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Hell's Gate National Park
Hell's Gate National Park

Hell's Gate National Park

Hell's Gate National Park, Naivasha, Kenya

The Basics

While the park is home to plenty of African animals, including an impressive number of bird species such as the rare lammergeier vulture, you are less likely to see lions, cheetahs, and leopards. This sparse carnivore population is one of the reasons why visitors to Hell’s Gate are encouraged to hike, rock climb, and bike past herds of giraffe and zebras. The park also has two extinct volcanoes and two volcanic plugs that formed massive towers (Fischer’s and Central Towers) located in Ol Njorowa Gorge.

Most guided tours to Hell’s Gate leave from Nairobi and involve some sort of physical activity, such as hiking the gorge or biking through the park. You can also pair a visit to Hell’s Gate with a boat ride on Lake Naivasha—a freshwater watering hole for animal species such as flamingos and hippos.

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Hell's Gate National Park Private Bike Tour from Nairobi
Hell's Gate National Park Private Bike Tour from Nairobi
star-4.5
$128.21 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Hakuna Matata Vibes
Our driver’s name was Black Santa. He took excellent care of us. We felt safe on the drive and appreciated getting to know him and interesting facts about Kenya along the way.
Rhonda_M, Aug 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Nairobi

star-5
The Great Rift Valley, Hell’s Gate, and Lake Naivasha Tour
Amy_O, Sep 2021
Hell's Gate & Lake Naivasha Small Group Day Tour - Guaranteed Daily Departure
I enjoyed every moment of my tour. I was able to experience the beauty of Kenya and Meshack was a wonderful tour guide. His customer service was exceptional!
star-5
Friendly, Fun and Safe
Anthony_F, Dec 2020
Day tour to Hell's Gate National park and Boat ride on lake Naivasha
Sammy was a great friendly driver. Very pleasant to talk too and made sure I was taken care of. The park was beautiful and the gorge was great to climb through. Good way to get out of Nairobi for a daytrip.
star-5
Excellent Tour
Omar, Dec 2020
Hell's Gate and Lake Naivasha Guided Tour from Nairobi
The tour was great. Stephen is an excellent guide and very knowledgeable about all the animal species and landmarks that you would see on this trip. He is incredibly courteous and friendly. The bike ride through Hell’s Gate was fantastic. It’s a great experience to be biking alongside amazing wildlife. Stephen made sure that everything was timed perfectly. I would highly recommend this trip with Gracepatt to anyone looking for a day activity from Nairobi, even if you have already done a safari.
star-5
Hell's Gate is gorgeous
Candace_T, Jan 2020
Hell's Gate & Lake Naivasha Small Group Day Tour - Guaranteed Daily Departure
Hell's Gate is absolutely gorgeous. Highly recommend and Francois was fantastic, very friendly and welcoming!
star-5
Great Trip
Steven M, Sep 2019
Overnight Mount Longonot and Hells Gate National Park From Nairobi
Santa was an amazing guide/driver who inspired and physically helped us climb up the volcano. What a wonderful view. The boat ride was great as was the drive thru the Hellgate National Park. We saw lots of animals and birds. The hotel was charming. Trip was well worth our money.
star-5
Riding with the animals
janetl2017, Jul 2019
Hell's Gate National Park Private Bike Tour from Nairobi
Amazing day cycling to the gorge. Animals grazing beside the road as you cycle & eagles soaring above. The gorge was stunning but quite a tough trek. Make sure to take water to drink. My guide Peter Ravin was very knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend this.
star-5
Grear tour guide
Ethan_K, Jul 2019
Day Trip – Hell Gate, Lake Naivasha Birds Boat safari & Crescent Nature Walk
The tour was awesome but the guide, Simon, really made the experience great and made us feel very welcomed to Kenya.
star-4
Hells Gate/Lake Naivasha
Milca_F, Jul 2018
Hell's Gate and Lake Naivasha Guided Tour from Nairobi
This was a great experience. Having to explore the national park by bike is a nice touch. However you have to be physical fit to do the activities, ie biking and exploring the gorge. I haven't biked since high school or middle school and I was tried. Having Lake Naivasha at the end of the our was very relaxing and rewarding.
star-5
Awesome day tour from Nairobi
Chance_F, Nov 2019
Hell's Gate National Park Private Bike Tour from Nairobi
