Lake Naivasha and Crescent Island


I went on a fantastic weekend trip to Lake Naivasha – a mere 2 hour drive from Nairobi, and an utterly stunning, lush, green, peaceful oasis with tons of wildlife and things to do.

On the drive up from Nairobi, I asked the driver to take the Great Rift Valley road, which seemed fairly boring and uneventful until suddenly, you hit the top of a hill, round a corner, and boom! There is a view unlike any other.

Here’s the panoramic version – you can event see Mount Longenot, the volcano in the distance on the right.

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On my first afternoon I mostly mooched around Camp Carnelley’s, the wonderful place I stayed at, and which I’ve done a separate post on, as it deserves a full review! It was very peaceful, green, and quiet. And later on, on my first evening there, I was treated to a rather special sighting of my first hippo!

Here she is lounging in the mud…

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And yaaaaaaawn!

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Off she goes back to the water for a bit

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Saturday morning I took a boat trip across the lake to Crescent Island

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On the way we spotted some more hippos

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Me and my boat driver for the day

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Couple of Pelicans, just hanging out

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Pelicans in flight…

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There was a huge floating island of weeds and lilies that we had to force our way through – it was enormous!

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First view of Crescent Island from the lake. Crescent Island has a fascinating history. It is joined onto the mainland by a small section, so it’s technically a penninsula.

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According to my lovely guide, Crescent Island actually didn’t historically have that many animals on it, but it was used in the 1980’s to film the movie “Out of Africa”, and they brought lots of animals onto the island for the filming. The “island” is now owned privately by a British woman, and run as a national park. As it is joined to the mainland, the animals are free to come and go, and I was told that the 10 or so giraffes that live on the island often wander off during the day, and come back again at night.

As there are no big cats or predators on the island, it is one of the few national parks in Kenya that it is safe to walk around on, and it is fantastic being able to get that close to all the animals, and experience it on foot.

 

A couple of Fish Eagles in a tree

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Some Gazelles and a Waterbuck

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The Waterbuck (and his Waterdoe) were very relaxed and let me get pretty close

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Some zebra, and off in the distance on the horizon some wildebeast

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Some wildebeast remains, courtesy of the resident hyenas/jackals

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Once again playing “Spot the giraffe”

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They were so cool, and again, super relaxed about me getting so close! I was like,  5 metres from him!

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Naturally I’m all “Check out this giraffe!” and he’s all “Who? Moi?”

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SUCH a beauty.

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Some more Waterbucks and Waterdoes

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Bit of a hippo skull. Apparently the males usually fight to the death, so once one of them dies, the hyenas and jackals will have the rest

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Another fish eagle in a tree

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Some Wildebeast (who look awfully like Gnus if you ask me)

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Bunch of Pelicans

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Keeping an extremely safe distance from the Buffalo, who I now know are the most deadly animal in Africa – they kill more people than any other animal on the continent.

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Hippo tracks!

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More zebra…

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And some more giraffes…

 

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A big one and a little one…

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Love this dude in the background – it’s like they’re playing peekaboo the way their heads stick up like that! I love it!

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Ready to head back to Carnelley’s – and attempting to race the rain on the way back across the lake!

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