Weekend plan: bird watching, hiking, hot springs, nature trail stroll and camping at Hell's Gate National Park in Naivasha, Kenya
- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Hell's Gate National Park is one of Kenya’s famed tourist destinations due to its nature trails, cliffs, hot springs, bird watching activities, wildlife viewing, raptor nesting in cliffs, the Olkaria Geothermal Station, the Mervyn Carnelley and its geothermal health spa.
Located in Naivasha, the park’s dramatic name originates from the intense geothermal activity within its boundaries.
Its spectacular scenery that includes the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam is the first sight that greets people as they walk into the park.
Due the lack of ‘fierce’ wild animals at the national parks visitors can explore it by foot, strolling slowly as you enjoy and wave to the ‘friendly’ animals in the park such as zebras, gazelles, elands, buffalos and antelopes among others.
Thiis is one of the spectacualr things that sets it apart from other national parks in the country.
There are also over 100 species of birds including vultures, eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts among others, a treat for the bird watching enthusiasts.
Cycling is another means in which people can choose to explore the park and for those full of energy, they can choose to hike the steep rocks and enjoy the view from the top.
For the lovers of large masses of water, there is a swimming pool that is heated by the geo-thermal wells.
In the national park, there are also three main campsites called Endachata, Naiburta and Oldubai where campers can pitch their tents. Around the campsite area, there are shelters where visitors are able to prepare their meals. Bathrooms with showers installed are available and so are clean toilets.
At night, campers are able to hear the geo-thermal wells roar, which for some can be a calming sound that helps them drift away tosleep while for others it can be a cause of insomnia for the night.
There is a gift shop inside the park to buy souveniers. Bicylces can be hired at the entrance.
Recommended things to carry while visiting the Hell's Gate national park are: enough food, drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment such as torches, blankets and firewood if one intends to stay overnight.
Also useful are: binoculars for bird watching or sight seeing, a camera for the memories, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, walking boots and guidebooks
To get there from Nairobi using public service vehicles take Naivasha matatus at the Ronald Ngala Street opposite OTC or at the Commercial stage on Accra Road. Make sure to alight where there is a Kenya Wild Service (KWS) signpost that is inscribed Hell’s Gate at the Elsa Park Gate.
Charges are: Park entrance- Sh300 for adults (citizen) Sh215 for children (citizen), Sh600 for adults (residents) Sh300 for children (residents), $26 for adults (non-residents) $17 for children (non-residents)
To confirm the park charges or to get more information call: 0770 070 405, 0774 435 934