Travel Chronicles: Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort

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Photo Credit: Sopa Lodge

Visited Naivasha last week with family and friends and could not resist a peek at Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort, a brilliant resort set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland. We had a lovely buffet meal which had amazing entities like Indian bread fried as you watched and local dishes such as grilled tilapia which went down a treat with the fish lovers amongst us. After a hearty buffet lunch we took a stroll past the pool to the grounds to pose with Zebras and chill with the hippos which are residents at this very stunning lodge.

Photo Credit: Sopa Lodge and Resort
Photo Credit: Sopa Resort

Would definitely recommend this venue as it has been officially tried and tested by yours truly. From the resorts website here is a description of the venue.

The Resort

Set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland studded with Acacia bushes and trees, the resort is not only home to our resident giraffe, waterbuck and both Vervet and Colobus monkeys, but it is also a night stop for the hippos when they leave the lake every night to come and trim the grass on our expansive lawns.

With Sopa’s traditional and conscientious care for the environment, we carefully positioned all the buildings on our property so we did not have to fell any of the many trees there. As a result of this, we had to come up with a radically innovative and artistic design for the main public area building which now snakes its way between the trees with long and graceful curves.

It is also why you might well ask just why our two swimming pools with a children’s section and a pool complex with its bar, snack kitchen, pizzeria and health spa; our tennis court; our two conference halls with their four differently sized meeting areas, and our stables are so widely set apart.

Photo Credit : Sopa Lodge
Photo Credit : Sopa Resort
water_bucks SOPA LODGE
Photo Credit : Sopa Resort
lounge
Photo Credit: Sopa Resort

Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in the Kenya section of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, and is located north west of Nairobi with the town of Naivasha on its north eastern shore. At 1,890 meters (6,200 ft) above sea level, the lake is at the highest point in the Kenyan rift, and is set in a complex geological combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits from a much larger Pleistocene era lake. Because the outlet for this ancient lake, now called Njorwa Gorge, is today much higher than the lake, the original Lake Naivasha must have indeed been a truly vast expanse of water. The gorge now forms the entrance to the Hell’s Gate National Park which, for obvious reasons, today contains some spectacular examples of water and weather-worn rock formations as well as an abundance of flora and fauna to include some extremely rare, resident breeding pairs of Lammergeyers, otherwise known as Bearded vultures.

Apart from transient streams, Lake Naivasha is fed by the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers and, most unusually, it now has no visible outlet. However, it must be assumed that such a large body of water has to have an underground outflow through a volcanic fissure or similar somewhere beneath the expanse of its lake bed, and it has been suggested that the water emerges through the fresh but hot water springs at Lake Magadi, an otherwise brackish and pinkish coloured soda lake 120kms to the south.
Because this is a volcanic area, as witnessed by Mount Longonot, an extinct nearby volcano to the south east, and ancient fumaroles – including the tiny but spectacular Crater Lake – to the west, Kenya is blessed with the presence of the Olkarria Geothermal electrical generating complex – high in the hills just to the south – which feeds massive amounts of much needed power into the national grid.

Since the lake’s underground outflow might perhaps be limited in size, the lake has a surface area of between 140 and 180 km² depending on the rainfall although, and in years gone by, it has been known to either dry up altogether or to expand exponentially during the somewhat cyclic curse of the El Nino weather system which creates flood chaos with its multiple or lengthy torrential rain storms. It has an average depth of 6 meters (20 ft), and its deepest point of 30 meters (100 feet) is off Crescent Island which is a wildlife conservation area.

Lake Naivasha is home to a wide variety of wildlife including a sizeable population of hippos which usually invade our property during their nightly forays for food. Being a freshwater lake, it also has a healthy fish population to include Black bass, Tilapia and Crayfish which attract a variety of fish-eating birds such as Long-tailed and Great Cormorants, along with Fish Eagles, Pelicans, and various types of Kingfishers.

Photo Credit: Sopa Lodge and Resort
Photo Credit: Sopa Resort

Naivasha is also a good place to see the Grey-backed fiscal. This bird replaces the Long-tailed Fiscal in areas with higher rainfall. Also to be seen in the area is the Black-lored Babbler. The Naivasha race tends to show pale tipped feathers on their heads which gives their appearance a somewhat frosty or haloed effect, and it is believed that this variation may be the result of hybridization with Northern Pied Babblers at some point in the past.

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