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Lake Naivasha (including Mount Longonot and Hell's Gate National Park)

Written on: Tuesday February 19th, 2013

A journal entry from: Clea's Kenya

The other part of the trip was a personalized trip organized, more or less, by me (we can call it Cléa's Safari Adventures, Ltd.). There's a really impressive dormant volcano in the Rift Valley that I've been really wanting to climb, and it's right near another park that you can bike through. With this in mind, I booked us into Dea's Gardens on Lake Naivasha. Dea's Gardens was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, despite the fact that some sort of persistent algae had taken over the swimming pool putting it out of operation. The place is owned by a Tanzania whose husband was Swiss, so it looks a little like a Swiss chalet that's been transported and adapted to East Africa. It included breakfast and dinner, which was some of the best food I've had in a really long time. The family and all the guests eat together, so it also has a very homey feeling.

 

Our first day, we decided to climb Mount Longonot, the dormant volcano. Mount Longonot is derived from the Maasai words for "mountain with many jagged peaks," which I sort of wish I'd known before setting out! Due to problems with the taxi (the first guys was an hour and a half late and drunk), we didn't get started until after 10, by which time it was already starting to get really hot. The peak was way higher than it looked from the ground, and the path was either super dusty or pebbly. Poor Tatiana developed a couple of wicked blisters on the bottoms of her feet. But the views were great, and we did make the entire 20 plus kilometre trek.

 

The next day, me, Amita, Laura, and another girl from Dea's went to Hell's Gate National Park. Poor Tatiana stayed being to nurse her blisters. The thing to do at Hell's Gate is to rent bikes, which is definitely a different way of seeing animals. Great for zebras, gazelles, and warthogs, but a little more nerve-wracking for buffalo! At the end of the bike ride, you come to a cute little picnic area. From here, it's possible to wander down into a beautiful canyon with yellow walls. 

 

And finally, on the day we left, we did a boat tour of Lake Naivasha, which allows you to see all sorts of birds and well as tons of hippos (who I maintain as super cute, although no one else seems to agree!). We also went to an island in the lake, Crescent Island, that you can wander around on foot because there aren't any predators. It was amazing how close we could get to the giraffes and zebras!

 

 

From Lise on Mar 2nd, 2013

I agree! The hippos are most adorable