Hell’s Gate National Park Entry Fees

This article covers Hell’s Gate National Park Entry Fees. Hell’s Gate National Park is located south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, northwest of Nairobi. It is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. Hell’s Gate National Park is less than two hours from Nairobi by car along the Rift Valley escarpment and works great as a standalone adventure if you have an extra day in Nairobi or can be combined with Lake Naivasha for an overnight stay. This Park is the only national park in Kenya that you can explore on foot.

Hell’s Gate National Park was established in 1984. A small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. This includes the Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower columns and Hell’s Gate Gorge. The national park is also home to three geothermal power stations at Olkaria. The park is equipped with three basic campsites and includes a Maasai Cultural Center, providing education about the Maasai tribe’s culture and traditions.

Hell’s Gate National Park is popular due to its close proximity to Nairobi and lowered park fees compared to other National Parks. Hiking, bicycling, motorcycling and even camping are allowed within the park. Hell’s Gate has two gates that are used by visitors – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station which is located inside the National Park. In addition, one of the most unique features of this park is that it’s characterized by sheer red rock cliffs and punctuated by spectacular rock towers and geothermal steam spewing from the underground. This dramatic backdrop inspired the background scenery of Disney’s The Lion King and also served as the setting for Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life.

Hell’s Gate National Park is home to numerous free-roaming species of wildlife including baboons, zebra, hyena, African buffalo, giraffes, and even a handful of reclusive big cats (though they don’t generally pose a serious threat to visitors passing through). You’ll also find Eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle and baboons in the park as well as klipspringer antelope and Chandler’s Mountain reedbuck. The park is also home to over 100 bird species, including vultures, Verreaux’s Eagles, augur buzzards, and swifts. Hell’s Gate National Park’s landscape with mostly grassland and shrubbery dominated by Leleshwa and several Acacia varieties.

Moreover, the park is equipped with three basic campsites (Endachata Campsite, Naiburta Campsite, and Oldubai Campsite). Camping is safe in the park even though there are no guns or fencing between you and wildlife.

Hell’s Gate National Park Activities 

1. Safari Walk

Explore the natural wildlife on foot, an authentic and economical means of exploring wildlife in Hell’s Gate National Park

2. Photography safari tours

Visitors on a photo safari can share a photography tour with like-minded individuals and capture their favourite moments.

3. Sightseeing tours

This is one of the few parks where visitors can bike or walk inside the park to watch the animals. Visit the Gorges with Maasai cultural speakers or head rock climbing at Fischer’s Tower and see the local hot springs and Crescent Island.

4. Hiking

The ability to freely roam anywhere in the park on foot, surrounded by zebras, giraffes, and the best of Kenya’s plains game, is difficult to match in the pristine and unspoiled wilderness. There are several trails to choose from in the park, and a guide is required, but they will only enhance the experience as experts on the park’s landscape, history, and wildlife.

Because the park has little shade and can get very hot, good walking shoes, binoculars, long sleeves, light trousers, sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of water are required (try avoiding the middle of the day, when it is hottest if you can) Carved by a prehistoric lake that once fed the Rift Valley, Hell’s Gate Gorge cuts through the park and is one of the many highlights on the walking and cycling trail.

5. Cycling 

The cycle trail is a half-day excursion that should start early in the morning before it gets too hot. Bicycles can be rented at Elsa’s Gate (the main gate), from which the gorge is a mostly downhill 9-kilometre cycle. The scenic ride takes you past the park’s main attractions, including volcanic plugs, lookouts, and zebra, giraffe, and buffalo grazing grounds.

You can walk down into the gorge once you reach it. Some parts of this trek are more of a scramble and involve rope climbing, and the entire trek through the gorge takes about 1.5 hours. You will then cycle uphill back to the main gate, which will take about five hours and requires a good level of fitness. A shorter and slightly easier route to the obsidian caves is the 6 km round trip.

6. Rock Climbing

Hell’s Gate National Park is an excellent choice for rock climbing in Kenya, with a variety of routes to suit all levels of experience. The most popular are the 25 m Fischer’s Towers and the towering rock cliffs. Prior climbing experience is not required, especially for easier climbs, but you must use a licenced operator. This activity goes well with cycling to the obsidian caves and having a picnic lunch.

7. Olkaria SPA

The Olkaria Geothermal Spa is a series of three geothermal pools located on the northern edge of Hell’s Gate National Park. Beautiful azure blue waters heated by geothermal activity on the earth, sun loungers, and a restaurant make this the ideal spot to relax and recuperate after cycling or hiking in the park. Only the third pool is cool enough to swim in, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius.

Hell’s Gate National Park Entrance Fees

High Season (July-February)

Citizen/Resident Charges
Adult Ksh 300
Child Ksh 215
Non-Resident Charges
Adult  30 USD
Child  20 USD

Low Season (March-June)

Citizen/Resident Charges
Adult Ksh 250
Child Ksh 215
Non-Resident Charges
Adult  20 USD
Child  20 USD

Best Time To Visit Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate has great wildlife viewing all year round. The driest seasons are between June and February, so it is recommended to visit then. If you are travelling in the wet months, March till May, be aware that rains might interfere with walking, cycling and rock climbing.

Hell’s Gate National Park Contacts

Phone: 0770 070 405, 0774 435 934

Email: hellsgatenp@kws.go.ke

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