Lake Nakuru resides within its own national park, while Lake Naivasha is close to a wealth of attractions. We tend to recommend staying at Lake Naivasha and taking in Lake Nakuru as a fabulous day trip!
The word Naivasha is a variation of the Maasai Nai’posha, ‘rough water’. The Maasai chose this name for the freshwater lake due to the storms that brew in the area, breaking suddenly and dramatically! The total surface area of Naivasha is 139 sq. km, but factor in the surrounding swamplands and this figure increases by at least 64 sq. km. The depth ranges from 6m in the shallows to 30m around Crescent Island, a game reserve. Naivasha town is situated on the lake’s north-east boundary, while Nairobi is just 100km north-west from this tranquil site.
Lake Nakuru is situated south of Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest town. In the Maasai language, Nakuru means ‘dust’ or ‘dusty place’ – this might apply to the town, but the lake and surrounds are pleasantly verdant! The national park was founded in 1961. Originally it consisted of just the lake and the nearby mountains, but over the years the area grew to encompass local savanna too.
Between them, the lakes contain a wealth of wildlife. Lake Naivasha is home to impressive numbers of hippo! There are a lot of fish here too, but populations have varied over the years because of climate change, over-fishing and the accidental introduction of invasive species – for example, common carp in 2001. Today, carp are still pretty rampant!