Guide to The Great Rift Valley in Kenya

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Guide to TheGreat Rift Valley in Kenya

The human race chose the perfect spot to start out – the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, where hominid skeletons dating millions of years were first found. The Rift is a breath-taking natural environment that perfectly combines with some unforgettable wildlife activities. It is a section of the Gregory Rift that runs from Tanzania to Ethiopia. It has a remarkable physical detail according to astronauts, who said that it is visible from space.

The Rift is blessed with abundant landscapes, spectacular scenery and lakes, which include Lake Victoria, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, along with Lake Tanganyika and the Great Lakes. It has many volcanoes along its lengths. The most significant concentration of flamingos lives here and colour the waters pink. The Rift is surrounded by game reserves or wilderness areas which provide guests opportunities to see buffalo, elephant, rhino, pelicans and more.

Main attractions

Listed among the World Heritage Sites, The Great Rift Valley features a massive diversity of unique water bodies, lake systems, and landforms. Here are some of the main attractions you can explore during your visit: 

1. Loldia House:

The Loldia House is a legendary old farmhouse that has been converted into Governors' Camps, located on the shores of Lake Naivasha.  Guest can explore ancient Kenya, with a horseback ride or walk among the animals living around. To explore the Rift, the Loldia House is a place to begin your wildlife safari.  It has its own airstrip.

2. Lake Nakuru:

One of the most beautiful lakes in the region is Lake Nakuru, which houses millions of bright pink flamingos and a population of rhino, warthogs, baboons, and hippo.  It has an incredible landscape that is guarded within the Lake Nakuru National Park.

3. Hells Gate National Park:

The geology and steam geysers are what make the Hells Gate National Park an amazing place to visit, offering guests fantastic opportunities to take photographs and watch wildlife within the park. It is a great spot to watch birds such as raptors.

4. Lake Naivasha:

With more than 400 birds to watch, Lake Naivasha has become a favourite place for wildlife lovers. The presence of flamingos and hippos playing in the water will fascinate you. The lake is economically important in Kenya because floriculture and horticulture businesses depend on the lake.

5. Lake Bogoria:

The Lake is a natural salt lake that is friendly to flamingos.  It has been converted to a reserve for flamingos. The geysers and hot springs that can reach five meters high attract visitors from around the world to the lake.

6. Crater Lake:

The Crater Lake is a home to the resident Colobus Monkeys. Acacia trees surround the lake and found nesting homes to many birds.  The lake is respected by the locals and uses jade coloured water to treat their cattle.

How to Get There

Choose to drive or to fly to the Great Rift Valley, but you have to get there!

If you flying, you best bet is to get to Nakuru first. Flights to Nakuru are available from Nairobi via Safarilink and Air Kenya Express. The flight time is about 35 minutes from Nairobi to Nakuru Airport.

A two-hour bus or Matatu ride from Nairobi will go through Nakuru to the Great Rift Valley. There’s a lodge to stay – Great Rift Valley Lodge, which is about 12km from the Naivasha-Nakuru road.

When is the Best time to Visit?

The best time to visit the Great Rift Valley is from September to October, and January to March. The long dry season begins from July to September, this is the season that witnesses the Great Migrations of zebra and wildebeest, but the rainy season can also be a perfect time for visitors who love the emerald vegetation.

  • High Season: Between September and March
  • Low Season: From April to June
  • Best Weather: When there’s less rain – Between June and March
  • Worst Weather: Between April to May – During the rainy season

Unique Experiences:

The National parks in the Great Rift Valley feature a wide range of wildlife to see and activities to enjoy. A visit to all the lakes of the Great Rift Valley is an experience on its own. Stay at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha to enjoy the scenic perch above Lake Naivasha. Visit Lake Nakuru to see the popular flocks of flamingos and pelicans. The tree hotels in Aberdare are beautiful, you shouldn’t miss the experience. At Aberdare, the beautiful river valleys and waterfalls are scenic and you must see them too. If you want to learn about the origins of man, you should visit Lake Turkana Region in Northern Kenya, where Dr. Richard and Dr. Maeve Leakey run the Turkana Basin Research Institute.

Itinerary Ideas

The Great Rift Valley features an array of game reserves, lakes, mountains and scenic plains. Here are some ideas to get the best out of your visit.

1. Take a Picnic Lunch

The Crescent Island is picturesque and offers guests an afternoon walks and picnic. You are expected to give the house managers prior information about this event an evening before.

2. Guided Walks

The Crater Lake is a perfect place for guided walks either in the morning or afternoon. There are Colobus Monkeys to keep you busy all day.

3. Climb the Mountain

The Mountain Longonot will only allow you to have a picnic lunch on it if you can conquer it. You mustn't climb to the peak to get your arranged picnic.

4. Visit the Joy Adamson Museum

The works and details of Joy Adamson are laid bare in this museum. You can take out time to see what she looked like if you don't know her. Adamson was an artist, author, and naturalist who wrote the book, ‘Born Free, ' that was made into an Academy Award-winning movie.

5. Helicopter Tours

 Enjoy a tour of the remote area with the use of the privately chartered helicopter.

6. Explore Eburu Forest

The forest is home to the dangerously endangered Mountain Bongo.

7. Wildlife Viewing

in the Great Rift Valley is good all-year round. However, during the rainy season, the roads are not navigable but you can explore the parks and the area with a 4×4 jeep.

Take a Magical Trip to This World Heritage Site

If you visiting Kenya, you have to make a plan to see a bit of the Great Rift Valley, we’ve given you the scoop now share your experience with us!

Share your photos and experience with us by tagging @Tripindigo on your social posts #EastAfricaRocks or pop us a line on

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