We included Lake Naivasha in our safari itinerary mainly because the drive from Masai Mara to Serengeti is extremely long. Even though they’re de facto the same ecosystem, tourists are not allowed to cross the border through the park. That means that you have to backtrack to Nairobi, cross the border in Namanga, and continue through Arusha. Over 800km, which in those roads ends up being 14-18 hrs, to guarantee that tourists leave their money in both countries.
Beyond that reason, we didn’t mind stopping at Lake Naivasha, because it is considered one of the best places for observing hippos. So after ~5hrs on the road, a quick lunch and checking in at a neat hotel by the water, we were ready to meet the hippos. Hippos are super interesting animals. They spend most of the day in the water, but don’t actually swim, rather walk on the bottom. They look peaceful but are considered the most dangerous mammal in Africa, being responsible for the most human fatalities.
We took a small boat for a peaceful ~1hr ride. Saw tons of birds, a couple giraffes on the shore and suddenly, the hippos! The first herd disappeared under the water when we got closer. It was impressive to see one of them open his jaw. We moved on and found a second herd, laying by the shore. There was a baby, and when we got too close with our noisy motorboat, all the hippos stood up and created a protective circle.
The next morning, we continued our way towards Tanzania. We didn’t visit any other Kenyan parks because of our limited time and the fear that they might pale in comparison to Masai Mara.