The Ultimate Guide to Hells Gate National Park, Kenya
Hells gate national park is situated in the South of Lake Naivasha in Kenya northwest of Nairobi. This park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs which was a tributary of a pre historical lake that fed early humans in the rift valley is well known for its scenery and wildlife. The park consists of five geothermal power stations at Olkaria, Equipped with three basic campsites including a Masai cultural center and it is not far from the famous Maasai Mara. Hells gate national park covers approximately 68.25km2 and it can be easily accessed from Nairobi making it worth visiting due to its variety of wildlife and amazing landscape, the towering cliffs, water gorges, Extinct volcanoes making it the most thrilling ambience park in Africa.
How to get to Hells Gate National Park
Hells gate national park can be easily accessed by both road and air transport.
By air, Tourists can fly in to Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and use the scenic route of Nairobi-Naivasha highway which is just nine miles away from the park taking approximately 2 hours’ drive.
Attractions in Hells Gate national park
Hells Gate national park is full of breathe taking landscapes, stunning volcanic features such as towering cliffs, gorges, rock towers. This park is a unique place whereby its name makes a lot of tourists curious as they want to discover the natural beauty of this famous park which can be explored while on foot.
Hells Gate National park has a variety of wild animals despite the fact that they are few in numbers. Interestingly it consists of some members of the African big 5 like the African Buffalo, Lions and Leopards. Other animals include Cheetahs, Baboons, Zebras, Elands, hartebeest and many more.
Hells gate national park has over 100 bird species and it is well known as a breeding place for bearded Vultures. The cliffs found in the park attracts several raptor species including Egyptian and Ruppell’s vultures. It is a spectacular birding spot which hosts rare savannah bird species such as Sharpe’s claw, Shelly’s Rufous sparrow, Northern- white crowned shrike and many others.
Hells gate national park hot springs is a perfect spot for relaxing since visitors are allowed to swim in the hot springs and it is believed that hot springs have many health benefits and you can as well view wild animals from a distance.
Mount Longonot is found in Nairobi on the floor of the Great Rift Valley which is as well part of Mount Longonot National park. This is well known for hiking as well as mount climbing. There are major wildlife such as Lions, Buffaloes, common Zebras, Giraffes and many others.
Lake Oloidien is a volcanic crater lake which borders Lake Naivasha in the south past the Elsamere. The lake is a magical mysterious place because of the dead trees found in it and it is a great spot for boat riding, fishing as well as wildlife viewing since it attracts Flamingos, Hippos and a few other animals.
This is the biggest and oldest geothermal power station in Africa situated to the south of Lake Naivasha in the great rift valley of Kenya. Olkaria is a sustainable source of energy for both power and heating.
Oserengoni Wildlife Sanctuary
This is a privately owned sanctuary with flora and fauna whereby it is a home to a vast number of wild animals. It is found in Kenya, bordered by both Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloidien in the Great Rift Valley.
Ol Njorowa Gorge
This is one of the most desired hiking tourist attraction site in hells gate national park. This gorge was formed with patterns from water gouged volcanic rocks which were formed when Lake Naivasha used to drain through it.
Maasai Cultural Center
This is one of the most beautiful cultural attraction in hells gate national park which creates awareness of the tradition and heritage of the Maasai people in Kenya. While there, you will get a chance to witness Maasai singing, dancing and many more.
This a 75ft high rock formed by semi-molten rock forced to a fissure, cooling and solidifying as it extruded and it is found near the main entrance of the park. This is an interesting attraction which was named after a Germany explorer known as Gustav Fischer who wanted to find a route from Mombasa to Lake Victoria.
Activities in Hells Gate National Park
Hells gate national park has got a wide variety of wildlife however not in big numbers and these include Lions, Leopards and the African Buffaloes which are members of the famous African big 5, Zebras, Elands, and many more. Game viewing in Hells gate is never in vain especially in the morning.
Despite the fact that hells gate national park is small, it is a home to a variety of over 100 prolific birds. It is a wonderful place which hosts abundant unique savannah bird species such as rare mottled swift, Sharpe’s claw, white crested turaco, northern-white crowned shrike and many others.
Hells gate national park is also among the best hiking destinations in Kenya. Hiking is done alongside local guides and park rangers in central tower trail which is the longest trail. During hiking, you will be able to explore the scenic landscape of the park including the wildlife as well as the exotic gorges found in the park for instance Ol Njorwa gorge which is the starting point.
Hells Gate national park gives an opportunity to the adventurous rock climbers unforgettable experience at Fischer’s tower which is the most common volcanic plug to climbers found in the north eastern border of hells gate national park, it was named after the Germany explorer. Though a few tourist are interested in climbing the central tower.
Hells gate national park is a spectacular spot with very few dangerous animals hence it is perfect for nature walking whereby tourists can walk along giraffes, Zebras, gazelles and a few more wild animals with the help of local guides and park rangers. This is a wonderful experience worth engaging in while in hells gate national park.
Hells gate national park is among the very few parks where bicycle riding is allowed and it is a safe activity, tourists are allowed to bring their own bikes or renting at the park. Biking takes approximately 2 hours as you visit the gorges in the park and view a wide range of wildlife.
Water sports on Lake Naivasha
Engaging in water sports is one of the best way to explore Lake Naivasha while in hells gate national park. Tourists can go on a boat trip which is an absolute opportunity to view different water animals and bird species.
There are three main camp sites in Hells gate national park which are suitable for camping namely; Endachata campsite, Naiburta campsite and Oldubai campsite. Camping is a delightful experience done on beautiful hillsides of hells gate national park.
Hells gate national park offers a wonderful cultural experience at Maasai cultural center where you will get to know more about the culture and tradition of the Maasai tribe through their songs, dancing and you will have time to interact with them.
Accommodations in Hells Gate National Park
There are so many hotels in and around hells gate national park and the choice of the hotel depends on a tourist’s preferences as well as wallet. These hotels consists of budget, mid-range and luxury namely;
Eagles lodge, Naivasha Kongoni lodge, Sawela lodge, Lake Naivasha Country club, Lake Naivasha Crescent camp, El Sueno homestay, Lake Naivasha Resort, Dove Nest Lodge and many more.
Hells gate national park is a more of un known park since it is not yet discovered and explored by many tourists despite its vast range of the flora and fauna.
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