Lake Naivasha has been part of the Tentative list of Kenya.
Lake Naivasha is a large freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley. The principle water supply to the lake is from Aberdare Mountains. It is home to a variety of bird species and hippos. It is used for commercial fishing as well. Its water levels are threatened by the vast horticulture farms on its shores, that need water for irrigation.
Map of Lake NaivashaLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I spent a week in Naivasha in February 2019 and used it as a base to visit the lake, Mount Longonot and Hell's Gate national parks. The lake itself is a bit away from the town but one can walk there through dry areas of land that I assume will flood during the rainy season.
The south side has big horticulture farms, an industry that needs a lot of water and workers. The end of the day sees innumerable busses shuttling workers from the farms to the town. The reverse probably happens in the morning at dawn but I was not present to witness that.
Further south, it is more quiet and there is the pleasant Elsamore estate where one can learn about the author of Born Free and watch the Colobus monkeys play while enjoying high tea. Also there is Crescent Island, an estate where one can walk among the buffaloes, antilopes and giraffes.
I stopped at the abandoned airstrip and walked along the fences towards the lake, surprising a group of warthogs and later on I spotted the hippos as well. I walked along the road until I reached the village where the matatus end and stayed at the lake until it started to rain. The antilopes run for people but are not afraid of the cars and I could spot them closer from the matatu then from walking along the road on my own.
While it is an interesting place and the geothermal activity in nearby Hell's Gate is also mildly interesting, it is not clear to me on which grounds an inscription as World Heritage site would be warranted. The text suggests that the inclusion on the tentative list was mostly inspired by the intention to protect the lake from further economic development, which is laudable but probably also impossible to stop.
2023 Removed from Tentative List
1999 Added to Tentative List
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