Hells Gate National Park
Hells Gate National Park, established in 1984, lies in the south of Lake Naivasha and North West of Nairobi. Hell’s Gate National Park is a small protected area that covers 68.25 square kilometres with an elevation of 1900 metres above sea level. Hell’s Gate National Park has a warm and dry climate and has two extinct volcanoes in the park namely Olkaria and Hobley’s. The Hell’s Gate Gorge with two volcanic plugs namely Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower, hot springs and hot rocks can all be found in Hell’s Gate National Park.
Hells Gate National Park has a wide range of wildlife species few in number as they may be. Some of the wildlife species travellers are likely to spot include lions, leopards, cheetahs, the rare Lammergeyer vultures, with the most common mammals being African buffaloes, elands, hartebeests, hyenas, zebras, Thomson’s gazelle among so many others. Baboons are a common site as well. There are about 103 species of birds in Hell’s Gate National Park that include Verreaux’s eagles and augur buzzards. There are various activities that travellers can do while visiting Hell’s Gate National Park including hiking, bicycling, motorcycling, camping, bird watching and game viewing as well as water sports on Lake Naivasha.
Activities in Hells Gate National Park
The spectacular scenery that includes towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, volcanoes and wildlife and plant life in the park make Hell’s Gate National Park a wonderful place to do a number of activities. Below are some of the most common activities that travellers do while on safari in Hell’s Gate National Park;
Game viewing in Hells Gate National Park is a great activity that has travellers spotting a number of wildlife in the park. Game viewing in the park can be done in the morning or in the evening with game drives around the park through some of the best routes. Travellers get to spot elands, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, among so many other animals. Game drives through the park reward travellers with great views too.
Walking safaris are a great way to explore the park in great detail, as well as come up-close with the animals. Walking safaris have travellers going through routes like the Ol Njorwa route which has attractions like hot and cold waterfalls, hot springs and coloured rocks. Various wildlife species can be spotted including elands, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes among so many others.
Rock climbing in Hell’s Gate National Park can be done on among other spots Fetchers tower, and there is climbing gear that travellers can hire if they do not come with their own. Rock climbing should be done in the company of a park ranger guide.
Hiking in Hell’s Gate National Park is an activity that travellers can do through river gorges, rock towers, hot springs and be rewarded with beautiful scenic views.
Biking through the park has travellers doing so past various wildlife species including gazelles, zebras, giraffes and so many others. There are bicycles that can be rented at the entrance gate if one has none of their own.
With well over 100 species of birds in Hell’s Gate National Park, bird watching is surely an activity that travellers will enjoy and get to see a number of different birds including vultures. Carrying binoculars could come in handy, as well as having a bird guide knowledgeable of the park.
How to get to Hell’s Gate National Park
Travellers can get to Hell’s Gate National Park by both road and air, with travelling by road being the most rewarding with great views of the countryside. By road, travellers get to drive northwest of Nairobi to the park via Lake Naivasha, and can take about only 3 hours. The roads are well paved including those inside the park so one doesn’t necessarily need a 4WD vehicle. Hell’s Gate National Park can also be reached by public means of transportation with minibuses and taxis available that can take you as far as the gate and then get to explore the park either by foot or with a bicycle, with the guidance of guides in the park. Travellers can also get to Hell’s Gate National Park by air, if time is not on one’s side. Naivasha airstrip or Loldia airstrip are the nearest and most used.
When to visit Hell’s Gate National Park
Hell’s Gate National Park can be visited all year through. For travellers interested in wildlife viewing at Hell’s Gate National Park, the dry season could be the best time to visit for the animals specifically gather at the few water points in the park since most of them dry up.
For travellers visiting Hell’s Gate National Park, some of the items to carry include sunscreen since you will be outdoors all the time, water, snacks, insect repellent creams, a hat, sunglasses, binoculars and a camera.
There are accommodation facilities that travellers can choose to stay in while on a safari to Hell’s Gate National Park. The accommodation ranges from luxury t budget, so all sorts of travellers are catered for. Some of the recommended lodging options one could choose to stay in include Mvuke Spa, Kiboko Luxury Camp, Hippos Safari Resort, and Naivasha Treehouse.
Hell’s Gate National Park is a great park to visit even for a day safari for those travellers in Nairobi for it is not so far off. Hell’s Gate National Park was used to film both the Lion King film as well as Tom Raider. Visiting the park, therefore, should be on the list of the top destinations one should include on their Kenya safari tour. Reach out to your trusted tour operator for help planning a memorable safari to Hell’s Gate National Park.