A Gentle But Steamy Wildlife Safari

Lions? Leopards? And Chimps

Don’t let the name fool you – Hell’s Gate National Park is a peaceful reserve where you’ll have opportunities to drive, hike, and even bike past the grazing antelope, buffalo, giraffe, and gazelle. Named for the great rocky gash in its dramatic red cliffs, plus its active geothermal activity (steamy vents, geysers, mineral springs), Hell’s Gate is your portal to active wildlife spotting and exploration.

Trekking alongside the park’s cliffs, gorges, and rocky towers enjoy a guided walking safari. Lions and leopards are rare so you can safely stroll by the eland, hartebeest, antelope and scan above for vultures, eagles, and buzzards.

Along your journey look for zebras, baboons, gazelles, and sometimes ostriches. Want even more excitement? The park allows motorcycling and camping at its three sites.

Giraffes in a safari park
Zebras walking along a red dusty path through a safari park

Get Busy

Perhaps the most fun way to explore the park is on two wheels. You can rent a bike and pedal over the easy terrain. Take the “Buffalo Circuit” to get close to the giraffes and discover dramatic views of nearby Longonot volcano.

Climbing is a favorite park activity. There are plenty of opportunities along the craggy rock walls and if you’re hankering to scale a volcano or two, try out Fisher’s or Central Tower. They’re easy climbs but you’ll need a guide.

Springs and Spas

This park is an active place – above and below ground. The three underground geothermal power stations here are powered by the park’s hot springs and geysers – Africa’s first.

Take advantage of all that heat – slip into the largest natural spa on the continent. The mineral water here is warm and a perfect way to relax after a day of hiking, biking, or climbing.

Wild bird seen on a Nairobi National Park safari tour with Africa Kenya Safaris

Don’t Miss…

The Great Migration of wildebeests through the Masai Mara National Reserve

Nature trails – They’ll lead you up close to the grazing wildlife and are an easy walk. Just watch out for the hot afternoon sun. You can hire a ranger to go deeper into the gorges and other unusual natural features. 

Check out Hell’s Gate Gorge. The unusual formation here is where the folks from Disney got the idea for Pride Rock seen in the movie, “The Lion King”.

Biking – Whether the pedaling kind or motorcycling, biking is a bonus feature of the park. You’ll cover more ground to experience extra terrain and wildlife.

Ol Karia Spa – All that steamy volcanic activity isn’t just for atmosphere. Enjoy some of that bubbly for yourself. This large natural spa is a bit of heaven amongst the park’s steaming “hell”.  

Mervyn Carnelley Raptor Hide – Just like in its name, a hide is a hidden spot where you can get close-up views of the animals. In this case, you’ll get near to eagles and other birds of prey.

Pelicans by Lake Nakuru
Tourists standing and looking out of the open top of a 4x4 safari jeep

Community Projects

These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.

  • Education for local students, including computer skills training
  • Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
  • Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.

Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts

  • Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
  • Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
  • The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.
A rare brown spotted zebra seen on safari in Lake Nakuru

Survey: Hell’s Gate National Park

A small and lightly touristed park, Hell’s Gate is only 68 sq km (25 sq mi) in size. But packed into this modest location is a stunning array of natural cliffs, walls, and gorges rising from the savannah.

Location: Close to the capital of Nairobi, Hell’s Gate is just a 90 km (55 mi) drive northwest, near Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru. In this easy day trip, you can combine visits to multiple parks.

Climate: Be prepared for warm, dry weather and some dust blowing through the canyons. But the park’s geothermal activity can also provide a steamy vibe.

Best time to visit: The park is open year-round. Just watch out for the rainy season (March-May) when the weather and mud might slow you down.

Operating hours: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm daily

Getting there: You can Book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. And you’ll go in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 safari Jeep.

Giraffes walking through an East African safari park

This is Hell’s Gate

Drive, hike, bike, or climb – this small but special park is an easy ticket to up-close safari adventures. Add in the drama of its gorges, rock walls, volcanic cones, steam vents, and mineral pools, and you’ve got an unforgettable day, unlike anything else in Africa.

A pair of young zebra playing in long grass in Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary

Join us at Hell’s Gate National Park

Africa Kenya Safaris offers several safaris to Hell’s Gate and other nearby parks.  Just contact us to get your safari started.

Here are some of our Hell’s Gate adventures:

A charged elephant seen on safari in Kenya
Baby Lion cub resting in the shade seen at the Masai Mara National Park

Let’s Get Started

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Personal Information

All fields with an asterisk (*) are required

Tour Information

Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.