions within this region, Lake Naivasha is not only the necessary large water body presence in this region, but it is also the gateway to a wonderful wildlife viewing experience. Taking a boat ride with the family will give you a chance to see:
- Fish eagles and host of other birds
Bring your cameras and a sense of adventure as you ride off towards Crescent Island where there is a game sanctuary well populated with giraffes, Zebras, Thomson’s Gazelles and a host of other large wildlife worth writing home about every time. The trip lasts about an hour, but as corny as it might sound, the memories will last a life time.
Why not scale an extinct volcano?
Mountaineering is exhilarating. There are very few things quite as rewarding as scaling…no, ‘conquering’ an Earthbound giant such as a mountain. Mt. Longonot, an extinct volcanic giant standing tall on the floor of the Rift Valley, gives you an excellent opportunity to do just that and more. As the centrepiece of Mt. Longonot National Park, your ascent will be cherry topped by thrilling sightings of giraffe, Zebra, hartebeest, buffaloes and some rather strange birds. Plus, it will give you guys a chance to get some valuable exercise. Yes, your bones and muscles will ache for a little while, but it will be worth it. Remember to carry your own meals and water.
Go camping and sleep under the stars
If there is one thing that Naivasha has an abundance of it is camping space. Indeed, it is one of the main reasons why many Kenyans drive down to this destination: it’s an opportunity to spend time and the night under the stars. The thing about most camping sites in Naivasha is that they are attached to major resorts such as:
- Burch’s Resort
- Lake Naivasha Resort
- Triple Eden Naivasha Hotel
- Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort
- Fish Eagle Inn
- Naivasha Kongoni Lodge
Of course, there are those establishments that are purely built for camping. Many of these have wonderful activities such as bonfire games, excellent cuisine, boat riding, horseback riding and game watching. Options include:
- Crater Lake Camp
- Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp
- Camp Carnelley’s
- Crayfish Camp
Crater Lake Camp, in particular, is a must-visit destination for those looking for memorable camping experiences in Naivasha. Set on the backdrop of a beautiful volcanic crater lake, this location is scenically fringed with acacia trees, has about 150 species of birds for bird watchers and a trail that meanders along the steep yet diminutive rim of the crater.
Turn off your cellphones and leave the laptops at home as you enjoy nature in all its splendor at any one of the gorgeous camps found in Naivasha.
Walk through Hell’s Gate
Named after a narrow break in the cliffs, Hell’s Gate was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake in the Rift Valley. Hell’s Gate National Park is home to spectacular scenery including water gorges, towering cliffs, rock towers, plumes of geothermal steam. What was once thought to be the gateway to the abyss is now one of the most exciting locations in Kenya. Here are some reasons why you should visit Hell’s Gate at your earliest convenience:
- You can hire a bike and ride it through the wilderness
- There is a multitude of walking safaris that will bring you up close and personal with most of what Kenya has to offer in terms of scenery, wildlife and sunny weather. These walking safaris are a wonderful opportunity for families to bond and share something special together.
- You can spend the night under the dazzling stars as the park has safe and secure camping facilities.
- Enjoy a bit of rock climbing, if you are so inclined. From Fischer’s Tower, to the Central Tower and even the park’s gorge, you have a chance to test your climbing skills as you come up against some interesting and enticing rock faces.
- Take a quick dip at the therapeutic waters of the Ol karia geothermal spa
In addition to all this, you get to see the resident buffaloes, elands, zebras baboons, Thomson’s gazelles, hartebeests and colorful birds as you enjoy your day trip and picnic down at the gorge.
Go back in time at Kariandusi Museum
Identifying itself as the cradle of mankind, Kariandusi is an interesting location that has some ancient artefacts within its borders. The stone age site dates back to over a million years ago and is rumored to be a prehistoric stone factory for hunting tools that were then used all over the continent.
A visit to the Kariandusi Museum would be an extremely informative trip for both the kids and the adults. Not only will you get to learn about Kariandusi and all the stories (myth or otherwise) that surround it, but you will also learn a lot more about other historically significant sites that can be found nearby.
As mentioned earlier, Naivasha has all the right attributes that an attractive family destination requires. From large water bodies to wildlife conservancies, historical sites and large expansive spaces for a wide variety of family activities, Naivasha is not only scenic, but it is near Nairobi and quite affordable to boot. So load up the car and drive the family down to Naivasha for a good old time.
Extinct Volcano: KWS
Hell’s Gate National Park: Magical Kenya
Kariandusi Museum: Magical Kenya