Hell’s gate national park

Hells gate national park – Africa safari tours

Hells gate national park is found in the south of lake Naivasha in Kenya and in the north west of Nairobi the capital of Kenya with in Nakuru county making it the best destination for those who would like to travel short distances to the park, it is the closest park to the Nairobi among Kenya’s National Parks. The facts about hells gate national park park,  its popular because it is a representation of an area of geological action that led to formation of different land forms like hot springs, geysers due to ongoing geological processes which have led to the exceptional and beautiful scenery because of the presence of belching plumes of geothermal steam making it one of the atmospheric parks of Africa. Hell’s gate national park is among Kenya’s smallest national parks covering an area of 68.25 sq km (26.35 sq mi) with wide variety of wildlife and sceneries like Fischer’s Tower, Central Tower columns, stark rock towers and Hell’s gate water gorge.  It is also the home of five geothermal power stations at Olkaria this has gradually increased the number of tourists in the park hence benefiting it.

Hell’s gate national park
hells gate state park photo

Hells gate national park derives its name from a narrow gap in the cliffs that were once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed people in the Rift Valley. The park is full of wonders it is close to 2 Volcanoes longonot and Suswa where you can take a hike at, close to Nakuru National park which provides views at the black and white Rhinos. The park is free from Man eaters making one of the two Parks in Kenya that can be explored on foot. You shouldn’t miss out to adventure and recognize tombs that featured in the productions like Cradle of life, Tomb Raider and inspired others like the hell’s gate national park lion king. You will view some water falls both cold and hot and stunning, multi-colored rock strata and formations.

History of Hells gate national park

Hell’s gate national park was established in 1984 was a purpose of protecting a wide variety of wildlife and the spectacular scenic features under governess and management of Kenya wildlife service, the explores Fisher and Thomson gave the park its name in 1883.

Hells gate national park

Hells gate national park wildlife

Despite its small size the national park is home to variety of wildlife species, its open plains provide a habitant to wild animals like cape buffaloes, lions, leopards, black backed jackals, hartebeests, Thomas gazelles, elands, cheetahs, impala, Zebras, spotted hyenas, defassa waterbucks, chase dust clouds to mention but a few are animals found in hells gate national park.


Hells gate national park is a perfect destination for bird lovers, it is home to over 130 bird species like migratory, raptures and the famous endemic lammergeyer which include African Kestrel, Arrow-marked babbler, Chinspot batis, Egyptian vulture, Golden-winged sunbird, Eastern imperial eagle, Jackson’s widowbird, Bearded vulture, Mottled swift, Nyanza swift, Red-winged starling, Schawlow’s wheatear, Verreaux’s eagle, White-rumped swift, yellow bishop, yellow-rumped seedeater to mention but a few.

Hells gate national park activities

Wildlife and bird species

Hells gate national park animals, the national park is small but a home to variety of wildlife species that will amuse you which include giraffes, elands, hartebeest, buffaloes, gazelle, klipspringers, rock hyrax, chanler’s mountain reedbuck etc. The is also blessed with bird species like vultures, verreaux’s eagle, lammergeyer, augur buzzard among others.

Hells gate national park

Fischer’s tower and central tower

You will have a chance to climb rocks which were formed by volcanic plugs of hard igneous rock that resisted erosion to make these rocky columns. These rocks are a walkable distance from Elsa gate which is the main entrance of Hell’s gate national park. Scientists believe that the towers  were formed as a result of semi molten rocks forcing into a fissure that cooled and solidified to form an extrusion although locals also have their own story of the formation of these rocks get a chance and hear the story from the locals themselves, the Maasai believe that the rock was a Maasai girl who froze into stone after turning her back on her own Father on her way to her future husbands contrary to their traditions. This story will be told to you by the locals on a culture encounter.

Hells gate gorge

This valley runs through the national park, its rock walls and volcanic columns can be climbed while guided by a park guide on reaching the top you will view a number of wildlife species in the park and various bird species.

Obsidian caves

Obsidian hills were formed as a result of the quick cooling of molten lava on its contact with water forming the glassy texture of the rock. These rocks are found in the buffalo circuit with in Hell’s gate national park.

Lower gorge/ Ol Njorwa gorge

This gorge was formed as a result of geological activity, this gorge seems to block the sky.

Ol Karia geothermal power station

You will be in position to view how underground thermal energy has been used to produce power.

Hell’s gate national park Activities.

Game viewing

A drive through the national park is very rewarding viewing the wildlife in the morning or evening game drive as they graze, this time id perfect as they graze because the wild animals hide away from the sight during day, hence difficult to track, you will also sight on the Klipspringers and rock hyraxes.

Biking/ hells gate national park cycling

Hell’s gate national park is one of the few parks in the country that provides this activity, hells gate national park biking, your allowed to carry your own bicycle or hire one at the park headquarters, you will have a close encounter with the wildlife in the park.

Walking Safaris

This activity involves walking through the lower gorge/Ol Njorwa on foot you will sight on wildlife species like zebras, elands, giraffes and sceneries like cold waterfalls, hot springs, the striations of the beautiful colored rocks and other companies which will be shown to you by the park guide.

Rock climbing

The park has a number of rocks to climb with guidance from the park guide, you can carry your own climbing gears or hire some at the park in order to engage in climbing the cliffs. You can also climb the Fetcher’s tower that inspired the “Pride rock” on the Lion King animation.

Hiking in Hells gate national park

Hike through river gorges like the deep gorges, red-colored cliffs, rock towers, hot springs and geysers which is another way of exploring the park, take as many photos as possible for keeping the memories od this fulling adventure alive.

Culture interactions

Visit the Maasai people who neighbor the park, learn about their culture, tradition, way of life and survival criterias at the Maasai culture center in their home stead called “boma”, you listen to their local music, storytelling, dancing among others.

Hells gate national park accommodation

Warring about where to stay on your visit to Hell’s gate national park should totally be declined because the park has a number of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury, mid-range and budget like Luxury; Kiboko luxury camp, mvuke spa, Naivasha kongoni lodge. Mid-range include Lake Naivasha resort, Eseriani the hotel, Sweet lake resort, Hippos safaris resort. Budget accommodation; Burch’s resort Naivasha, triple den Naivasha hotel, Naivasha tree house to mention but a few. The park also has camping sites which gives campers scenic views of Mount Longonot and the Mau escarpment.

Hells gate national park location

By Road; pass via the tarmacked road via Naivasha Town on the lake road south (90 kms) and at the junction 5km south of Naivasha

By Air; fly from Nairobi to Naivasha air strip.

Best time to visit Hells gate national park

 The best time to visit the Hells gate national park is between the months of June to March which are also the dry seasons, no rain falls which gives clear view of the park and also the roads are accessible unlike the wet season, However the park is open to tourist all year round and a perfect destination all year round.

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