Elsamere Conservation Centre and other Tourist attractions around Naivasha : There is a distinctive tourist spot in Naivasha, Nakuru County. One of the first conservation organisations in Kenya which still operates today is Elsamere Conservation Centre. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, The Elsamere protection serves as a resource for learning about environmental sustainability and wildlife protection.

White settlers used the Elsamere Conservation Centre as a getaway during colonial times; it was initially built as a vacation residence for colonialists. When the colonial era came to an end, the location was left vacant, and the Adamsons bought it. They used it as their retirement home, where they began their work conserving animals, which subsequently transformed the location into a conservation centre.

Joy and George Adamson spent their final years at the Elsamere Conservation. When they passed away, the community in Lake Naivasha received the entire Elsamere Conservation Centre.

The Elsamere Centre rose to fame in the 1960s as a result of Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” book, which told the tale of how she and her husband, George, saved a cub, raised it, and then released it back into the wild. The book was also turned into a movie called “Born Free” with the same name. Other novels by Joy Adamson that also included Pippa and Penny described her work to conserve wildlife. Elsamere is described by Joy Adamson as the ideal location in the Born Free book.

Hell’s Gate National Park

One of Kenya’s most visited destinations, Hells Gate National Park significantly contributes to the country’s tourism economy. In Kenya, the park is located north-west of Nairobi and south of Lake Naivasha. The tiny gap in the cliffs that was originally a tributary of an ancient lake that provided food for early inhabitants in the Rift Valley is where Hell’s Gate National Park gets its name. The park was created in 1984 and is one of Kenya’s smaller, but very popular, national parks. It is renowned for its spectacular beauty and diverse array of species. The Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower columns as well as Hell’s Gate Gorge are included in this.

One of the smallest national parks in Kenya, Hells Gate National Park was formally formed in 1984 and has a total area of 68.25 square kilometres. At 1,900 metres above sea level, the park is located. Along with Lake Nakuru National Park, it is a popular tourist destination in Nakuru County. It is close to Lake Naivasha and around 90 road km from Nairobi. The park has a mild, dry climate and is 14 km from the old Nairobi-Naivasha highway’s turnoff. In the park, there are two extinct volcanoes named Olkaria and Hobley’s, as well as obsidian formations made from cool molten lava.

The park is well-liked because it is close to Nairobi and because it charges lower entrance costs than other National Parks. Within the park, camping, biking, motorcycling, and hiking are all encouraged. Only one of two national parks in Kenya, the other being Chyulu Hills National Park, allows riding. Boating on Lake Naivasha and the Joy Adamson’s Centre are two further suggested attractions in Naivasha.

Mount Longonot National Park

Oloonong’ot, which means mountains with many spurs or steep ridges in Maasai, is the source of the name Mt. Longonot National Park. Located to the southeast of Lake Naivasha, the park has an area of 52 square kilometres. Viscous, sticky, difficult-to-flow lava is what gave rise to the mountain. A volcano with steep slopes is then created by the lava accumulating around the vent. Naivasha, a local town, is 27.2 kilometres away from the park, while Nairobi is 74.4 kilometres away.

A portion of Mount Longonot National Park is protected by Kenya Wildlife Service. Starting at the park’s entry and winding its way for 7.2 kilometres around the crater, a 3.1-kilometer nature walk track ascends to the rim of the crater. The trail has some steep and severely degraded sections. The top is at 2776 metres, and the gate is about 2150 metres, however climbing the jagged rim requires more effort than the 630 metres of vertical difference. A massive 8 x 12 km caldera that was created by trachytic lava eruptions 21,000 years ago may be found on Mount Longonot, a stratovolcano. Within the older caldera, the present peak cone was formed. A crater with a diameter of 1.8 km tops the cone itself. Several parasitic cones are present on the mountain, and effusive lava eruptions take place on its flanks and in the caldera’s interior. The existence of active magmatic systems beneath this volcano was confirmed by periodic geodetic activity observed at Longonot between 2004 and 2006.

Elsamere Conservation Centre
Hiking Mount Longnot

Boat rides in Lake Naivasha

On the boat journey at Lake Naivasha, one is nearly certain to spot one of the lake’s more than 1500 hippos. The boat tours are always led by knowledgeable local guides, and may accommodate between 6 and 20 persons. Additional midsize boats with between 6 and 12 seats are also available; these are simple to navigate around the lake. Wearing a life jacket is a must for all boat rides in order to protect the other boat passengers.

Lake Naivasha can be accessed for free, however some of its area is protected by private conservancies, which impose entrance fees. Boat rides on Lake Naivasha are reasonably priced, despite the fact that entry to the lake is free, with the exception of the privately owned Conservancies. According to groups of between 5 and 6, a one-hour boat ride in the lake typically costs between USD25 and USD30. Depending on the boat operator, boat rides can be found in a variety of areas around the lake’s shoreline. A good example is a boat trip in Lake Oloiden. Some lodges provide boat trips, which are available at docks situated at the lake’s beginning and end. One may explore the diverse wildlife and bird sanctuary on the eastern shore of Lake Naivasha while taking boat trips around the crescent island. Being an island, it restricts the movement of animals within the island, making this one of the sites in Kenya with the highest concentration of wildlife per acre. It is home to a variety of creatures, including Maasai giraffes, zebras, Dik-Diks, Steenboks, impalas, gazelles, warthogs, wildebeest, Waterbucks, Spring hares, Bushbucks, Elands, and Buffaloes. Hippos can be seen from the island in great numbers because of the lake’s abundance.

With approximately 400 species that may be seen when taking boat cruises, Naivasha is a birdwatcher’s delight.

Olkaria Geothermal Spa

In Kenya’s Nakuru county, Olkaria Geothermal Spa is situated inside Hell’s Gate National Park. The distance by road from Nakuru City to Olkaria Geothermal Spa is about 100 kilometres. Olkaria V Geothermal Power Station is another name for the Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant. The driving distance from Nairobi is 122 kilometres. The Olkaria Geothermal Power facility is a collection of six geothermal power plants, some of which are currently functioning and others of which are planned. Construction on the facility began in 2017 and it was finished and commercial power production started in 2019 after that. When visiting the park from Nairobi, it is the greatest destination to go for a day excursion.  The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is the owner. From the pools, you can see the entire main pool, the hills, and the majestic towers of steam that blend with the clouds in the distance to give Olkaria its distinct appearance.  There is a sizable adult pool that is so large that it almost resembles a miniature lake. A baby pool with a playground for young kids is also available to keep the kids entertained.

Because the water in the area includes natural minerals and might damage ceramic tiles, the pools at Olkaria Geothermal Spa are fashioned of steel trowels concrete. The deepest part of the pool is 1.5 metres deep, however the other areas have four steps that surround the pool.

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