Lake Naivasha - The Great Rift Valley, Kenya
A relatively new lodge, situated on the shores of Lake Naivasha, the Simba Lodge offers an ideal escape for family and friends alike. Offering 70 rooms, it also has a heated swimming pool (and children's pool), a poolside snack bar, its own ‘pub' with satellite TV and a business centre and gift shop. There is also a health club, tennis courts and a wide variety of sports. The lake has a large population of hippos, which are regularly to be seen snorting and laughing in the shallow waters. At night, they troop out to feed on the lawns of the hotels and the lush grass of the riparian fringes. Vervet monkeys and olive baboons live in the woodland adjoining the south-western shore and the game corridors that run from nearby Hell's Gate NP allow buffaloes, kongoni antelopes and Masai giraffes to access the shores. As for birds, there are plenty of cormorant's pelicans, herons, jacanas, long-toed plovers and weavers, while numerous warblers breed in the papyrus reed beds.
Location Lake Naivasha lies 89 kms north-west of Nairobi and can be reached by road within approximately 2 hours. The Lodge is on Moi South Lake Road, 18 kms from Naivasha town.
The Background A freshwater lake, the highest of the string of lakes that glitter down the vast trench of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is infamous for its rapidly shifting moods. One minute serene and calm, the next it will be whipped by swirling winds, waves and shadowed by storm clouds - hence its name, which means ‘the place of rough water'.
Enigmatic, and dotted with floating islands of Nile cabbage (water hyacinth) and papyrus, Lake Naivasha has no known outlet, and legends abound regarding the vast tunnels that supposedly run beneath its surface. Towered over by the brooding bulk of Mount Longonot (2,776 m), and featuring a submerged volcanic crater known as Crescent Island, this beautiful lake is best known for its high numbers of water birds. Also for the haunting cry of the fish eagles, which feed on the black bass and tilapia of its waters.
Kenya hotels and accommodation Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.
Accommodation The hotel offers 70 rooms in seven blocks. All have either balcony or terrace, ceiling fans, ensuite bathrooms and sitting area
Dining and bars The lodge has a central dining room, the Ibis Pub and a poolside snack bar.
Conference and event facilities The lodge offers a selection of conference facilities as follows:
9.6 X 5.2 m
10.8 X 4.9 m
12 X 7.8 m
15.8 X 12 m
4.9 X 3.7 m
Child-friendly The lodge welcomes children, offers children's play area and can provide babysitting services. What to see and do Crater Lake, an extinct volcanic crater at Naivasha's western end is thickly wooded with yellow fever tress in which troops of black and white colobus, vervet monkeys and olive baboons disport themselves A total of 38 mammal species have been recorded here; buffalos, warthogs, Defassa waterbucks, bush bucks, Thomson's gazelles and impalas can be seen by walking around the crater, while night game drives allow sightings of spring hares, Senegal galagos, common gents, white tailed mongooses and predators such as servals and bat-eared foxes. Antelopes shelter in the dense vegetation (Kirk's dik-dik, steinbucks and elands) while the vivid green water offer sanctuary for lesser flamingos, duck and grebes.
Once the home of Joy Adamson of ‘Born Free' fame, Elsamere Conservation Centre offers a wide range of education facilities while hippos graze on the lawns at night and black and white colobus swing from the yellow fever trees. There are 200 birds species in its grounds alone. Crescent Island, the exposed lip of a submerged volcanic crater, is a good place to view zebra, waterbuck and gazelles. It is also home to the Naivasha Yacht Club. Boats can be hired at Elsamere, Fisherman's Camp and the Lake Naivasha Country Club.
Wildlife highlights: hippos, black and white colobus, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, buffaloes, Masai giraffes, kongonis, impalas and gazelles. Water birds are a highlight and include African fish eagles, pied kingfishers, yellow-billed storks, flamingoes and waterfowl.
Hell's Gate National Park A volcanic theatre Cleft deep into the floor of the Rift Valley, the towering cliffs and undulating grasslands of this relatively small park offer the only venue in Kenya where you can walk, or mountain bike, alongside herds of buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson's gazelle and giraffe; unaccompanied by a KWS ranger. A volcanic landscape of tortured basalt cliffs, circling raptors, winding water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes, sultry steaming vents, and belching plumes of geothermal steam, this park is pure theatre, and has provided the backdrop to many a Hollywood movie. Mountain bikes can be hired at the gate, community guides offer tours of the dramatic gorge (where boiling water spouts from the rock), and professional climbers offer climbing lessons on the parks two massive volcanic plugs. Words 126
Wildlife highlights: Eland, buffalo, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, impala, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, klipspringer, hyrax and mountain reedbuck. Birds: 103 recorded species.
Mount Longonot National Park A sleeping giant born of fire Immediate adjacent to Hells Gate NP lies Mount Longonot, the mightiest of the Rift Valley volcanoes, which towers some 2, 776 m above the floor of the Rift, and broods over Lake Naivasha. Climbing up takes around an hour, to tour the rim 2-3 hours. Getting down is faster.
What to do and see A nature walk reveals a rich diversity of flora thriving on the edge of the lake, with a colorful range of over 400 bird species, making it a paradise for bird lovers and researchers. One can see the Brimstone Canary, Spectacled Weaver, the Yellow Collared Love bird, the Red-billed Finch and the Lammergeyer. The lake has a healthy fish population, which attracting the Cormorant, the Black Heron, and Pied Kingfisher. The lush vegetation supports a variety of wild animals such as buffalo, dik dik, giraffe, the back and white colubus monkey, and on any afternoon you are likely to catch sight of hippos lazily watching proceedings from the surface of the lake.
Boat Rides The hotel offers lake frontage with direct access to private jetty. A sunset cruise by boat will give you breathtaking views and allow you to get closer to the water animals. Fishing is allowed during six months a year and you can catch carp, tilapia and the occasional blackbass. Take a trip to the Crescent Island and enjoy seeing implala, waterbuck and warthog. You are also likely to make acquaintance with Chatu, the resident python.
Optional Extras - for which a charge is made • Baby Sitting Service • Pool Table • Laundry Services • Biking • Chess/draughts/scrabble: available from reception • Golf can be arranged at the Great Rift Valley Golf Club. Contact reception for details • Tennis: All weather court, bitumen (hard) Surface • Boating 3 motorized craft, each with 8 passenger capacity • Health Club - Fitness Centre with latest techno gym equipment Massage, Sauna & steam bath
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