A short drive from Nairobi and a world away from the capital’s choked arteries is Lake Naivasha, the highest of the Rift Valley lakes (at 1884m above sea level). Hugged by grassy banks and shingled with cacti and sand olive trees, the lake extends like a vast, sunlit sea. But there’s more to this spot than the lovely blue lake. You can ride among giraffes and zebras, sip on a glass of Rift Valley red, and relax in the garden at Elsamere, the former home of late Born Free personality Joy Adamson. Most of the lake is ringed by an electric fence, so hippo attacks are rare. A greater threat is the traffic, which loops around the road at speed: take care when out walking.
The lake freshwater and soda lakes of the Rift-Valley in Kenya bid some remarkable setting, a chance for recreation, and some unusual features such as steaming hot springs. They are also key homes for many bird species (famously for flamingos) and many mammal species too. For example Lake Nakuru National Park is well-known for its leopard sightings.