This weekend was like no other I had spent in Naivasha. It was packed and filled with various activities with the ultimate goal being camping, one of those habits I picked up when I was really young.
Naivasha is about 90km away, almost 1.5hours from Nairobi. Located in Nakuru county, Kenya in the heart of Rift Valley. We left Nairobi at around 9.30am and drove slowly looking out for new things to do for our next adventure. A stop at the view point is a must with a bathroom break and whatever beverage you need to grab in one of those restaurants the view point.
Our first stop in Naivasha was at the Hell’s Gate National Park. This was the 1st time I was actually exploring it. I know right, how have I gone to Naivasha so many times and never been to this park? It was nothing like I expected it to be, with the random stops in the park to take pictures and finally arriving at the gorges. Yep the same gorges and pride rock that inspired the movie Lion King. The walk/ hike was so breathtaking. We saw and learnt so much. It’s advisable to get a guide especially if it’s the rainy season or your first time there. However, we opted not to take one. We were up for the adventure and didn’t mind losing our way from time to time. After a few hours of walking, seeing the devil’s bedroom, kitchen and shower, laughing and taking a lot of pictures, the hike was done. At the exit point we found a Maasai community selling their accessories at fair prices, we bought some to support the local. However, before we left for Oloiden, where we were staying for the night, we went to a hilltop view point where the Olkaria geothermal power plant is just to have a view of the vistas.
Other things you can do at Hell’s Gate National Park are rock climbing at the Fischer’s Tower(about 500kes to hire the gear), camping, cycling and picnicking while watching the different bird species. The cost is quite affordable at 350kes; 250kes for citizens adults and children respectively( only when you produce your ID or passport), 700kes; 350kes for residents adults and children respectively and 30usd;20usd for foreigners adults and children respectively. It’s an additional 1500kes for the guides. Remember to carry water for the walk/hike it can get really hot. Also watch out for the naughty monkeys.
As we left, Zebras graced us with their presence and beauty. Within 20mins or so, we had arrived at our destination, the Oloiden Campsite. One of the most beautiful and organised campsites I have been to so far. The campsite is divided into 2 areas, the noisy and non-noisy side. Thought that was a really good idea for those who just need their quite time. Soon after check in, we were taken to out tent where we found a table, chairs, a couple of hay ‘seats’ for the fire and the firewood being prepared for our bonfire that night. This was a bit rare in my experience as for most campsites you have to follow up or ask to get these things. After settling in, we went for dinner at Camp Carnelleys, one of my favourite restaurants in Naivasha. I not only love their wide variety of food but the food is super yum and don’t forget the generous portion. The prices are also fair ranging from 700kes for a proper meal. The service can be a bit slow though.
Day 2 was purely chilling and enjoying the outdoors. We woke up to sounds of different birds. Then monkeys later joined the choir as they came to look for food. Okay mostly steal people’s breakfast, which you can order in their restaurant. The weather was so good we could resist a lake picnic with bird watching over the lake, games and refreshments. Later we chased the sunset and head to Matteos for dinner. Matteos is an Italian restaurant along Moi South Lake(a fancy-ish building and flags you can’t miss it) with prices ranging from 700kes for meals. They had quite a variety of wine ranging from 1,800kes and a 20% discount if it’s a take away. We got back just in time for the bonfire and stories. Is it just me or there is something about the stories people tell around the fire. We called it a day at the wee hours of the morning with the sad reality that hometime was approaching in a few hours. Good thing is the check out policy is anytime before 6pm. However, day 3 was an adventure filled day and we couldn’t afford to over sleep.
P.S: Carry your own entertainment, games, music and picnic stuff. Don’t worry about the battery drain they have a charging machine( 50kes per hour) and nope it’s not a fast charger.
Day 3 , this was a sad morning for me as I had to say goodbye to such awesomeness. Waking up to a view, natural music from the birds and not a care in the world about anything. It was like waking up to a sad reality those ones that you have to pinch yourself several times just to confirm you are awake. Ok no, not that bad….. it turned out to be such a fantastic day check out the next post for the full experience.