Olkaria Geothermal Pool also known as Mvuke Spa is located inside Hell's Gate National Park that's just an hour and a half away from Nairobi. The pool is owned by KENGEN. It's the first of its kind in Africa.
The first thing you notice once you spot the pool is that the water is bright turquoise in color. For real, you have to see it in person to believe that it's a shade of blue in color.
The second thing that hits you is the slight smell of rotten eggs around the pool environment. This smell is rather unpleasant hence might be somewhat of a deal breaker for some. The smell is probably brought about by the fumes emitted from the power plants nearby.
The third thing that you will feel once you are in the pool is that the water is hot, not scalding hot but hot enough for you to not want to leave the geothermal pool. This is my favorite thing about the Olkaria geothermal pool.
- The geothermal pool is located inside Hell's gate Park hence you have the opportunity to get yourself a guide and explore the park in the morning then later in swim at the spa. See it as killing two birds with one stone.
- The water is hot!! You can last in the geothermal pool the whole day without shivering uncontrollably like in normal pools.
- The geothermal pool is very well maintained hence the sanity of the water should not concern you.
- Swimming in a natural spa has several skin and health benefits because no artificial treatments are added to the one at Olkaria
- Since the pool is inside hells gate, every individual and car has to pay park fees to the Kenya Wildlife Service even if you are just going to swim. This is a hidden charge because you will also have to pay pool fees again.
- The smell from the fumes
- You cannot have a picnic within the facilities as food and drinks from outside are not allowed. However, there is a restaurant that serves food and a bar as well.
- The area around the pool does not have tiles, you have to be careful not to bruise yourself
- The lockers found in the changing rooms cannot be locked hence you have to keep moving around with your valuables or find someone to watch over them.
There is little signage from Naivasha to the Olkaria geothermal pool, you may be forced to ask for directions on your way there.
You can choose to access the geothermal spa by matatu or by personal means.
If you choose to go by matatu, grab a PSV from Naivasha town then ask to be dropped at the Olkaria stage after which you can take a taxi or motorbike. It's quite a distance from the main road but make sure to not get ripped off. Bargain! Bargain! And then bargain some more!
If you are driving, drive towards Oserian then you will see a road that goes to KENGEN power plant, drive on till you see Kenya wildlife Officers at the gate.
Want to know how I afford to travel? Have a look at my cheat sheet:
- Park Fees
Kenyan 350 250
Resident 700 350
Non-resident 3000 2000
- Swimming Fees
Kenyan 400 100
Resident 1000 500
Non-resident 1800 850
P.S all amounts are in Kenyans shillings
- The pool is huge and can have at least hundred people swimming at the same time, hence if you want the pool to yourself or with less people, visit on a weekday
- Carry swimming essentials like costumes, a towel, sunscreen and so on
- Keep a keen eye on your valuables since the lockers don't work or have one of your friends that is not swimming look over them
- The Olkaria geothermal pool does not offer accommodation
- Carry your identification documents
Overall, it was good experience and I'd definitely recommend the place. It's a perfect weekend getaway destination and you will not find another like it in Africa.