Lake Naivasha is freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus and the
lake area varies greatly according to rainfall, with an average
range between 114 and 991 sq kms. At the beginning of the 20th
Century, Naivasha completely dried up and effectively disappeared.
The resulting open land was farmed, until heavy rains a few years
later caused the lake to return to existence, swallowing up the
newly established estates.
Afternoon wind and storms can cause the Lake to become suddenly
rough and produce high waves. For this reason, the local Masai
christened the lake Naiíposha meaning ''rough water'', which was
later mis-spelt by the British as Naivasha..
Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked
Acacia Xanthophlea - the yellow fever tree. These forests abound
with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world class birding
destination. 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.
The region surrounding the Lake is well worth exploring. There are
two more smaller lakes nearby, Oloidien, and Sonachi, a bright green
Hellís Gate National Park lies beside the lake. This Park was named
for its pair of massive red tinged cliffs framing a geothermically
active interior of steam vents and bubbling springs. The park is
home to a profusion of plains game and birdlife. Walking is
permitted, making it ideal for hiking, biking, and rock climbing.