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Naivasha reclaims glory after turbulent past : The Standard



The newly opened Offroad International club in Naivasha which has given revelers a chance to enjoy themselves and relax during the festive season. Hundreds of visitors are expected in Naivasha over the festive season and security has been intensified.

Naivasha town has come alive this festive season to reclaim its spot among the favourite destinations for tourists and revelers.

Once associated with the odd news, the lakeside town has over a period of years shed off the bad publicity and is now considered to be one of the main competitors to the Coastal town of Mombasa.
Previously the town was associated with rape, violent robberies, slaughter of donkeys and even the dreaded “vampire”. That is now long gone, thanks to concerted effort by security agents and residents.
In the last three years, the number of hotels has risen sharply, attracting more local and international tourists.

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Music lovers
This year alone, the town welcomed Lake NaivashaResort and Nest Boutique hotels along the Moi South Lake road. The two joined more than 60 other hotels in and around the town.
For music lovers, Offroad International club off the Moi South Lake junction is considered the hottest night club in Nakuru County. It opened its doors to revelers a week ago.
Between Nairobi and Kisumu, the town, according to the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), has the highest number of hotels, making it ideal for tourists.
Kamau Njuguna, a director representing Kenya in the East Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, terms the journey to Naivasha’s reclamation of its lost glory long and painful.

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He admits that the negative stories that emanated from the town five years ago gave visitors shivers. But this is now a thing of the past.
Mr Njuguna is full of praise for the security officers who dealt with the run-away crime that saw the town in the news for all the wrong reasons.
“Naivasha is just one-hour drive from Nairobi and it has all the tourism facilities, including Lake Naivashaand the world renowned Hellsgate National Park,” he said.
According to Ronnie Muraya, the proprietor of Nest Boutique, Naivasha has given Mombasa a run for its money due to its proximity to Nairobi and the improved security services.
“It’s quite expensive to travel all the way to Mombasa from Nairobi and tiresome yet you can get all the services and entertainment in Naivasha,” he says.

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He says the main reason for a rise in the number of local and international tourists during the festive season is the quality and competitive facilities offered currently.
According to Peter Mehta, the Crayfish Hotel CEO, business has been slowly picking up ahead of the festive season though it cannot be compared to last year.
Mr Mehta, who is also the chairman of the town’s hoteliers, said by October last year they were fully booked. That has not been the case this year, though he says things might change.
“We expect over 100,000 visitors in the next one week and we have special packages for our visitors to make sure they fully enjoy their holiday,” he says.
The Naivasha Professionals CEO Absolom Mukuusi says the town is currently the second Coast. “Naivasha can easily be accessed by road and with the improved security and hotels it has emerged a top destination during this festive season,” he says.

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Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said security in and around the town had been intensified, with special patrols units formed.
He said officers were working with other government arms like prison and anti-stock theft unit to ensure there is security around the town and special installations.
“For the last couple of years crime in Naivasha has gone down drastically and we attribute this to co-operation between security officers and wananchi,” he said, welcoming visitors.
The town is home to major hotels like Simba Lodge, Great Rift Valley, Sopa Lodge, Longonot Gardens, Enashipai Spa, Crayfish, Panorama, Eserian, Astorian and Country Club.
Other hotels offering conference facilities include Club Heritage, Labelle, Sawela, Kongoni Lodge, Sweet Waters, Masada, Fish Eagle and Koko.  
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