Camping with a picturesque view of Lake Naivasha at Camp Carnelleys


The camp site at Camp Carnelleys in Naivasha. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA
The camp site at Camp Carnelleys in Naivasha. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA

In Summary

  • We accessed it through Hell's Gate National Park after a short stop at the KenGen Geothermal Spa where we had stopped for an afternoon swim.
  • This being the low season, we paid Ksh.12000 for the Carnelley's cabin, an ensuite room suitable for three or four adults.
  • The bar known as Lazy Bones was child friendly as our kids felt at ease playing around the garden and enjoying the extra large pizzas that took 10minutes to get to our table.

The holiday season is here and a number of destinations that are popular with many Kenyans offer an affordable getaway for those seeking an out of town trip.

Naivasha, a one-hour drive from the capital city, has both high-end and affordable facilities depending on one’s budget.

Some of the high-end hotels include the Great Rift Valley Lodge, Enashipai Resort, Sawela Lodge among others.

Cost of accommodation at such hotels can range from Ksh.17,000 to Ksh.30,000 depending on what time of the year you make your booking.

For those interested in camping, offers for accommodation can be as little as Ksh.4000. What determines the price in this case is whether you prefer to sleep in a tent, a single room or a cabin.

The camp site. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA
The camp site at Camp Carnelleys in Naivasha. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA

Over the weekend, a visit to Camp Carnelleys that is located near the shores of Lake Naivasha offered a memorable out of town experience.

Carnelleys is a family-owned property renowned for its iconic location, affordable rates for campers, friendly staff as well as a restaurant and bar designed to give a rustic feel.

We accessed it through Hell’s Gate National Park after a short stop at the KenGen Geothermal Spa where we had stopped for an afternoon swim.

Swimming at the KenGen Geothermal Spa in Naivasha. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA
Swimming at the KenGen Geothermal Spa in Naivasha. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA

When we reached the gate, one guard realised that our vehicle was low.

As he led us inside the compound, he would stop every few minutes to help us navigate several bumps that would have otherwise posed a challenge.

This being the low season, we paid Ksh.12000 for the Carnelley’s cabin: an ensuite room suitable for three or four adults.

The wooden cabin that is ensuite with three beds. Photo/COURTESY
The wooden cabin that is ensuite with three beds. Photo/COURTESY

After a hot shower and a change of clothes, we headed to the bar and restaurant known as Lazy Bones where we would have dinner.

It was child-friendly as our kids felt at ease playing around the garden and enjoying the extra large pizzas that took 10minutes to get to our table.

Lazy Bones Bar and Restaurant at Camp Carnelleys in Naivasha. Photo/COURTESY
Lazy Bones Bar and Restaurant at Camp Carnelleys in Naivasha. Photo/COURTESY

They asked about the giraffe we had told them they would see at the camp but waiters said the Kenya Wildlife Service had to relocate the animal because it posed a threat to previous guests.

How you may ask? We were told that giraffes are generally harmless but a swift kick can seriously injure or even kill. Past visitors were apparently provoking the animal.

Another wild animal we had hoped to see at Camp Carnelleys is the hippo but the electric fence kept it at bay for our security.

We were a disappointed lot but seeing as recent news reports emerged about a Chinese tourist being mauled by one, better safe than sorry.

Though the weather was very chilly during the night, the hot morning sun offered a reprieve as we took pictures by the lake.

A boat ride would have cost us Ksh.8,000 for ten people but we decided against it because of the baby.

The boat at Camp Carnelleys. Photo/RACHEL OMBAKA

Albeit short, the weekend trip to Camp Carnelleys in Naivasha gave us the break we needed.

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