Matatu Narok – Naivasha: 200 scellini a persona.
If you are returning from the Masai Mara, hopping on your seats like springs in freedom, and you want to go straight to relax on the placid shores of Lake Naivasha, have a stop at the matatu station in Narok (rather than being driven back to Nairobi). In about a couple of hours you will arrive in Naivasha city. You will be juxtaposed at another station on these minibuses, so it will be easy to jump from matatu to matatu after dodging a trench of Africans trying to sell you to their company.
With 100 shillings each (do not be fooled by those who want to sell it at a higher price because they see you white and naive) you will arrive at Lake Naivasha, where along a wide straight road you will find a large number of campsites, and on the left going down, there entrance to Hell’s Gate park.
Tent complete with everything (mattresses, sleeping bags etc.): 2400 KSH for two people. Band (or a sort of chalet, basic but more organized): 4000 shillings. Obviously shared bathrooms and showers. Bicycle: full day price 800 shillings.
This accommodation, to savor the lake and its surroundings, is a perfect place to relax your thoughts. Above the shady mantle of horizontally branching trees, swift monkeys leap from one branch to another. Black storks skirt the lake in slow steps, as if following the rhythm of a metronome, swinging the long necks forward. Clinging tightly to a log, a woodpecker searches for its comfort zone, occasionally sinking its beak into the bark.
A group of ornithological students is intent on studying the fauna, while the strangest bird cries ring high around and from time to time herds of cows graze with their young to take a lunch break with the luxuriantly succulent grass. Only a small restaurant where you can eat rather well and a modest reception are in the camping area, but a group of young people, each one assigned to a task, are ready and willing to help you.
LAGO NAIVASHA TOUR
The Lake Naivasha tour is a must-see piece of the puzzle.
Tour of the lake: one hour 3500 shillings (you pay the whole boat, so if you can make friends in the camp this will help you divide the expense).
Climb aboard the long pseudo-gondola boat in the wild Venice style, and let yourself be ferried among the dense floating foliage behind which the prying eyes of the hippos crouch, reluctantly sharing the habitat with the local fishermen. But even the fishermen have learned to live with it quite well. They drag large bushes of floating grass with them. It is a green wheeled skirt that surrounds them and makes them part of the nature of the lake.
But even when the annoyed cry of the fat hippos echoes, the fishermen chase them away with the same grass that serves as their shield, with the calmness and custom of a profession that has always been carried out like this. The sun lights up the day and the foam that jumps on the water follows our trail in flight of love.
The boatman shows us the various species of birds that love to stay on the lake. Some of them announce themselves by croaking loudly and others flap their wings as they ascend, leaving the meditative post of a wooden log on which they usually watch in astonished silence.