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hill’s gate

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Hell’s Gate National Park was established in 1984 and named after a narrow break in the cliffs. Once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It received the name “Hell’s Gate” by explorers Fisher and Thomson in 1883

The park is mostly known for its scenery, what includes the Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower columns and the Hell’s Gate Gorge. It is also a good place to meet giraffes, zebras or warthogs face to face while walking or biking through the park.

In the early 1900s Mount Longonot erupted and ash can still be felt around Hell’s Gate.The comprehensive Olkaria Geothermal Station the first of its kind in Africa. Hell’s Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 square kilometres , relatively small by African standards.The park is at 1,900 metres above sea level.It is within Nakuru County near Lake Naivasha and approximately 90 kilometres  from Nairobi. The park is located 14 kilometres after the turnoff from the old Nairobi-Naivasha highway, and has a warm and dry climate.

Olkaria and Hobley’s, two extinct volcanoes located in the park, can be seen as well as obsidian forms from the cool molten lava. Within Hell’s Gate is the Hells Gate Gorge, lined with red cliffs which contain two volcanic plugs: Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower Off of Central Tower is a smaller gorge which extends to the south, with a path that descends into hot springs that have rocks hot enough to cause burns, and sulfuric water.

The park is popular due to its close proximity to Nairobi and lowered park fees compared to other National Parks. Hiking, bicycling, motorcycling and even camping are encouraged within the park, one of only two Kenyan national parks where this is allowed.

The park is equipped with three basic campsites, camping is safe in the park even though there are no guns or fencing between you and wildlife. There are also several lodges around Naivasha Lake, popular among tourists for watersports, bird and game viewing in private ranches and walks along Crescent Island, Crater Lake, and Mt. Longonot.

The main setting of the 1994 Film The Lion King is heavily modeled after the park, where several lead crew members of the film went to the park to study and gain an appreciation of the environment for the film. Several animals and birds are found in this park those includes; Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Eland, cheetah, Zebra, hartebeest, Gazelles, hyena etc. However, the park has historically been an important home for the rare Lammergeyer vultures. There are over 103 species of birds in the park, including Vultures, Verreaux’s eagles. Augur buzzard and swifts.