Fairend Safaris

Hells Gate National Park

Hells Gate National Park is situated in the northwest of Nairobi and about 100 kilometers South of Lake Naivasha. It was established in 1984 and named after a narrow break in the cliff once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. The park comprises of geological features such as cliffs, waterfalls, hot springs, and geysers.

Hells Gate National Park is famous due to its proximity to Nairobi in addition to being the only park travelers can explore by bicycle or on foot. Because of this, it is an excellent park for adventurous travelers because it has great hiking and cycling trails. Other activities like abseiling, rock climbing, camping, and picnics can be done when you visit. The park is home to some wildlife species like zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, buffalos, and impalas among others.

How to access Hells Gate National Park

Hells Gate National Park can be accessed by both road and air. By road, travelers use the Nairobi- Naivasha highway which gives breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley and other features. During World War II, Italian prisoners of war built this road which gives access to the park.

In fact, two gates give access to this park, the first is Elsa gate and the other is Olkaria gate. When using air, there are daily flights to the Loldia airfield on the western side of Naivasha from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Things to do in Hells gate National park.

Hiking

Hiking is one of the top activities done in this park because it is a safe place where travelers can explore on foot. With assistance of local guides who lead hiking trails and explain more about the history and nature within the park.The hikes usually last 3 hours and begin from Ol-Njorwa gorge giving tourists opportunities to sightsee many animals.

The species likely to be sighted are elands, Thomson gazelles, zebras, hartebeests, klipspringer antelopes, and also birds among others. Travelers are advised to always check the weather before departing for hiking tours. The main reason for that is because flash floods occur mostly during the rainy season which may not be favorable.

Game viewing

Hells Gate National Park is home to wild species which can be viewed early in the morning during game drives. However, the park does not have any large mammals apart from the buffalo which makes it ideal to explore on foot or simply bicycles. During game drives animals like giraffes, elands, hartebeests, impalas, Thompson’s gazelles, zebras, and large rodents can be seen.

Cycling 

Cycling is an amazing and adventurous way of exploring Hells Gate allowing travelers to ride through an open environment. In addition to enjoying clear views of different geological features and animals like zebras, giraffes, and other wildlife species. There are no carnivores in the park making it a safe place to enjoy a biking tour.

There are bikes at Elsa gate that travelers can hire for use if they cannot bring some for themselves. It is recommended that travelers hire a guide to accompany them because they are vast with the best biking trails. More so they assist in repairing bikes if they break down along the way. The most interesting cycling route is the gorge road, which circles the Ranger’s post. It takes you downhill on the way in and uphill on the way back.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is done at the Fischer’s tower which has a height of approximately 25 meters. It is famously known to be a tower where the Masai girl who turned away from her own home turned into a stone. The rock was named after Dr. Gustav Fischer a German explorer and climbing this rock offers spectacular views of the landscapes.

Cultural Encounter

Hells Gate National Park is surrounded by the Maasai communities which can be explored while on a Kenya safari. Travelers may have an insight into the traditions, lifestyle, and way of living of the Masaai. During these visits, tourists enjoy beautiful dance performances as they jump up and down.  Travelers can combine this activity with hiking and visiting the waterfalls. This can all be achieved with the guidance of a local guide.

Picnics

Picnic areas in Hells Gate National Park are available near the ranger station. Guests must be extremely cautious with their packed lunch because there are monkeys on site. These primates are active species, they may end up stealing the meals. If travelers need to unwind, there is a cool resting area at the bottom of Fischer’s tower where to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Camping

Camping is also an exciting activity for tourists to engage in, there are around 3 camping sites in Hell’s Gate National Park. These are Naiburta, Ol dubai, Endachata, and most importantly they all have toilets, showers, and picnic shelters among others.

Where to stay 

There are no accommodation facilities within the park however travelers can make tents in the camping areas like Hata, Naiburta, and Olduvai within the park or stay in the hotels and lodges which are situated near the park like Camp Carnelly, Lake Naivasha country club, Sovereign suites, Sawela lodges, Hylise hotel, Ulwazi place and many more.

When to visit

Hells Gate National park can be visited during the dry season from July to September and from December to February when there is little rain. During rainy season the park floods and sometimes it is closed.