Hell’s Gate National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Kenya. Located 90km from Nairobi, it is in the Nakuru District near the shores of Lake Navaisha.
View Larger Map
The experience of riding a bicycle thru the park, at close proximity to the wildlife is at once liberating and exhilarating. You no longer feel cooped up in one of those safari bus, jeeps or vans, rather you can actually feel now what the animals are feeling, the gusts of wind blowing at your face, the warmth of the afternoon sun and the soft crunch of tall grass beneath your feet (watch out for the stray animal poo though). You can try to get as close as you can to the wildlife as they allow you to, but don’t make sudden movements or do anything threatening lest you start a stampede.
The rental for the bicycle, guide and accompanying park fees cost me USD50 through arrangement by Africa Travel Co. Separately, the fees (accurate as per 2012) are broken down as…
a) Adult Non Resident Pass - USD25
b) Cycling Pass - KSH100 ~ USD1
c) Bicycle Rental - USD15
d) Guide Fee - USD9
|Tickets to enter the park... visitor pass and bike entry pass|
It’s the last day of my sojourn through Africa and many of us were tired (and perhaps running out of cash), so for this biking outing into the bush, 3 others from our group decided to go; the Linus couple, Ping and myself. The rest decided to stay back in camp.
At the junction there appears to be some shops offering more bicycle rentals as well as guides for hire. If you had not done so already, perhaps it is a good place to check out prices.
We stopped at the park entrance for our guide to do the proper formalities. Large signboards displaying park instructions and maps are placed strategically around for the idle biker to browse.
|Front office for the Hell's Gate National Park, please register here... ;)|
|Fisher's Tower... watch out for crawling 'muzungus'... ;)|
|There be large tractors plying the roads... beware lest you get run over!|
|The iconic acacia tree, the hills, the dirt road, the grasslands and my bicycle... This is truly AFRICA! :D|
With necessary arrangements complete, the guide motioned us to follow him, although I was initially puzzled as to why we were diverting from the noticeably obvious arch that should signify the start of the trail. Instead we plunged into a creek, negotiating between tall grass and rocks in the process. When asked, I was told by the guide that this is the ‘start’ of the trail and the one with the arch was the ‘end’. Well, he is the guide after all.
|Millions of years of geological data can be found here in them walls...|
|The Volcanic Plug...|
|Sleeping in the Devil's Bedroom, hope the 'host' is not home...|
On this day, the 31st of August 2012, is the 55th anniversary of Malaysia’s national day, and Linus and girlfriend did not miss the chance to make a political statement. Selamat Hari Merdeka! :D
|Selamat Hari Merdeka!|