After our Water Safari on Lake Naivasha we drove a short distance to Hell’s Gate National Park, which is about an hour’s drive from Nairobi, Kenya. The park is unique because all of the animals that live inside are non-predators so you can walk around without any danger. This was our first experience seeing any large animals while in Africa so we were absolutely floored when we started driving through roads with zebras staring back at us! The hills and cliffs surround the plains make for a very picturesque and fun experience.
A lot of people go to Hell’s Gate for rock-climbing and hiking and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun day trip from Nairobi. I think the park would especially be great for those who have kids traveling with them because it is easy to let them run around and see the animals.
The park gets its name from the volcanic activity that once occurred here, though the volcanoes are now extinct. The old volcanoes created some really interesting gorges and hot springs in the park and the short hike is definitely worth a visit. Recognize these gorges? Some movies have been filmed here – most notably Tomb Raider 2.
Overall, Hell’s Gate is a great day trip from Nairobi or stop along your way to Maasai Mara. It’s a low key park experience and great way to see some animals while hiking.