Only had 1 full day in Nairobi and this was a perfect day tour to get out and see Kenya and the beautiful nature/wildlife it has to offer. - Picked up by van at 7am from our hotel - Approx. 2 hour drive from Nairobi to Hell's Gate, with a stop halfway at a beautiful overlook of the Rift Valley, with a gift shop where you can buy local art/trinkets/etc if you want. The long drive is a great experience because you get to see many sights and towns of Kenya. - Bike ride is awesome, about 5 miles through the park to the entrance of the gorge, easy riding mostly flat. Helmets were not provided but the trail is not dangerous. Saw warthogs, zebras, dung beetles, giraffes, monkeys, impalas, gazelles, buffalo, birds. Scenery is beautiful. Then 5 mile ride back to the van. - As of Nov 16 2019, the gorge remains closed due to flash flooding that occurred on Sep 2 2019. Park ranger said they plan to re-open the gorge after the rainy season. - After bike ride, you have the option to either drive back to Nairobi, or go to Lake Naivasha and do a boat tour. The boat tour is $25 per person and for an additional $30 per person (both are cash only) you can do a walking tour with a local guide of Crescent Island Game Park where there are more wild animals. While expensive, we really enjoyed both and would recommend that the $55 per person is very much worth it. - Departed Lake Naivasha at 4pm and returned to Nairobi just after 6pm - Everything is at your own pace - Last but not least, Albert was a great tour guide and very friendly. Thank you Albert! -Tips: bring water or buy some before the bike ride, and bring sunscreen! Bugs didn't seem to be a big issue but use bug repellent just in case. Bring snacks as food is not included in the tour.
star-4
giraffe eating at water's edge
Jessica_H, Dec 2019
Hell's Gate & Lake Naivasha Small Group Day Tour - Guaranteed Daily Departure
Overall, this is a good day trip from Nairobi. Hell's Gate and the boat ride were enjoyable and scenic. You're able to see several animals on both. NOTE: the Gorges walk is now closed. (That was the main reason I booked this one) They had flash flooding in November 2019 that killed 7 or so people at the Gorges and have since closed it permanently.
star-4
On time, great guide
carllawrence2019, Nov 2019
Hell's Gate & Lake Naivasha Small Group Day Tour - Guaranteed Daily Departure
The tour was interesting and almost everything was included. Francis, my tour guide was great. It would be good if they checked if the gorge was closed before we arrived.
star-5
Very helpful guids!
Roam42690019408, Nov 2018
Hell's Gate and Lake Naivasha Guided Tour from Nairobi
The level of kindness and service from this company was remarkable! We had a flight change and arrived a day later and they met us at the airport instead of the hotel. The driver was knowledgeable and made sure we had all that we needed. I was nervous, being a mom traveling with my son (14 years) but now we’re already talking about coming back!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Bird enthusiasts of all levels shouldn’t miss the Mervyn Carnelley Raptor Hide—a camouflaged viewing station in the park.

  • If you are exploring the park on your own (on foot or by bike), there’s an easy 4-mile route that stretches from the main entrance at Elsa Gate to the picnic area and ranger’s station near the entrance of Ol Njorowa Gorge.

  • Pack a picnic lunch to eat in the picnic area, but beware of curious vervet monkeys who might make your snack their own.

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How to Get There

Hell’s Gate National Park is located within the Great Rift Valley, roughly two hours by road northwest from Nairobi. If you’d rather not drive, many tour operators offer transportation to and from the park.

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When to Get There

To escape the East African heat, head to the park in the early morning or late afternoon. You’re likely to see animals at all times of the day, despite the heat. The most popular time of year to visit Kenya are during the country’s dry seasons: January through March and July through October.

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The Great Rift Valley

Running through the entirety of Kenya, the Great Rift Valley is a tectonic split that stretches from Lebanon to Mozambique. It has helped form some of the continent’s most fascinating and stunning environs, and continues to shift further apart by a few millimeters every year.

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