Lake Naivasha Region
Lake Naivasha is part of the great rift valley located northwest of Nakuru County about 90 minutes drive from Nairobi. It is bordered by acacia woodlands, papyrus swamps, forest, and spectacular geological features, which are reminiscent of the area’s volcanic past. The lake and its surroundings are rich in natural bounty, and the fertile soils and water supply have made this one of Kenya’s prime agricultural regions. These forests abound with bird life - Naivasha is known as a world-class birding destination - There are 400 species of birds of which Great Cormorants, Long-tailed, Fish Eagles, Pelicans and all types of Kingfishers, as well as the Grey-backed fiscal. Some giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and Colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the lakes large hippo population sleep the day out in the shallows.
Mount Longonot National Park
The dormant volcano rises 1000m above the baking-hot valley floor and was formed 400,000 years ago; it last erupted in the 1860s. A unique feature is a thick forest that lies within the crater of the mountain. The crater rim also provides great scenic views across the beautiful Rift Valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. The park is home to a number of wild game, most of which harbor in the thick forest covering the crater floor. Spotting the animals (wildlife) is not guaranteed. Visitors can follow a hiking route to reach the crater rim and either descent back to the gate or proceed and follow the path going around the crater rim for a complete trip.
Hells Gate National Park
Once a prehistoric lake, the Hell's Gate National Park is now remarkable for its unique landscape and the diverse wildlife that calls this small park home. While not known for game viewing, Hells Gate is still home to a diverse range of animals. Large herds of buffalo, elands, Thomson's Gazelle, and warthog can be spotted within the park, as well as the Masai giraffe.
The park an ideal venue for a day trip from Nairobi where, in addition to the bio-diversity visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and a natural spa.
The game sanctuary is located on the eastern side of Lake Naivasha can be reached by boat, or by driving across the narrow, swampy causeway from Sanctuary Farm.
The terrain of the Island is plain allowing for easy hiking. On Crescent Island, game viewing is pretty easy. You can spot a variety of animals from giraffes, elands, wildebeest, zebras, impalas, etc. There are also several avian species and aquatic habitat. Hippos which can be spotted easily from the island. Some of the birdlife residents at the Crescent Island are the fish eagle, herons, ospreys, black crakes, and lily-trotters. A good number of herbivores and mammals can be found grazing the surrounding areas of the lake. Some of the grazers include zebras, impala, buffalo, kongoni, giraffe, and hippos at night.
Crater Lake Sanctuary
Surrounding a beautiful volcanic crater lake fringed with acacias, this small sanctuary has many trails, including one for hikers along the steep but diminutive crater rim. The jade-green crater lake is held in high regard by the local Maasai, who believe its alkaline waters help soothe ailing cattle. As well as the impressive 150 bird species recorded here, giraffes, zebras and other plains wildlife are also regular residents on the more-open plains surrounding the crater.
Leopards, servals, caracals, and aardvarks have also been spotted but are extremely elusive – the night drives on offer are your best bet. There are also guided nature walks.
The lake itself has been the subject of the scientific study several times, because of its alkaline chemistry. East African soda lakes, of which crater lake is one, are unique in the world because their dominant phytoplankton (microscopic primary producers in the surface layers of the water) are cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green bacteria).