Hell’s Gate National Park (A Walk on the Wild Side)

Named for the intense geothermal activity within its boundaries, Hell’s Gate National Park is a superb beauty. This National Park is located in the south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya – northwest of Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi. The Hell’s Gate National Park lies within the Rift Valley and is covered by ashes from the Longonot eruption which occurred 100 years ago. Hell’s Gate National Park is popular for wildlife and nature adventures in Kenya. This National Park is one of the few places in Kenya where tourists can engage in nature walks and biking safaris.

The National Park is famous for its spectacular scenery including the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes, and belching plumes of geothermal steam. Hell’s Gate is a perfect destination for a day trip in Kenya since it is just a few hour drive form the country’s capital, Nairobi.

Here are Facts about Hells Gate National Park – All you need to know about ‘‘A Walk on the Wild Side’’

This National Park was established in 1984 and covers an area of about 68.25 square kilometres. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, buffalo, and over 100 species of birds. One unique feature of the park is the geothermal activity, with hot springs and geysers dotting the landscape. It’s also famous for its role as the inspiration for the setting of the Disney movie “The Lion King. This National Park is a designated World Heritage Site (UNESCO). Hell’s Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs once a tributary of a prehistoric lake in the Rift Valley  area.

This safari park is one of the most popular in Kenya because of its easy access from Nairobi, as well as the abundant wildlife that can be easily spotted during safaris in the park. Acacia Safaris Limited will help you plan your dream Kenya Safari tour to this amazing park. Book your next Kenya trip with us and unfold the untold truth about Africa.


Attractions in Hell’s Gate National Park


Despite being small in size, Hell’s Gate National Park is home to abundant wildlife. Some of the most spotted wildlife species in the park include; Giraffe, eland, hartebeest, buffalo, small gazelles, and antelopes among others. This various wildlife can be spotted during game drives, nature walks and biking safaris, especially across the park’s grassy plains. The big cats like Lions, leopards, and cheetahs also occur also but are rarely seen.

African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, hyena, and baboons can also be seen during safaris. The National Park is home to some a small troops of klipspringer and rock hyrax, both living in rocky areas in the Park. Wildlife viewing in Hell’s Gate National Park is guaranteed during safaris and can be done all year round. Plan your wildlife tour here with us today.


Birdlife in the Park 

Besides wildlife, this national parks also boasts some avifauna that you will enjoy watching during your safaris in Kenya. The National Park in home to about103 different including the vultures, eagles, and augur buzzards. Some rare species like the Verreaux’s eagle, the Lammergeyer, Ruppel’s griffon, and hooded vultures ca all be sighted in the park. Although this park is not a superb birding destination, its avifauna is really woth exploring during your visit to Kenya.  

Fischers Tower

The Fischers Tower is 25 25-meter (75 Ft.) high rocky tower that was formed by semi-molten rock forced to a fissure, cooling and solidifying as it extruded. It is located near the main entrance of the park. According to the Maasai community folklore, the tower is a Maasai girl who was turned into stone after disobeying the family before her wedding.


Obsidian Caves

The other shouldn’t miss feature while here is the Obsidian Caves. These Obsidian caves and their distinctive black glass-like obsidian rock are located on the Buffalo Circuit. The rocks offer a beautiful view with their glass-like rock. Obsidian rock is a result of the rapid cooling of molten volcanic lava coming into contact with water while being poured into a lake or ocean. 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.

Best things to do while at Hell’s Gate National Park – Activities and experiences at Hell’s Gate National Park 

Wildlife watching

Although Hell’s Gate is not as famous for its wildlife as some other national parks in Kenya; it still offers an opportunity to spot animals like zebras, giraffes, elands, warthogs, and several bird species. Keep your eyes peeled and enjoy observing the local wildlife.

Wildlife safaris to this amazing safari park are truly amazing and rewarding. You can enjoy watching the various wildlife species on a game drive safari or nature-guided walking safari. if you are taking on the nature-guided walk, you will need to hire a well-trained and armed ranger guide to lead you during the tour.

Walking safari

A guided walking safari is one of the best ways to explore the little details of this park. These walking safaris allow you to explore this amazing safari park while on foot,  while enjoying the natural surrounding. During Nature walks, you will explore the parks diversity and expect to encounter several small and large animals including zebras, and giraffes, among others.


Biking or cycling is one of the best safari activities to do in Hell’s Gate National Park. You can rent a bikee and explore the park’s scenic landscapes on wheels while being guided by one of the best knowledgeable guides. The best time of the day to do this activity is during morning or evening hours when the sun is not too hot.

Rock climbing

The Park is known for its impressive cliffs, making it a perfect destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. While here, you can challenge yourself to climb these unique cliffs, with varying difficulty levels suitable for different experience levels.

Visit the hot springs

Hell’s Gate is home to several natural hot springs, which are a result of the geothermal activity in the area. Take a dip in the warm waters and relax while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Visit the Olkaria Geothermal Spa


The Olkaria Geothermal Spa is located just near the park and is one of the to areas to visit while here. This Geothermal Spa offers a unique wellness experience to both tourist and locals as many go there to soak in hot mineral water pools.


Spending a night under the stars is one of the unique experiences that you should look out for during your safari in Kenya. This unique experience give you a great experience of a typical night in the African wilderness.  There are several designated camping areas within the park. You can also enjoy a bonfire; listen to the sounds of nature, and wake up to the beautiful sights of different species of birds and wildlife.

Acacia Safaris Limited is the best tour operator that will help you plan your ultimate Kenya adventure. Our exceptional experience in organizing safaris in East Africa is exceptional. Plan your dream Kenya safari with the best inbound ground handler.

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