Nairobi Stories and Tips

Hells Gate National Park in Kenya

Picnic lunch in Hells gate national parl Photo, Nairobi, Kenya

HELL'S GATE NATIONAL PARK IN KENYA.

While planning your Kenya safari, try and include Hell's Gate National park in Naivasha. I went there with my family 2 years ago and i have decided to tell everybody about this wonerful place in Kenya. We went on a 8 days safari including Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha (Hell's gate) and finished our safari in Samburu National park. Our agent "Inside Africa Budget Safaris" told us that Hells gate was part of the itenerary, we didnt say no since she was the expert. Let me tell you more about this wonerful place called Hells Gate and the history which we gathered from the locals there.

Hell's Gate National Park is a tiny park located between Naivasha Lake and Longonot and Suswa volcanoes and it is an ideal venue for a weekend retreat far from the urban life of Nairobi.The 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.Hell's Gate in Naivasha is an ideal getaway place enroute to Lake Nakuru or the Masai Mara.Visitors here have the choice of driving while game vieing, camping, cycling and rock climbing. Naivasha town is the second coast and to the majority who can not make it or afford the beaches and the white sand, this is the place to be.Hell's Gate National Park is a beautiful park that has bufalloes, gazelles, zebras, giraffe and ostrich among others. The park got its name after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley.Despite its name, Hell's Gate, given by the explorers Fisher and Thomson (1883) after their defeat against the hostile Maasai warriors, the park is a peaceful area where you can walk or do biking alongside towering cliffs and wild animals.

Hell's Gate stand in a class of its own, visitors here have the choice of driving, walking, camping, cycling and rock - climbing within the park while horseback safaris can also be arranged.For nature lovers, the entrance to the gorge is a perfect place for breakfast before descending for a gorgeous walk in this old canyon.Some of the spectacular scenerary in the park includes the towering cliffs water - gouged gorges, stark of rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes and the rising plumes of geothermal stream.

On entering the the park, one is welcomed by the 25m high Fischers tower that rise high in the sky and which is used by novices in rock climbing to the highest point of the tower with the help of trained guides. The jugged volcanic plug is all that remains of an ancient volcano and its named after the German explorer Gustav Fischer.According to the Maasai who claim that the park was their ancestral land, the rock is petrified figure of a chief's daughter. The story goes that the girl was on her way to get married and was warned against looking behind lest she would turn into a rock. And just like the story of Sodom and Gomorah, she went against the instruction and took one last glance at her home and the tower is a reminder of what happened to her, she turned into a rock.

According to palmeris, the rock offers excellent climbing and is a home to a colony of rock hyrax among other small animals. The towering cliffs and undulating grasslands provide one of the few remaining places where one can walk alongside herds of bufallo, zebra and giraffes.Deeper into the lodge is the lower gorge that offers an opportunitry to explore the long, winding, deeper curves of the Ol Njorowe Gorge. In here water hot water springs which some claims are medicinal for those with skin diseases can be found and the tour for the strong hearted is breathtaking. The rising steam from various parts of the park is a clear indication of the geothermal power.

For bird lovers, this is just the perfect place for you, an incredible 103 species of birds have been recorded in the park. The massive cliff in the park provide a home for thousands of swift birds as well as unique breeding ground for vulture, augur buzzard, verreaux eagle and the rare Lamergeyer vulture. There is the Mervyn carnelly raptor hide, which is a unique bird viewing hide that incorporates a one way window. This allows visitors to view and photograph the raptors, which are birds of prey at exceptionally close range.

Discover this wonderful place while in Kenya.

John Schuff is a traveler. For more info about this visit http://www.insideafricatravel.com


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