Situated in the north west of Nairobi and south of Naivasha, Hell’s gate national park derives it’s sinister name from a spectacular narrow gate like break on the red stone volcanic cliffs resulting from intense geothermal activity. The park provides outstanding views of the great east African rift valley.
Hell’s gate national park is home to variety of wildlife and numerous birds covering an area of about 68 kilometers squared covered by diverse topography, the park still has signs of recent mount Longonot eruptions.
Hell’s gate is one of the smallest national parks in Kenya. The park was established in 1984, it was named after by explorers Fisher and Thompson in 1883. The park also boasts with Africa first geothermal station established in 1981 the other two stations were put up recently, the break on the cliffs is said to have been a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the valley.
Activities at Hell’s gate national park
Despite it’s small size, Hell’s gate national park boasts with animals like lions, cheetahs, leopards, eland, gazelle, zebras, giraffes, rock hyraxes, buffalos and many more this game drives are conducted any time but the best time is in the morning and late noon.
Hell’s gate boasts with over 100 species of birds and has been renowned as a breeding place for lammergeyers. Other birds include; Rupells vultures, Egyptian vultures, Masai ostrich,verreaux eagle, augur buzzard, white rumped swift, yellow bishop, yellow rumped seed eater, schalows wheatear, African kestrel, imperial eagle, arrow market babbler, golden winged sunbird, chin spot batis and Jackson’s widow bird among others. The best time for bird watching is November to April.
Rock climbing is a very unique activity at Hell’s gate national park and very rewarding to tourists, visitors can climb Fischer’s tower, this was formed due a semi solid molten rock that was forced to the surface where it cooled and solidified. The scene is dramatic the guides are available with climbing gears for hire.
Tourists not accustomed to walking safaris can do cycling in various trails in the park, bicycles are available for hire.
For those willing to make their safari more experimental, they can go hiking safaris, this is one of the most popular activities at Hell’s gate national park while hiking you can come across water holes and panoramic hot springs crowded with wildlife not forgetting the clear views of the vast valley.
Experience African culture
There is a Masai cultural center within the park that will provide you with what you need to know about the Masai people with their very unique culture and ways of live. Tourists can also acquire gifts from the craft shops to take back home for remberance.
Nature guided walks
Nature guided walks can be taken to various destinations walking along with the wild
There are camping sites at the park that provide camping facilities, tourists can pitch up their tents and enjoy the night close to the wild.
There are also various accommodation units with comfortable rooms such as lake Naivasha Simba lodge, lake Naivasha sopa resort and many others
Hell’s gate national park can be accessed by road from Nairobi in about two hours time, come experience the dramatic views of nature at Hell’s gate national park while at Kenya.