A part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is a freshwater, shallow lake and is the highest lake of the Rift Valley. Located a short drive away from Nairobi, the lake is surrounded by a swamp and fringed with cacti, papyrus and sand olive trees. The surrounding forest is mainly composed of the yellow barked Acacia, known as the yellow fever tree. The lake covers a large area and can get high waves during strong winds and storms. Locally called Nai’posha in the Masai language, meaning rough waters, this area is abundant with wildlife. With a geological past of long gone volcanic activity, the area around the lake has created a unique ecosystem. A healthy population of Hippos, Giraffes, Zebras and other herbivores are a common sight. The lake supports over 400 species of avi-fauna, including resident as well as migratory species. The high cliffs in the area are home to colourful birds like Finches, Warblers, Weavers and Fiscals. The papyrus swamps are a great place to spot Herons, Kingfishers and Jacanas while the Acacia forests are where you can find Hawks, Woodpeckers and Shrikes. The lake, however is known for its Pelicans and you can spend a fruitful time creating interesting visuals using the reflections and the large number of birds in the water. A nature walk or a boating excursion with an experienced guide are the best ways to explore this location. In the mid 1960s, Joy Adamson, the author of Born Free lived on the shores of this lake.