Holidays to Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya

With dramatic volcanic scenery, a visit to Hell’s Gate feels a bit like being transported to another planet. Between towering stone pillars, deep red earth, dramatic gorges carved through the cliffs and fascinating wildlife that roams freely, this national park is incomparable. 

The park might look familiar to you, and there’s a good reason why: Hell’s Gate was the inspiration for the childhood classic 'The Lion King'. Relive your favourite scenes from the movie as silhouetted gazelle leap against the backdrop of the fiery setting sun, or even see the famous Pride Rock (although sadly no Rafiki or Simba to be found). 

There are plenty of opportunities for hiking in this region, and one of the most interesting trails sees you descending into a gorge, one of the park’s most outstanding features. Weave your way between water-eroded walls whose towering height leave you with just a narrow strip of sky overhead as you discover hot and cold water falls, hot water springs and breathtakingly colourful rock formations. 

Let’s not forget the fantastic wildlife you can spot in this area too - from herds of zebra to the graceful giraffe, there’s something to appeal to everyone. One of the best ways you can see all these animals is on a bicycle safari, putting you right in the middle of the action. And while you’re at it, why not take a trip down to the glittering waters of Lake Naivasha, where you can spot bright pink flamingos and languid hippos bathing in the sun. 

Mysterious clouds spill over the steep slopes of Hobley’s Volcano, an impressive spectacle and one of the many examples of the area’s volcanic activity. In fact, the national park is a literal hotbed for geothermal activity, which is how it earned its slightly ominous name, and the Kenyans certainly know how to take advantage of this. The Olkaria geothermal spa is the perfect way to relax after a long day of hiking or cycling. Soak in the warm water of the blue lagoon and admire the views and feel all your troubles simply evaporate like the steam around you. 

Jen
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I was born and raised in Africa, and I have spent 25 years living, working and travelling across various African countries including South Africa and Tanzania. I learned how to track wild animals, went on to become a nature guide and later a safari lodge manager, and I can also speak Swahili and Afrikaans.

Map of Hell's Gate National Park