Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru form part of the Eastern Rift Valley lakes group, located in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, northwest of Nairobi (20-45 minutes' flight to the individual airstrips or two-to-four hours drive). Kenya’s Rift Valley is home to eight lakes – three freshwater and five alkaline. Of the most popular lakes, Naivasha is the most southerly and Nakuru the furthest north.
Lake Naivasha is the valley’s highest lake and one of the few that are freshwater, with its clean waters providing a lovely setting for a boat ride across the lake. More than 400 species of bird reside here, as well as a large hippo population.
Over 400 bird species can also be found at Lake Nakuru – although be aware that the number of birds here fluctuates dependent on water level, so it’s best to check with the park if this is your primary reason for visiting. Lake Nakuru National Park also provides habitat for lion, leopard, buffalo and Rothschild giraffe, as well as white rhino and the endangered black rhino.
The sapphire-blue soda lake of Lake Elementaita is another of the Eastern Rift Valley lakes, lying between Naivasha and Nakuru. The Soysambu conservancy on the west of the lake covers two thirds of its shoreline and is East Africa’s only nesting site for the great white pelican. Rothschild giraffe also breed here, and other wildlife includes eland, warthog and zebra.