Beauty, charm on Crescent Island

Crescent Island.

Looking for a charming place to stay outside the city? Crescent Island is one of the most amazing game reserves and adventure spots and a must on your vacation bucket list.

This hidden gem in Naivasha allows you to relax, reconnect, escape the hustle and bustle of life and immerse yourself in nature. Akira Gaymer, general manager of Crescent Island, is a hotelier and environmentalist. She was born in Naivasha and raised on Crescent Island.

She studied hospitality in the UK and has worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years. She recently converted their family home on Crescent Island into an Airbnb.

When she accepted an interview with the The art of living, my curiosity had already reached its climax. I wanted to experience Crescent Island. Amidst the disarmingly beautiful shores of Crescent Island, Akira and I took a boat ride to the harbour. The trip was pure bliss; The fresh water of Lake Naivasha was tranquil and perfect, with no hippos in sight. The boat ride, the only way to get to the island, took about 10-15 minutes.

Panoramic lake views, breathtaking blue skies and lush green grass blend with acacia trees to form the perfect landscape. I needed a few minutes to figure it all out. I was in heaven and just wanted to linger there for days to relax and regroup.

When I think of Crescent Island, I marvel at the handiwork of God. How did the wild animals that inhabit this place come to the island? Akira said some swam, but I’m sure not all did because the lake is 18 meters deep. The island is home to the Maasai giraffe, gazelle, countless species of birds, hippopotamus, wildebeest, Defassa waterbuck and the Central African rock python – yes, you heard me. The largest snake in Africa also inhabits this place.

Akira showed me around the three cottages on a hill. Hippo House, Giraffe House and Fish Eagle. Even with their serene ambiance, the three are different like night and day.

The revamped Hippo House, an old house with quirky decor, attracted me. The cottage built in the 1940s has three bedrooms, a loft and a fully equipped kitchen. The colors and textures have a Kenyan feel. The living room has a low ceiling with wooden beams.

The chalet has a traditional fireplace, locally made sofas and large windows that give you a front row seat to the lake. The white walls and the concrete floor make the room more light, spacious and airy. “Painted floors are easy to clean,” says Akira. She adorned her walls with kangas and kikois. Locally made kitenge lampshades, among other Kenyan-made accessories, give the room an eclectic feel.

Meticulously displayed artwork by Kenyan artists and antique rugs inherited from her parents make the space cozy yet dramatic, retaining a country-house feel of laid-back comfort. “I love supporting Kenyan artists,” Akira said.

Akira worked with local artisans to make the beds, which are made from recycled wood. Cabinets are painted traditional white and black. The bedside table, a tree trunk, was also carved from recycled wood. The veranda overlooks the lake, which offers the most spectacular views, and guests enjoy grazing hippos.

Akira shared that he is self-catering in the cottages, but guests enjoy Zen relaxation. Walking among wild animals is an adventure everyone should have. And the breathtaking sunsets make for lasting memories.

– To find out more, watch the Art de Vivre program this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on KTN Home

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