Why you need to visit Elsamere in Lake Naivasha

I am consistently amazed by the number of visitors who arrive with no idea about, or no intention to visit Elsamere in Lake Naivasha. True, I had never heard of it until my first time travelling to Africa but once here, I feel this is somewhere most tourists should easily find with a small bit of research.

Visit Elsamere: My favourite place in Lake Naivasha

That being said, there is hardly any information online regarding how to get to Elsamere or why people need to pay it a visit. Simply put, this is my favourite and most affordable of all the things to do in Lake Naivasha. Located a short drive from some of the best places to stay in Lake Naivasha, Elsamere is the perfect place to spend a few hours in the morning or afternoon without breaking the bank.

What the hell is Elsamere?

Elsamere is the former home of George and Joy Adamson who came to fame in the 1970’s with the bestselling book “Born Free”.

George Adamson was a park warden at the time and having shot a lioness one day out in the bush, his entourage discovered some nearby lion cubs. Joy was the recipient of these cubs and one of them would be what we now know as Elsa who they raised on their property here in Lake Naivasha.

Although this is a rather simple explanation of what happened, you will learn a lot more when you visit Elsamere itself. Inside there is a museum and also a feature length video which outlines this story in detail and the history of the house. Afterward, you are then invited to enjoy to tea and cakes in the garden which is the real reason for which I find this one of the most enjoyable things to do in Lake Naivasha.

Why do I love Elsamere so much?

Yes, the story is fascinating and this alone makes it a worthwhile trip in Lake Naivasha but for me, there is something unexplainably special about the place. Also, out the back of the house, you will find the most incredible view of Lake Naivasha and understand why Joy was so adamant on having a holiday home in this location.

Sitting in this garden gazing out across the lake, I find it easy to imagine how Africa must have looked fifty years ago before tourism, flower production, and civilization arrived on its shores.

How much does it cost and how long should you stay in Elsamere?

You can stay as long as you wish. In my own experience, two hours is usually enough which includes the feature length documentary. As for the cost, you can expect to pay 1000kes ($10) which includes as much tea and cakes as you want.

Please note, it is always best to call ahead to let them know you are coming – especially for groups.

Can you stay overnight in Elsamere?

Room at Elsamere in Lake Naivasha

Absolutely and this has been on my list for so long. The rooms are quite basic but also very charming, especially the rooms closest to the lake which have a very nice balcony for writing or reading. Depending on the season, these rooms usually cost $100 – $150 per night and must be booked in advance.

You can check out prices and book Elsamere here.



Derek Cullen
Derek Cullen
Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

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The Author - Derek Cullen

I worked as an overland tour leader in Africa for many years. I now want to help you book the trip of a lifetime and find out everything you need to know about taking an overland tour in Africa.

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