Hells Gate National Park
Hell's Gate National Park is a unique and stunning protected area situated in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. This relatively small park, covering approximately 68.25 square kilometers (26.4 square miles), is celebrated for its dramatic landscapes, geothermal activity, and an array of outdoor recreational activities.
Location and Accessibility
Hell's Gate National Park is located roughly 90 kilometers (56 miles) northwest of Nairobi, making it easily accessible for day trips from the capital city. It is one of the few national parks in Kenya where you can walk, cycle, and even rock climb, adding an adventurous element to your wildlife and nature exploration.
Gorges and Cliffs
The park is characterized by deep, rugged gorges, towering cliffs, and surreal rock formations. Fischer's Tower, a freestanding volcanic column, is one of the most iconic landmarks within the park.
Hell's Gate is known for its geothermal activity, with hot springs and geysers, such as the Central Tower and the Obsidian Caves, scattered throughout the park. The Hell's Gate Gorge, from which the park derives its name, features hot geothermal steam that emerges from the earth's crust.
While Hell's Gate is not as renowned for its wildlife as other Kenyan national parks, it still offers the opportunity to spot a variety of animals, including:
Birdwatchers will appreciate the diverse avian population in Hell's Gate, with over 100 species of birds recorded,including vultures, eagles, and swifts.
Hiking and Trekking
One of the park's main attractions is its network of hiking and trekking trails that take you through the breathtaking landscapes, including the Hell's Gate Gorge. The Devil's Bedroom, a narrow gorge with sheer cliffs on either side, is a popular trekking destination.
Rock climbers flock to Hell's Gate to ascend the park's cliffs and rock formations. With various levels of difficulty, it caters to both beginners and experienced climbers.
Cycling is a unique way to explore the park. There are designated cycling paths that allow you to cover more ground and enjoy the scenery at your own pace.
While not the primary focus of the park, game drives are available, providing opportunities to see the resident wildlife.
Picnicking and Camping
Hell's Gate National Park has several picnic sites where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal amidst the stunning natural surroundings. Camping facilities are also available for those who want to spend the night under the stars.
Hell's Gate National Park is a distinctive and captivating destination that stands out from the traditional African safari experience. Its dramatic landscapes, geothermal features, and outdoor activities make it an excellent choice for adventure seekers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts. Whether you're exploring the gorges, admiring the unique geothermal activity, or indulging in thrilling outdoor pursuits, Hell's Gate National Park promises an unforgettable and adventurous experience in the heart of Kenya's Rift Valley.