Who names a place Hell`s Gate National Park? The name itself evokes alluring emotions and you just find yourself pinning and burning to visit this voluptuousness even for a day trip just to satisfy your curiosity.
This was me, to be honest, it is the name that pulled me. So, the day came and departed Nairobi at 7:00 AM.
Along the way I couldn`t help but think about the towering cliffs, water gouged gorges, those utter rock towers with scrub clad volcanoes and the belching plumes of geothermal steam.
Being 90 Kilometers from Nairobi and a 2 hours drive, depending on traffic and how you step on it.
I couldn`t wait to see all the hype and the curiosity of the name kept on evoking my calmness.
This was going to be Epic, a walk in the wilderness brushing off shoulders with the likes of Buffalos, giraffes, Zebras and more importantly I couldn`t wait to experience the largest Natural Spa in Africa, the Olkaria Geothermal Spa.
Without much ado, here`s is my Experience at Hells Gate National Park Day trip from Nairobi.
Why the Name Hell`s Gate?
Two European men, Fischer and Thomson came up with the name after a narrow break in the cliff of once a tributary to a lake that fed the Rift valley people in 1800s.
The Local tour guide told us when Mount Longonot erupted, it buried many Maasai`s alive and hence the name Hell for literature purposes. However, none of this made sense to me.
According to me, I think the name must have been derived from the fiery deepwater gouged Gorges which run across the National Park.
Yes, when you have a closer look at these gorges, they look like the way to hell. Well, I have never been to hell and I pray I will never be, but we all understand hell is a nasty place according to the word of God. By the way, repent…
What attractions are in Hell`s Gate National Park?
Our guide Ole, told us there are two theories of Fischer`s tower-:
- It is a Volcanic Plug, this is a hardened Magma after a volcano eruption, in this case, the Mt. Longonot eruption back in the day.
- He told us that it was a Masai girl who disobeyed her parents and they cursed her then turned out to be a stone just like Lot`s Wife.
Fischer’s Tower is 25 Meters high climbing Rock which is located near the Elsa Gate inside Hell`s Gate National Park.
It derived its name from Fischer Gustav an explorer who was sent to find a route from Mombasa to Lake Victoria.
Meryvin Carnelly Raptors Hide.
It is concealing viewing point of raptors which is inside the Park and a walking distance to Naiburta campsite. So, it is ideal if you`re camping near this Campsite.
You will have a very close and personal view of the Raptors. Wouldn`t that be exhilarating?
How about doing a walk in the park, the serenity and the beautiful melodies of birds will keep you company? Of course, with the lush greenery graced by valleys. You will get to see wildlife along the way and you may just get close and personal with them.
There are several mammals which include, the Masai Giraffe, zebra, Buffalos, Eland, Thomson Gazelles, Hartebeests and Baboons who will robe you in broad daylight if you don’t lock your car windows.
There are Lions, Leopards but you will rarely spot them. They rarely show up for the party like the other animals. They kind of party poopers.
You can do game viewing by either, walking, cycling or inside your tour vehicle. Depends which flavour gets you going.
Bird Watching at Hell`s Gate National Park
Why lie, nobody wants to go bird watching in those closed Tour vehicles. I want to walk and this is what I did with my friends.
We tracked more than 25 Bird species. Hells Gate has more than 100 bird species but it will need time one to recover all the species.
Meryvin carnally raptors hide a one-way window makes it even more interesting viewing raptors at a close range.
Cycling at Hell`s Gate National Park.
This is an activity well known at Hell`s gate National Park. Have you ever viewed a giraffe so close?
Not in those caved tour vehicles no fence it’s just you and the animal? Man, these animals are huge! There is something about walking/Cycling safaris. Read Walking Safaris in Zambia.
You spot those zebras while cycling, you make a stop and admire them with all the time on earth.
They won`t even move since they think you`re part of them. But do you see how they swiftly move when you come with those confined vehicles?
Hell`s Gate National Park is one of the few parks in Africa that allow Walking and cycling safaris.
Ol Njorowa Gorge at Hell`s Gate National Park.
This is the stretch where we also have the devil`s bedroom. This is the long stretch of gouge water gorges.
This is where the name was derived. It is the main attraction at the same time the most controversial if not infamous in recent years.
As a matter of fact, Ol Norowa Gorge/Lower Gorge was closed indefinitely following several tragedies, the recent one being the one that killed 7 tourists in late 2019.
Writing this article sends chills down my spine. The day I had visited Hell`s Gate National Park with my daughter and friends.
It was all smooth we enjoyed the gorges. Huh, the place is incredibly beautiful, to say the least. I can spend all day there. Only time forced us out since we were to visit the Natural Spa.
However, I kept imagining and asking myself what if we encountered flash floods. The gorges are deep, like up to 3 Meters.
So, in the case of water flash floods, you have almost zero chances of surviving. Well, I brushed off the thoughts and continued enjoying nature.
The following Saturday on TV, I saw breaking news “FLOOD FLASH AT HELL`S GATE GORGES 7 DEAD”.
I froze, this could have been us! I thanked God, not like we are special or something but it was just not our time. May they rest in Peace.
Please note it doesn’t have to rain in Hell`s Gate but the surrounding Mount Longonot and then flash floods just emerge from nowhere. So, it is hard to tell hence the closure of the Gorges to avoid more tragedies.
The Only Natural Spa in Africa.
After cycling, hiking, trekking you will be exhausted to the core and now you only need a natural Spa.
Hell’s Gate National Park is known as the most atmospheric park in Africa because of the belching plumes of geothermal steam.
The waters are enchantingly pale blue and pensive that will draw your eyes as a slight breeze caresses your dehydrated but sleek skin.
It will mumble in your ears, come soak yourself in, we are not only warm but also therapeutic.
The water is rich in minerals such as Sulphur and silica which are known to cure diseases such as psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis among others.
That is the magic of Olkaria Geothermal Spa, the only natural spa in Africa.
Well, guys, we have only one con which is the acrid smell of Sulphur fumes that will stubbornly and audaciously welcome you but as the therapy go on. You will forget if there was any tart Sulphur whiff.
We didn`t want to go but again time was not on our side and at the same time we were hungry as a wolf.
I couldn`t wait to feast on those fresh fish at the shores of Lake Naivasha as we gaze and accompany the dimming sunset.
How Much is the Entry fees 2021?
Hells Gate Park fees.
Olkaria Geothermal Spa Charges.
How to get to Hells Gate National Park.
Once in Naivasha, turn right and hit Moi South Lake road, pass by Elsamere conservation centre in an about 8 Kilometers off Moi South Lake road. Head to Olkaria route, pass by Mvuke geothermal on your left.
Air: Naivasha Air Strip.
Camping at Hell`s Gate National Park.
Hell`s Gate National Park has three main camping sites where you can pitch your tents namely, Endachata, Naiburta and Oldubai.
They all have structures if you need to cook and well-structured showers.
Well, I didn’t camp but I had a sneak view of the Camping sites.
- Adult Kes200 Child Kes150
- Adult $20 Child $15
Camping & Hiking Gear.
You will need Camping and Hiking Essentials in Hell`s Gate National Park.
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