Hell's Gate National Park Safaris | Tours | 1 Day Trip | Excursions | Kenya
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Hells Gate National Park | Kenya
Kenyan National Park that allows Hiking/ Walking, Bicycling/ Cycling, Horse Riding, Rock Climbing, Bird Watching, Photography and Wildlife Viewing in Hells Gate National Park - Lake Naivasha | Kenya

(Hell's Gate National Park is situated in the environs of Lake Naivasha about 100 Kilometers from Nairobi. Hell's Gate National Park lies to the south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, North West of Nairobi. The park is 10 kilometers from Naivasha town)



Hell's Gate National Park Hell's Gate National Park

Fischers Tower, Kenya

Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya Giraffe Crossing the RoadHell's Gate National Park,

Masai Giraffe

Hell's Gate National Park, Hell's Gate National Park,

Steep Canyon


Hell's Gate National Park

Hell's Gate National Park is situated in the environs of Lake Naivasha about 90 Kilometers from Nairobi. It was opened in February 1984. The Park is situated 14 Kilometers after the turnoff from the old Nairobi - Naivasha highway. Hell's Gate or Njorowa Gorge is situated in Nakuru District, Rift Valley Province, covering an Area of 68 square Kilometers.


Hell's Gate National Park is accessible via tarmac road from Nairobi. (90 Kilometers) via Naivasha Town on the Lake Road South at a Junction 5 Kilometers south of Naivasha.


Hell's Gate National Park provides a variety of wildlife, unusual flora and many species of birds and is one of the two only Kenyan Parks where Climbing, Walking and Biking are allowed.


Covered by ashes from the Longonot eruption which occurred 100 years ago, the Park is famous for its geothermal station, Lower Gorge and spectacular sceneries (cliffs, volcanoes, gorges, geothermal steam). Hell's Gate National Park is characterized by diverse topography and geological scenery.


It is an important home of the lammergeyer. Hell’s Gate has two gates that are used by visitors – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station that is located inside the National Park.


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Hell's Gate National Park Ungulates and Mammals include:
Buffalo (Cape), Giraffe (Masai), Hyrax (Bruce’s), Hyrax (Eastern Tree), Hyrax (Rock), Hyrax (Southern Tree) and Zebra (Common). Carnivores include Aardwolf and Civet.


Others include: (African), Fox (Bat-eared), Genet (Large-spotted) and Genet (Small-spotted), Hyena (Spotted), both Jackal (Black-backed) and Jackal (Common), Mongoose (Marsh), Mongoose (White-tailed), Otter (Clawless), Serval and Zorilla.

Hell's Gate National Park Primates include:
Baboon (Savannah), Monkey (Green Vervet)

Hell's Gate National Park Other Animals and Vegetation

Other animals include rabbits, hares, insectivores, Hare (Cape) and Hare (Spring) and Porcupine (Crested). The vegetation is mainly grasslands and shrublands dominated by several species of Acacia and Euphorbia.


There are also a wide variety of succulents in the area and some unique plants capable of withstanding high temperatures.

Hell's Gate National Park Birds :
Masai Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Ruppel's Griffon Vulture, Peregrine Falcons, Verraux Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Bateleur, Lammergeyer, Oxpeckers, Augur Buzzard, Hildebrandt Francolin, Guinea Fowl, Speckled Pigeon, Laughing Dove, Bee Eater, Hoopoe, Mottled Swifts and Sunbirds.


Others include: Rufous-naped Lark, Richard Pipit, Black Marked Babbler, Anteater Chat, Cisticolas, Fiscal Shrike, Wattled Starling, Blue-eared Starling, Red-winged Starling, Superb Starling, Rufous Sparrow, Speke Weaver, Schalow Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Yellow Bishop, Purple Grenadier, Yellow-rumped Seedeater etc…


Hell's Gate National Park Climate

* Temperature ranges from 20-300 and rainfall from 200mm – 700 mm
* Two rain seasons: Long rains – March & April & short rains – Nov/ December




Hell's Gate National Park Major Attractions

Hells Gate Fischers Tower

Hell's Gate National Park Fischer’s Tower

Hells Gate Fischers Tower is 25 meters (75 ft) high rocky tower formed by semi-molten rock forced to a fissure, cooling and solidifying as it extruded is located near the main entrance of the Park. Both the Fischer's tower and the Central Tower were formed the same way at the same time.


The German explorer, Gustav Fischer, who was sent by the Hamburg Geographical Society to find a route going from Mombasa to Lake Victoria, gave his name to this high volcanic plug rising out of the valley.


For Masai community, the tower is a Masai girl which has be turned to stone after disobeying the family before her wedding. Around the base and scuttling among the rocks are dassies (or rock hyrax), quite unperturbed by visitors. Picnic site available. Hells Gate Fischers Tower is great fun for climbers.

Hells Gate National Park Obsidian Caves

Hell's Gate National Park Obsidian Caves

Hells Gate National Park Obsidian Caves (and its distinctive black glass-like obsidian rock) are located on the Buffalo Circuit and have a track that take you to a lookout over the near Fisher Tower and Kedong plains around the Mt Longonot.


