Naivasha is located in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 0°43′S 36°26′E / 0.717°S 36.433°E / -0.717; 36.433
Country Kenya
CountyNakuru County
Elevation2,086 m (6,843 ft)
 • Total198,444[1]
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Naivasha is a town in Nakuru County, Kenya, 92.8 km (57.7 mi) north west of Nairobi. From 1969 the population expanded by a factor of 17 times to over 198,000 at the 2019 census. It is situated on the shores of Lake Naivasha, from which it takes its name. The name Naivasha derives from the local Maasai word ɛnaɨpɔ́sha, meaning "that which heaves," a common Maasai word for bodies of water larger enough to have wave action when it is windy or stormy. Naivasha arose as the British attempt to pronounce the Maasai name. Literally, Lake Naivasha means "Lake Lake" and Naivasha Town means "Lake Town."


Naivasha lies in a rift valley basin 92.8 km (57.7 mi) by road north west of Nairobi.


The Maasai people were the first group to settle on the basin due to their quest for pasture and water for their livestock. This is rumored to have been around the 15th century when they moved down from the present day Sudan. Later in the 16th century, the Bantu people including various tribes started their migration into the basin from the Central African forests. The most populous tribe in Naivasha is the Kikuyu. European settlers are also major settlers in Naivasha. They arrived in the 19th century.

The town is home to the Isahakia community, descendants of Isaaq soldiers and traders that settled in Kenya in the 1900s.[3][4] In the late 1970s–1980s Lake Naivasha was overrun with poachers and foreign creatures introduced into the lake to provide fishing.[citation needed] The migratory paths along lake Naivasha were being destroyed by the local rose industry.[citation needed] The naturalist Joan Root (1936–2006), spent the last decade of her life trying to save the lake and its wildlife.

A resort in Naivasha was the location for much of the negotiations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ending the Second Sudanese Civil War, commonly known as the "Naivasha Agreement".


The town has a total population of 198,444 (2019 census).[1]

Naivasha-Nakuru road (A104) in the rain
Naivasha-Nakuru road (A104) in the rain
Historical population


Naivasha is located on the shore of Lake Naivasha along the NairobiNakuru highway (A104 road) and the Uganda Railway. In 2015, an extension of the new standard gauge railway to this town was approved.[6]


The main industry is agriculture, especially floriculture.

Naivasha is also a popular tourist destination. Hell's Gate National Park (the main locations for The Lion King, including Pride Rock and the Gorge, are modelled after the park[7]),Olkaria Geothermal Spa, Mount Longonot National Park and Mount Longonot are nearby attractions. Tours also have included Lake Naivasha, to observe birdlife and hippopotamus behaviour,[8] as well as other wild animals.

See also


  1. ^ a b "2009 Census Vol 1 Table 3 Rural and Urban Population | Open Data Portal". Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Geographic coordinates of Naivasha, Kenya. Latitude, longitude, and elevation above sea level of Naivasha". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Kenya:The Story of a Fourth Generation Isahakia Community in Naivasha Kenya from Somaliland". 13 October 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Government to recognize the Isahakia community as Kenyans". YouTube. 29 October 2016. ((cite web)): |first= missing |last= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Naivasha population statistics
  6. ^ "Kenya Std Gauge To Be Extended | Railways Africa". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  7. ^ "The Lion King (1994) - Trivia - IMDb". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Lake Naivasha Country Club" (wildlife, map, photos), Go2Africa, 2003, webpage: Nav Archived 25 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.

Coordinates: 0°43′12.85″S 36°25′42.71″E / 0.7202361°S 36.4285306°E / -0.7202361; 36.4285306