Lake Naivasha: A beautiful setting for some white mischief
Lake Naivasha is one of the Rift Valley's few fresh water lakes and is very popular with Nairobi residents as it is only around an hour and a half’s drive from the city. The pleasant lush green surrounding of the lake have made it popular for one night safari stopovers and there are now many different lakeside lodges to cater for visitors.
The picturesque lake and its distinctive yellow fever trees proved attractive enough to lure a group of semi-aristocartic European settlers here who build their homes on the shore. Known collectively as The Happy Valley Set these settlers rose to international infamy due to their decadent, hedonistic lifestyles and were labelled 'White Mischief'. Scandal was never far behind the Happy Valley Set, although their numbers were decimated by the Great Depression of 1929.
An eponymous 1987 movie starring Greta Schacci was set here and was based on a notorious society murder set during this time.
As well as the ‘interesting’ history the lake has many attractions for the modern day visitor including boat trips to crescent island, where it is possible to get close to the animals in the sanctuary on foot. The lake, like many of its Rift Valley sisters, is alive with birdlife and often referred to as a birder`s paradise. For much of the year its surface is covered with pink flamingos, making it an ideal photographic subject. The near-by Hells Gate National Park offers fantastic hiking, cycling, rock climbing and camping for those wishing for a more active holiday. For a birds-eye view over the Great Rift valley, Mount Longonot offers a beautiful easy hike.