Mary was visiting from Moscow and we were looking for fun things to do during her stay. Since Kenya is known for unique experiences I thought we could do the most unique of all – Safari on a Mountain Bike. The only park in Kenya and the world offering such experience is Hell’s Gate National Park near Naivasha town.
Hell’s Gate National Park is famed for being featured in Lion King and Tom Raider 2 for its unique geography of towering cliffs, beautiful canyons/gorges, Hot Springs, wildlife and a hell of a trek.
I had visited Hell’s Gate National Park as a young student when blogging was not anywhere in my line of dreams. At that point in life I was dreaming big names like Archaeologist, Aero Engineer, neurosurgeon and things like that but Ha! See my life now. Anyway, during our school trip we were driven to Hell’s Gate in a school bus, took photos, ate our snack lunch (mkate + soda) and drove back to school. In short, we came to see, not to experience 🙂
Hell’s Gate National Park Fees & Bicycle Hire Cost
|Adults||KES. 300||KES. 600||USD. 26|
|Children||KES. 215||KES. 300||USD. 17|
|Mountain Bike Hire||KES. 500||KES. 500||KES. 500|
|Own Bike||KES. 200||KES. 200||KES. 200|
|Car Entry (<6 seats)||KES.300||KES. 300||KES. 300|
*KES – Kenya Shillings
Note bikes can also be hired outside the park, at Elsa Gate. They have a better variety of bikes compared to those inside the park but are a little bit expensive –at KES. 750. They offer to carry the bike for you to the Park gate. Since we were a little bit paranoid about these community bikes, we opted for the KWS bikes.
Biking From Elsa Gate
This bike ride is not for the faint hearted I must say. The murram road is a little bit bumpy with gravels and loose soil in some points. The maximum recommended speed is 40 kilometres per Hour. We only biked to Rangers Post, about 11 kilometres as we enjoyed Mother Nature at her best judging from the cliff formations that have been shaped into different shapes and patterns over the years.
Stopping at any instance we spot wildlife or an interesting cliff made the trip more fascinating. We saw buffaloes, warthogs, Zebras, Impalas, Giraffes, baboons, gazelles and several species of birds and insects.
We thought it was a good idea to give our butts a break by leaving the bikes at Rangers Post then proceed to see the gorges with our guide, Joseph. Super fit bikers ride up the tarmac road to the KenGen Geothermal Spa.
Walking through the Gorges/Canyons
We parked our bikes at Ranger’s Post and signed up for the long trek which takes about 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Note it’s compulsory to be accompanied by a guide to the gorges after a previous incidence on the PCEA Church youth who were swept away by Flash Floods in 2012. A guide per group costs Kenya Shillings 1,500 and 2,000 for the short and longer walk respectively.
We were lucky to get a good guide, Joseph, who comes from the local Maasai community and was also a good photographer judging by our photos here.
He gave us different interesting theories about how the national park got the name Hell’s Gate and also stories about his community. He also had a great knowledge of the geography of the canyons formation and also the wildlife that inhabits the park.
Hello from the Devil’s Bedroom 😀 Where’s the Pandora’s Box? This part of the gorges was the shooting location of Tomb Raider: The cradle of Life.
Biking back was a little bit more difficult. First because it’s a climb and secondly because we had rested our butts from the hard bike seat during our walk in the Gorges and were now at it again. Also the tired legs were struggling to pedal and we had run out of drinking water. Nevertheless, we were able to make several stops and watch different wildlife most of which never paid any attention to us.
Our ride lasted about 5 hours in total with no dangerous animals sighted. We enjoyed connecting with nature, bonding and working out at the same time.
Thanks for making it this far. I’d love to hear about your biking or trekking experience in Hell’s Gate National Park. Post them in the comments section below.