Named for the intense geothermal activity within its boundaries, the Hell’s Gate National Park is a remarkable quarter of the Great Rift Valley.
The animators of Disney’s The Lion King traveled to the park with dramatic landscapes in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley to get a feel for, as Mufasa puts it, the great circle of life. When visitors to Hell’s Gate National Park reach the sweeping cliffs carved by a prehistoric lake that gives the park its name, they’ll discover that Pride Rock’s real-life inspiration is no less majestic.
The lack of predators at the park means you can take in savannas and come face to face with giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and warthogs on your own two feet—or better yet, on bicycle wheels. Hell’s Gate is one of the only places in East Africa where you can hike the totality of a park. You can even go on a biking safari—a far cry from peeping animals through a safari vehicle’s roof.
Burchell’s zebra, Coke’s hartebeest, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle and impala are the main grazers. Giraffe and Defassa waterbuck can also be encountered. Olive baboons are all over the cliffs.