Picnic site available. Obsidian is the result of rapid cooling of molten volcanic lava coming in contact with water while being poured into a lake or ocean. This resulting to the glassy texture of the rock. Iron and magnesium give the obsidian a dark green to black color. Obsidian can contain small air bubbles that are aligned along layers.


These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden sheen, known as Sheen Obsidian or a rainbow sheen called Rainbow Obsidian. Small nuggets of obsidian that have been naturally rounded and smoothed by wind and water are called Apache Tears.

Hell's Gate National Park Central Tower

Hell's Gate National Park Central Tower

Hell's Gate National Park Central Tower is also called "Embarta" (The Horse), this rocky tower is much larger than its predecessor the Fischer's Tower. The Central tower is hardly seen along the road, it can be viewed from very far along the Buffalo Circuit.


To access the tower, continue towards the Lower Gorge and park your car at the main parking - which marks the halfway point of the main road. Once at the parking, the tower is easily seen from benches of the picnic site and there is a track leading to the tower.


Hell's Gate National Park Ol Karia Geothermal Project

Hell's Gate National Park Ol Karia Geothermal Project

Hell's Gate National Park Ol Karia Geothermal Project is located few kilometers after the Central Tower. This geothermal power station standing over the lava flow of the Ol Karia extinct volcano is exploiting the super-heated steam locked 1,500 meters (4,500 ft) below surface (one of the hottest sources of the world) and is providing 25 % of Kenyan's electricity from its giant turbines.


From the geothermal station, you can continue up to the Ol Karia Gate (exit which emerge in the Oserian and Elsamere farms near the lake) or continue the circuit to admire steam vents and recent lava flows around the Ol Karia and Hobley's mounts.


Hell's Gate National Park Cliffs

Hell's Gate National Park Cliffs

Hell's Gate National Park Cliffs best time to drive within the cliffs is late in the afternoon as the game comes out of cover and you may see herds of buffalo and eland drinking at the waterholes and hundreds of birds flying and nesting in the rocky walls.


The large white droppings on the rocky cliffs indicate nests of vulture. The Naiburta or Ol Dubai campsites offers splendid views across the cliffs and the waterholes.


Hell's Gate National Park Wildlife

Hell's Gate National Park Wildlife

Hell's Gate National Park Wildlife; The grassy plains guarded by the towering cliffs are safe places to walk alongside giraffe, eland, hartebeest, buffalo and other small gazelles and antelopes. Lion, leopard and cheetah are very rare.


Note also the presence of small troops of klipspringer and rock hyrax, both living in rocky area. The rare Chanler's mountain reedbuck is very hard to spot. The park counts 103 species of birds and the cliffs are home and nesting places for birds, which are abundant at Naivasha lake.


The large white droppings on the rocks indicate nests of vulture, eagles and augur buzzard. Rare species are the Verreaux's eagle and the Lammergeyer, Ruppel's griffon and hooded vultures.


Hell's Gate National Park Lower Gorge/Ol Njorowa Gorge

Hell's Gate National Park Lower Gorge/Ol Njorowa Gorge

Hell's Gate National Park Lower Gorge/Ol Njorowa Gorge is located on the main road, the Lower Gorge is the main attraction of the Park. Picnic sites, toilets, refreshment and local guides are available at the main parking. From this point, you can walk up to the Central Tower or go down to the Lower Gorge (slightly steep).


The first ½ kilometer is the most difficult as you follow the spring and it is sometimes slippery. But once you arrive at the main junction, the walk is easy. Stout stick, non-slip shoes and clothes for wet conditions is recommended and you must keep an eye on the weather (especially during rain seasons) as there are risk of water flood.


Nevertheless, walking in the gorge is an amazing experience as you will see during this 2 hours expedition water eroded walls, so narrow that they almost block out the sky, several hot and cold waterfalls, hot water springs and colorful strata and rock formations.


The place is also popular for film production as the Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, King Solomon's Mines and Mountains of the Moon used the gorge as backdrop of their movie

hells gate Park Masai Dancers

Hell's Gate National Park Olook Karia Masai Cultural Centre

Hell's Gate National Park Olook Karia Masai Cultural Centre; Experience the traditions of the Masai culture as they sing, fight, dance and demonstrate jewellery making.


Opening times vary, so check with the Information center as you enter the park. More than 100 years ago, Hell's gate was in the heart of the Masai land and Lake Naivasha was a traditional refreshing point for Masai herds. Nowadays, Masai people are hardly seen in Naivasha town and lake but they still inhabit the unpopulated area surrounding the lake.


Visiting a Manyatta is a good way to learn more about Masai people and culture and you may have the chance to watch moran (young warrior) fighting, throwing their rungu (wooden stick) to hammer down animals or to see traditional dance - women singing and tall moran jumping as high as an antelope.


Hell's Gate National Park Accommodations

* Hell's Gate National Park has no accommodation; although a wide range of accommodations options are available in Naivasha town and along Moi South Lake Road

* Camping Facilities include Oldubai campsite (on the cliff top south of Fischer’s Tower), Nairburta campsite and
Endchata campsite (across the gorge on the northern cliffs)


Hell's Gate National Park Activities

* Biking

* Hiking
* Camping

* Bird watching

* Rock climbing

* Wildlife viewing



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