Camping and adventuring in Hell’s Gate

Hell's Gate

This weekend we went camping at Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha and had a blast! It’s been ages since we last visited the park, and I’ve been dying to check out the geothermal spa at Olkaria gate, so we decided to give it a go. I forgot how beautiful and special Hell’s Gate is! For details on camping there, check out this excellent post by the Kenyan Camper. And here are a few photos, if you’d like to see!

Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate

I have to say, for just one night of camping, we packed in SO much fun stuff! We did game drives, scrambled around the obsidian caves, went cycling, did some rock climbing… I really don’t know how we fit it all in, but it was great!

Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate

I loved cycling through the park. The last time I rode a bike through Hell’s Gate, I was young and single. This brought back lots of great memories of my backpacking days! It is so liberating, cycling through the wild! Claire and Heidi did great, too. I would hazard a guess that Heidi is one of the only 2 year olds to ride through Hell’s Gate under her own steam. My little warrior!

Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate

Jesse and the kids got their climb on at Fischer’s Tower, while I hung out at the bottom, checking out the freakishly friendly rock hyraxes. (I can do a lot of things, but I cannot do heights. I cry like a baby.) Claire made it a good 85% of the way up, and this height-fearing mama was BEYOND proud!

Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate Hell's Gate

We camped at Naiburta campsite, which was amazingly well-equipped with shelters, picnic tables (in various states of disrepair, but still), fire pits with griddles fixed on top, and pit latrines. Since we usually camp in the bush, this was five-star accommodation! Our shade and camping table never even made it out of the car.

Hell's Gate Hell's Gate

Let me just add that baboons are jerks, and are not to be trusted. They trooped through our campsite several times, but kept their distance as Jesse scared the big ones off. When we went for our bike ride, we packed away all our food, but we foolishly left out a plastic bucket with lid that had all of plates, cups and utensils inside. While we were away, the baboons had a good laugh and scattered it all over the campsite. We won’t make that mistake again! On a separate note, we found some interesting tracks in the morning. Maybe a mongoose? A genet? Any experts out there want to hazard a guess?

Hell's Gate

We finished off our weekend with a good soak at the Olkaria Geothermal Spa. WHOAH. This place is amazing! I think I could have spent all day there, if there were a bit of shade somewhere over the water.

Hell's Gate

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, jam packed with fun and adventure. Thank you, Hell’s Gate! We’ll be back for sure!

This entry was posted in Camping, Travels, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Camping and adventuring in Hell’s Gate

  1. Grace says:

    Looks like sooo much fun!

  2. Car0 says:

    Thanks for the post! Reminds me of our beautiful time 2 years ago. We walked the gorge and it was awesome.

    Is the noise from the geothermal construction gone? It was really disturbing. I don’t mean the shhhh from the steam but the banging sound of I don’t know … machines that are drilling holes?

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      No construction noise that we heard! Just the hiss of the steam vents. Actually, I was amazed how silent it was in the night!

  3. Ndaisi says:

    The kids.. I am super impressed. Cycling through that stretch? and seeing Claire up the rock…I am so energized. Must do this with my four year old over Easter. Thank you for that boost of energy.

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      I should qualify the bike ride – we rented adult bikes that were dropped at the gate. We weren’t sure how much Heidi could handle, so we drove to the gate, parked the car, and rode our bikes 1 km from Elsa Gate to Fischer’s Tower. After a climb, we rode the 1 km back to the gate and then drove back to the campsite. I think 2 km was about as much as Heidi could handle on her little balance bike! Claire (age 5) definitely had the stamina for a longer ride. If we did it again, we might try to find a bike seat for Heidi to ride on one of our bikes. She was pretty strong doing 2 km though!

  4. KC says:

    Always so great to see a reminder of this lovely little park, you made me want to go back! As always thanks for sharing your trips, they are a constant inspiration to get out there.

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      Thanks for the note! We had a tremendous time – I honestly forgot what a great little park it is. We went mainly for the spa, but we’ll go back because we loved everything about the place. (Except the baboons. Ha.)

Comments are closed.