Discover the Great Rift Valley’s spectacular lakes, Nakuru & Naivasha

A group of hippos bathes in Nakuru Lake beneath a clear, blue sky
Expect sweeping valleys, expansive lakes, ancient volcanoes and excellent wildlife

The Great Rift Valley is a natural masterpiece. Sprawling across the Middle East and Africa, it is one of the largest geographical marks on the continent and a must-visit during a Kenya safari tour. The monumental Rift was formed by ancient geological forces, and today it is a dramatic natural wonder brimmed with vast freshwater and alkaline lakes, towering volcanoes, and panoramic savannahs.

The spectacular lakes are the centrepiece of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Nakuru National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering an area of 180km² and offering an unparalleled Kenya adventure. This beautiful Kenya national park is draped with lush grassland and is renowned for its prolific birdlife. Its safaris introduce you to a myriad of Kenya wildlife, including the hippo, buffalo, leopard lion, and the endangered black and white rhino.

Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake located 100km from Nairobi. This shallow lake attracts a plethora of wildlife, including pods of hippos, colobus monkeys, gazelle, and zebra. Ornithologists also gather in Naivasha for its colourful aviary communities. The Great Rift Valley is a magical place to go hiking through the wooded trails, have a scenic lake-side picnic, go bird watching or take a game drive to see Kenya’s incredible wildlife at home.

Kenya Safaris Featuring the Great Rift Valley

Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha can be added to any of our spell-binding Kenya trips. If you’re visiting the Masai Mara on our “Luxury Kenya Safari”, or heading north on our “Kenya Off The Beaten Track” itinerary, we recommend that you stop at the lakes en-route. You can also fly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Lake Nakuru (duration 1h 10m), making this region a convenient addition to any Kenya travel itinerary.

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Where to stay in the Great Rift Valley

If you’re visiting Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha we recommend staying at Lake Elementeita Serena Camp, a small camp on the shores of Lake Elementeita in the Soysambu Conservancy, just a two-hour drive from Nairobi and a short distance from Lake Nakuru. The camp features luxury safari tents all with private verandas, and a spectacular Flamingo Suite, perfect for honeymooning couples. 

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