One Hell of a Day…. at Hell’s Gate National Park!

Posted on November 30th, 2011
Categories: News

Last Saturday started off as a cold, miserable and drizzly day without a sniff of a hint of sunshine. I had promised my son that I would join his school trip to Hell’s Gate National Park, in Naivasha… which of course I was deeply regretting when the drizzling rain didn’t abate all the way down the escarpment!

We arrived at the gate and fully anticipated the ticketing process to take forever; however, we were pleasantly surprised how well organized KWS were at this particulate gate.   We started our walk at the main gate, and walked through the park surrounded by the great heights of beautiful volcanic rock faces either side.  The game, all grazing at the base, seemed totally unfazed by our presence (think 20 children aged 7 to 10!)   We saw zebras, impalas, Thompson’s gazelle and giraffe.  The walk took us about an hour and a half to the Ranger’s Station, which is also the start of the walk down into the gorge. At this point we all took a break and enjoyed our picnics.  The picnic site was clean and tidy with a covered area containing benches and tables, even a little BBQ  grill!

Finally, the sun came out!  It was at this point we met our three wonderful guides which we booked through the Ranger’s Station (you can book at the main gate too).  We split into three groups, and our little group was led by the most patient and informative “twitcher” (as Josphat called himself due to his passionate encyclopedic knowledge of birds).  I was bowled away by the size and depth of the gorge, a journey which seemed not to end.

We saw various coloured stones and rocks, we learned  about plugs, striations in the rocks, volcanic faults as well as flora and fauna.  As we delved deeper into the gorge, we climbed down ravines (dry thankfully!), and even assisted down some of them. The kids had a blast, every one of their senses being woken!

We discovered hot spring waterfalls and cold rivers under foot.  A huge adventure. The walked winded up about an hour and three quarters later, and the top of the gorge with the most stunning views, in fact I was hard pressed to believe I was in the surrounds of Naivasha!

Hell’s Gate, I have decided, is totally undervalued and when I asked my Nairobi friends if they had been, most said no! (we have lived here 8 years!)  I am really looking forward to going back again with my other son.  This is a perfect day out from Nairobi, so put down the Wii and get into the car!

Some tips if you go:  Don’t wear your favorite trainers, as they will get a little wet (the children’s were soaking of course!) Bring drinking water, your alien card (or passport) to prove your residency, camera, Binos, sunscreen, kids change of socks and perhaps even shoes!  If it is hot, the kids can stand under the waterfalls in their swimming costumes too!

Contact Josphat the guide on 0723 892279.

The costs are 500 Kshs for a day’s entrance as a resident. Non residents are $25 per day.  There are also some very smart bikes you can hire for the day at 500 Kshs per day, and are very well maintained, with an air pump station too!  The terrain is mainly flat for biking so great for all ages.  We paid 1,000 Kshs for the guide (Josphat) at the Ranger’s Station as it was a long walk, a short walk is 500 Kshs (not sure how they define this!)   Tipping the guide, to him directly, is optional.