Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in Kenya, outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County, which lies north west of Nairobi. It is part of the Great Rift Valley.
The name derives from the local Maasai name Nai’posha, meaning “rough water” because of the sudden storms which can arise.
Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at 1,884 metres (6,181 ft) in a complex geological combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits from a larger Pleistocene era lake. Apart from transient streams, the lake is fed by the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers. There is no visible outlet, but since the lake water is relatively fresh it is assumed to have an underground outflow.
The lake is home to a variety of types of wildlife including over 400 different species of bird and a sizeable population of hippos. The fish community in the lake has been highly variable over time, influenced by changes in climate, fishing effort and the introduction of invasive species.