Hell’s Gate National Park is a must-visit destination in Kenya, located south of Lake Naivasha and northwest of Nairobi. Named after a narrow break in the cliffs, the park is known for its spectacular scenery, including towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, and belching plumes of geothermal steam. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of wildlife, mountain biking, rock climbing, and a natural spa. The park is also home to five geothermal power stations at Olkaria and includes a Maasai Cultural Center.
The park covers an area of 68.25 square kilometers and is situated at an altitude of between 1,520 and 2,147 meters above sea level. The park is characterized by diverse topography and geological scenery. It is an important home of the lammergeyer (bearded vulture).
The park was established in 1984 and is named after a narrow break in the cliffs that was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It was established as a national park to protect the geothermal environment and its associated wildlife.
The park has two gates that allow entry – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station that is located inside the national park.
The park has a wide variety of wildlife including buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, baboon, and over 100 bird species including vultures, Verreaux’s eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts. African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, and baboon are common. The park is also home to klipspringer antelope and Chanler’s mountain reedbuck.
Visitors can enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing and a natural spa. The park provides a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities such as game drives and nature walks. There are also several campsites within the park where visitors can stay overnight.
The park has three basic campsites where visitors can pitch tents – Endachata Campsite, Naiburta Campsite and Oldubai Campsite. There are also several special campsites that require advance booking – Nairburta Campsite (public), Hobleys Campsite (public), Naiburta Campsite (public), Endachata Campsite (public) and Oldubai Campsite (public).
In addition to camping facilities, there are several lodges located just outside the park where visitors can stay overnight. These include Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, Lake Naivasha Country Club and Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge.
Hell’s Gate National Park is an ideal destination for those looking for adventure and outdoor activities. The park offers breathtaking scenery and a wide variety of wildlife viewing opportunities. Don’t miss the chance to experience the beauty and splendor of Hell’s Gate National Park!