Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park is situated in southern Kenya, northwest of Nairobi. The national park has a total area of 26.35 square miles (68.25 square kilometers). Hell’s Gate National Park shares a boundary with Lake Nakuru National Park.

The park is approximately 56 miles (90 kilometers) from Nairobi and is located at an elevation of 6,200 feet (1,900 meters) above sea level. The main feature and inspiration for the park’s name is Hell’s Gate Gorge. In the gorge, red-walled cliffs lead to two volcanic rock structures known as Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower.

A lesser valley goes away from Central Tower to a hot springs region. The springs are hot enough to burn you. Within the park’s limits are two extinct volcanoes known as Olkaria and Hobley’s.

 Hell’s Gate National Park is a popular Kenyan national park due to its easy access from Nairobi as well as the variety of species and spectacular landscapes that can be enjoyed during a visit to the area.

 The wildlife population is smaller, but the variety is vast. Predator species include the lion, leopard, hyena, serval, and cheetah. Zebra, eland, buffalo, hartebeest, klipspringer, reedbuck, hyraxes, and Thomson’s gazelle are among the other popular species. There are around 100 bird species, with some of the larger ones including the Verreaux eagle, the augur buzzard, and vultures such as the rare Lammergeyer vulture.

The park’s cultural attractions s include a Maasai Culture Center, where visitors can learn about Maasai tribe customs, traditions, and overall culture. This is a fantastic educational chance to learn more about an incredible group of people who have their own rituals and practices.


Hell’s Gate National Park’s main draw is its spectacular scenery. The name is derived from the park’s steep-sided valley. Dormant volcanoes and several ancient lava plugs that protrude from the valley bottom dominate the volcanic landscape.


Hell’s Gate’s climate is comparable to that of other places around the equator in that temperatures are pretty stable throughout the year. Its altitude is noteworthy since it is high enough to give the air a distinct chill, especially at night. The dry season (June to October) has plenty of sunny days, but the wet season (November to May) has more afternoon showers. 


Apart from the Christmas season, Hell’s Gate receives relatively few visitors, so you don’t need to plan your visit around it. The dry season (June to October) is the best time to go wildlife viewing since the animals are easier to see because the bush has thinned down. The rainy season, on the other hand, rewards you with nesting birds of prey and lush greenery.


The park’s main feature is Hell’s Gate Gorge, with Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower serving as secondary highlights. The park draws people due to its beautiful scenery and wildlife, as well as its proximity to Nairobi.

 The park inspired both the Disney film The Lion King and the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Trekking through the park is a highlight because most Kenyan national parks do not allow hiking.  Cultural discovery of the Masai people is a highlight for individuals with cultural interests that go beyond the natural beauty of the wilderness area.


Hiking: The Park is an excellent location for hiking nature trails and getting up close and personal with the abundant grazing species. You can explore the park’s unusual gorges with a ranger, which have been carved into the rock over ages by the constant passage of water.

 Not to be missed is Hell’s Gate Gorge, which inspired the Disney film “The Lion King” (“S Rock”). The filmmakers visited the park to investigate this formation in order to recreate it in their film.

Mountain biking: Cycling is a terrific way to see antelope, zebra, and other foraging animals. For views of giraffes and the adjacent Longonot volcano, take the “buffalo circuit.”

Hell's Gate National Park
Biking in Hell’s Gate National Park

Climbing: Fisher’s Tower and Central Tower are extinct volcanoes with great granite climbing walls. You’ll need a guide, but the climbs are simple and rewarding.

Mervyn Carnelley, Raptor Hide: This is a camouflaged viewing platform with a one-way window for observing the park’s many raptors.

Ol Karia Geothermal Spa: It has been described as an “endless bathtub” because it is the continent’s largest natural spa. The spa uses very hot, all-natural mineral water that is delivered in the form of steam and allowed to cool. After a day of hiking and bicycling, this is a great way to unwind.

Hell’s Gate National Park Trails: Although there is wildlife in the unfenced area, hiking and riding are encouraged. Camping is also permitted. This is one of only two Kenyan national parks that allow these activities.

Crescent Island: Visitors can climb and explore Crescent Island.

Crater Lake: One of the most popular routes travels along Crater Lake, offering views of the lake and the surrounding terrain.

 Mount Longonot: Mount Longonot is in its own national park, but there is a trail that brings visitors along the base of Mount Longonot from Hell’s Gate National Park.