Hell’s Gate National Park

Size: 68 sq km (26 sq miles)


Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley and lies 90km (56 miles) from Nairobi. A small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and scenery, which includes the Fischer's Tower and Central Tower columns and Hell's Gate Gorge. It is also home to three geothermal power stations at Olkaria.


Fischer’s tower is a 25m (75 ft) high rocky tower formed by semi-molten rock forced to a fissure, cooling and solidifying as it extruded is located near the main entrance of the park. Both the Fischer's tower and the Central tower were formed the same way at the same time. For the Maasai community, the tower is a Maasai girl, who was turned to stone after disobeying her family before her wedding.


The Obsidian caves contains distinctive black glass-like obsidian rock, which is the result of rapid cooling of molten volcanic lava coming in contact with water while being poured into a lake or ocean.


Climate

There are two rain seasons i.e. Long rains – March & April & short rains – Nov/ December. Temperature ranges from 20-30°C (68-86°F) and rainfall from 200-700mm (8-28 inches).


Wildlife

Wildlife here include eland, buffalo, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, impala, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, klipspringer, rock hyrax and Chanler’s mountain reedbuck. There are also many bird species.


Best time to visit: All year round.