The African Fish Eagle is well known for its hunting abilities and can be seen eating fish and even small crocodiles. Lake Naivasha (1900m) is itself too cold for crocodiles. Touring the lake on a small boat, it is possible to get your boatman to call for these majestic birds and bait them out with a small fish (Tilapia). The Fish Eagles typically pair up and spend most of the day in their nests high in the Acacia Trees surrounding the lakes.
Lake Naivasha can make an excellent day trip or overnighter from Nairobi. It is also a frequent stop for those on safari between Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. Only 60km from Nairobi, it is about an hour and half drive on a good road. A number of accommodations from budget camping to luxury can be found along the south shore of the lake.
We toured the very nice and pleasant Lake Naivasha Country Club. The country club is right along the lake shore and has a lakeside bar which is a perfect place to relax and watch the birds. The service of the staff was great and the general manager Mr. Avin George made sure we were well taken care of.
The main reason to visit the lake is to get out on one of the small boats and look for birds and hippos along the shoreline. The lake hosts a large population of hippos and you will be sure to see at least a few of these majestic beasts. The evening might be the best time to view the hippos as our guide told us they become much more active in the evening.
The White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) is the only species of Cormorant that is entirely restricted to fresh water environments and is a common sight around the lake shore.
The Great Egert is another common sight along the lake shore where it stalks its diet of mainly on fish, frogs, small mammals, and occasionally small reptiles and insects. Grey Herons have a similar diet and can often be seen in the same lake shore environment.
One bird which surprised us is the Superb Starling with its black head, bright blue wings and orange body. The species is common in east Africa and has a long and loud song consisting of trills and chatters.
It’s well worth a visit to Lake Naivasha if even just for the day. It can easily be reached by private vehicle from Nairobi and a boat can be hired on arrival for a few hours in the range of 1,000 Ksh. . If you don’t have access to a vehicle you can grab a Matatu (Van used for public transport in Kenya) from Nyamakima off River Road for about 200 Ksh and go to Naivasha town. Once in Naivasha it should be possible to hire a cheap fare to the lake where you can pick up a boat.