Lake Naivasha National Park Safari

Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru are only about 2 hours apart. Additionally, these two lakes are both located in Kenya’s rift valley. However, Lake Naivasha is a fresh water lake in contrast with Lake Nakuru which has a high concentration of sodium salts. Therefore, Naivasha has a more diversified ecosystem with a large population of resident hippos and over 400 different species of bird (but no flamingos).

Naivasha means “rough water” in the local Maasai dialect because of the storms that can quickly arise on the lake. Also, of note is that Lake Naivasha is about twice the size of Lake Nakuru.

There are fish eagle boat tours which we intended to take advantage of. The idea is that the guide throws fish into the lake near where the fish eagle is perched, theoretically, it will dive into the water and snatch the fish to the delight of onlookers. In theory, that is how it was supposed to work!

In addition, there was a small giraffe park on the lake shore and we were going to visit the local giraffes at the end of our lake tour.

Our Lake Naivasha Adventure Begins

As we were pulling away from the shoreline I noticed there was a hippo keeping a close eye on us. Hippos can be quite aggressive and very dangerous. Indeed, the hippo is the most deadly animal in Africa and one must use extreme caution while on safari.

Large Hippo
Hippo seen near the shore at Lake Naivasha National Park.

Traveling to Crescent Island

While we traveled farther onto the lake towards Crescent Island, we discovered this huge flock of birds. There must have been a large school of bait-fish in the area. This is what would typically attract bird species such as pelicans, cormorants and seagulls to be hanging around together.

Flock of birds takes flight
Birds take flight as we approach on Lake Naivasha.
Three pelicans
Three pelicans at Lake Naivasha.

Pelican-Lake-Naivasha
Large pelican takes flight as we approach.

400 Bird Species at Lake Naivasha

There is a very diversified bird population here and I was able to get some good photos while we were locating the fish eagles. Here are some of the birds that we encountered including Egyptian geese, yellow billed duck, hadada bird and lots of cormorants.

Egyptian geese
The Egyptian geese were very photogenic.
yellow billed duck
Pictured here is a yellow billed duck right before it was to take flight…..see continuation of the scene below.
Yellow billed duck in flight
This yellow billed duck takes flight as we approach.
fishing cormorant
This is a photo of a fishing cormorant. We would encounter many cormorants on the way to “Fish Eagle” Island.
four cormorants
A small group of fishing cormorants.
nesting cormorants
The cormorants were very numerous at Lake Naivasha. I would think by far the most numerous bird species residing here. There were thousands of these cormorant nests all over the lake.

To conclude my photo exhibition of the birds at Lake Naivasha National Park, I must proudly include the hadada ibis. This is the most notorious bird in all of Africa. Its notoriety is based on the loud noise it makes, especially in the morning. These birds are very common in South Africa and also Kenya.

hadada bird Lake Naivasha
The ubiquitous hadada ibis bird photographed at Crescent Island. These noisy birds are found throughout Kenya and South Africa.

Subsistence Fishing in Kenya

Fishing is one of my favorite hobbies and therefore I am always interested when I see locals fishing. Due to poor economic conditions in Africa, it is very common for locals to live off the land. We encountered some subsistence fisherman working their nets at Crescent Island.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to do any fishing here. I wonder if these guys ever get harassed by the local hippos?

subsistence fishing
Subsistence fishermen we encountered at Crescent Island.

Lake Naivasha’s Fish Eagles

The fish eagles located here are famous for diving in and picking up fish when they are thrown into the water. Here is how it went on the day we visited.

feeding fish eagles Lake Naivasha
The photo here is of our guide throwing fish into the lake as the fish eagles sit in the tree above.
Fish Eagle Lake Naivasha
Well? Apparently the fish eagles were not hungry because they didn’t budge.

Slightly disappointed, we returned to the lake shore and we would hopefully have more luck getting some photos of the giraffes. However, I was very pleased overall with the other photos that I was able to get while we were out on the lake.

Lake Naivasha Giraffes

The concept with the giraffes here is that they are in an enclosed area and it is possible to walk around with them. However, it is not a petting zoo so the giraffes did keep their distance. Although we were able to get a couple photos. 

Giraffe Lake Naivasha
We had a chance to walk with the giraffes but they were rather elusive.
Giraffe with friend
The resident giraffe reluctantly poses for a photo with my friend.

We had a great time at Lake Naivasha National Park but we needed to get back on the road to travel to Amboseli National Park. The fish eagles were a bit of a disappointment because I was hoping to get some good photos of them in action. Oh well, maybe next time!