“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway
We couldn’t agree more with Hemingway. Journeys matter more than the destination. Of course we had long wanted to see the inmates of Lake Naivasha and Masai Mara, but were sure that the drive up to them would be equally thrilling and enriching. Danielle, our driver cum guide, and an official from African Safari arrived at the scheduled time to pick us up from the hotel (read: Hotel review — Hotel Sarova Panifric in Nairobi). Excited about the five days of adventure ahead of us, we got ‘safari-borne’ immediately after breakfast.
Distance from Nairobi to Naivasha is under 100 kilometers and takes about two and a half hours with a pit stop at the Rift Valley View Point. We took the B3 Escarpment Road that had been built, Danielle explained, by Italian prisoners during the 2nd World War.
For the first part of the drive from Nairobi to Naivasha, you cross the suburban little towns and wind through the hills, reaching the Rift Valley View Point somewhere mid-way. This is where the Rift Valley is clearly visible. The 100 meter stretch is lined with souvenir shops, selling all kinds of African handicrafts. We couldn’t stop ourselves from buying a few masks, statues and wall hangings. Negotiate your lungs out. They quote crazy prices.
Once you reach the foothills, the plains start and the drive is past the countryside. The dormant, Mount Longonot, stands majestic to your left as you zip by the highway flung by beautiful grasslands, Acacia trees, cattle grazing and children playing in the fields. You will most definitely fight the temptation to get out of your car and walk.
The Nairobi-Naivasha drive was also made pleasant by the fact that the roads were extremely good. And being a Sunday, we got negligible traffic. However, on our way back, while driving from Masai Mara to Nairobi, the same stretch of road had very high traffic with mostly heavy vehicles letting out a lot of fumes. We also got held up at a few junctions because of traffic. Makes sense to travel on weekends.
We reached Naivasha around 11 am, just in time for a boat ride on the Naivasha Lake. Will tell you that story in my next post. For now, hope you will like the photos.
[ check out all the photos of our Nairobi-Naivasha Drive on the Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/WheelsOnOurFeet]
We went for a 5-day trip to Kenya one Christmas, of which, we spent one day in Nairobi, one day in Naivasha, three days in Maasai Mara. We have written exhaustively about our explorations and experiences — In order to make it easy for you to locate all the information, should you be planning a similar trip, this post will give you a snap-shot of all the ‘must-dos and must-sees’ — Itinerary for Nairobi, Naivasha & Maasai Mara in Kenya