Take a drive from Nairobi to Naivasha via route A104, the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. Just as you leave Nairobi there are vendors lined up on the street selling large woven baskets, big bags of potatoes and carrots. About halfway to Naivasha you’ll start seeing see spectacular views of the Great Rift Valley. Just outside of Naivasha there is a place to view the Great Rift Valley and Mount Longonot. There are vendors here also selling all types of kumbu kumbu (souvenirs). The prices here tend to be high so you may want to wait to buy. However, if you do see something you like consider buying it – I don’t know how many times I waited to buy something and never found it again. Don’t be afraid to bargain with the vendors – this is part of the experience of buying souvenirs in Kenya.
There are some fun things you can do in Naivasha so you may want to consider staying for a couple of days. If you like to climb mountains there is Mount Longonot. Actually, Mount Longonot is a volcano that is 2776 meters above sea level. You can hire a tour guide at the entrance gate to go with you up Mount Longonot if you wish. At the top is a large crater where you may be able to see baboons, monkeys and even buffalo. There is one campground which is at the entrance – Longonot Campground where there are water and toilet facilities.
How about seeing some of Kenya’s game in Hell’s Gate National Park? You can walk around in Hell’s Gate, but I recommend renting a vehicle. Hell’s Gate National Park features its own live geysers and hot springs. You will be able to view zebra, giraffe, and possibly lions, cheetahs, and leopards. There is also the traditional eagle nesting ground. Be sure to check out the spectacular gorge walk. Hell’s Gate boasts of a geothermal station.
There are three campsites within Hell’s Gate National Park. If camping isn’t your style you could go into Naivasha town and try one of the local and much less expensive hotels. The rooms are small and clean. In one hotel the entire bathroom turns into a shower stall! If you are not that adventurous, try the lake Naivasha Club or the Safariland Hotel which is near Lake Naivasha. No matter where you stay do be sure to ask for a self contained bath – you really do not want to have to share a bath and shower area with other people you do not know.
While you are in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha, be sure to take a look around. There are hundreds of species of birds to watch. I’ve also heard rumors of hippos in the area.