Visit This National Park In Africa For Can't Miss Views Of Wildlife

Rich in history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Africa is a destination that sits on many travelers' bucket lists with good reason. Adventurers hoping to encounter some of Africa's most majestic creatures will find vast options for booking safari experiences throughout Kenya. The country is known and loved for its many wildlife parks and protected reserves that emphasize the conservation of not only wildlife species but essential ecosystems. Kenya has 23 national parks but when it comes to must-see views of local wildlife, it's hard to top a trip to Hell's Gate National Park.

This one-of-a-kind national park enjoys a prime location near Lake Naivasha, in the Southwest region of the country. The drive from Nairobi takes just two hours and comes with the benefit of being able to savor Rift Valley Escarpment views along the way. Of all the national parks travelers can visit in Kenya, Hell's Gate is unique because it's the only one that can be toured entirely on foot.

Incredible animals and inspiring scenery to admire

Many visitors are drawn to Hell's Gate National Park for the wildlife experience that can be enjoyed without some of the inherent dangers present at other safari destinations throughout Kenya. While Hell's Gate is home to an impressive wildlife population, it's incredibly rare to see predators like lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and leopards.

Encompassing just over 26 square miles, Hell's Gate National Park is an extremely walkable day or multi-day trip destination for visitors to explore. It was officially established as a national park in 1984, and the park's name was derived from impressive cliff gaps in the terrain that are believed to have once fed a prehistoric lake.

If you're coming to Hell's Gate National Park for the singular purpose of enjoying as much wildlife spotting as possible, you won't be disappointed. The park is home to eland, zebras, baboons, Thomson's gazelles, and African buffalo. There's also a good chance you'll be able to set your sights on hartebeest, klipspringer antelope, eagles, swifts, and Chandler's mountain reedbuck. Giraffes and hyraxes also thrive in this environment and can be found relatively easily.

As you're enjoying incredible wildlife sightings during a visit, it's impossible to overlook the fact that you'll be treated to some stunning natural backdrops too. Hell's Gate National Park is adorned with deep gorges, sandstone cliffs, and vast landscapes created by volcanic activity, like the Obsidian Caves. There are also several natural hot springs located throughout the park.

Activities to pair with wildlife watching

Hell's Gate is open year-round for visitors excited to enjoy wildlife viewing. Before you book your trip, it's good to note that the region experiences two rainy seasons annually. The longer, heavier rainy season lasts from March through May, while the lighter rainy season runs from November to December. If you want to attempt to avoid the rain entirely, plan your trip between June and October. This is the driest season of the year and an excellent time for an African safari, as animals often congregate around watering holes.

There are several designated hiking trails for visitors to explore alongside a knowledgeable park guide. As you trek, they can offer insight into the park's history, discuss unique land formations, and point out wildlife you might overlook along the way. When you match hiking adventures and wildlife watching at Hell's Gate National Park, be sure to pack quality walking shoes, sunscreen, binoculars, and plenty of water.

Another popular activity wildlife watchers enjoy at Hell's Gate National Park is rock climbing. Fischer's Tower is an exciting climbing destination for thrill seekers. Just be sure you've booked your climbing experience with a licensed operator.

Cycling through the park is yet another exciting way to watch wildlife. The cycling trail is designed for a half-day of touring, and you can rent bikes right at the main gate of the park.