Lake Naivasha – a birdwatcher’s paradise

At the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley lies Lake Naivasha, a fresh water lake in Makuru County. Primary the lake is a source for the many green houses dwelling rose farms which produce a majority of the roses sold in Europe , but fishing in the lake is also a use for the local population. Nevertheless, what I remember the most of my boat tour was the spectacular and rich life of birds.

Our guide was an old man who had lived in the region his whole life and could easily tell you the name of any bird you spotted gliding over the water’s surface; pelicans, flamingos, giant kingfisher, caribou storks and many others I fail to remember. While out on the lake we also spotted families of hippos and had no troubles getting really close. An interesting fact our guide here told me is that hippos really don’t swim, in fact they never go further out the lake as they can reach the bottom. That way they can be extremely fast in water, since they run on the bottom.

Lake Naivasha (2)
Birds at Lake Navaisha. Greenhouses in the background.
Lake Naivasha (3)
Lake Naivasha (6)
Family of hippos.

After 30 minutes of spotting we stopped by the shore were one of his fishermen friends was waiting. We were each give one of todays catch, as small fish, which we broke off its neck and inserted a lily stalk through it, in order to get the fish to float on the surface. Our guide then drove out to the other side of the lake by some big trees growing next to the shore. He whistled and then asked us to throw one fish overboard. It didn’t take long until a fish eagle elegantly flew down and grabbed it with its sharp claws. Same procedure was repeated and we got the chance to see three different eagles that day. One could tell it wasn’t the same one since an eagle only got that much space in its stomach and can simply fit just one fish. Therefore some days when the birds already have been out hunting they won’t come for the “bait”.

Lake Naivasha (7)
Fishermen putting out nets in the lake.
Lake Naivasha (5)
Inserting a lily stalk in order to make the fish float as “bait” when spotting fish eagles.
Lake Naivasha (8)
Fish eagle going for the “bait”.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mukul chand says:

    wonderful pictures and write up


  2. Thank you! Just started this website so appreciate the positive feedback.


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