Heaven at Hells Gate

December 1, 2008

Hippo and Papyrus

Hippo and Papyrus

Saturday 29th November – Monday 1st December

We arranged our Kenyan and onward insurance this morning with the Kenyan AA, but will have to return to Nairobi to collect the COMESA Yellow Card on Monday. 

Decide to have a weekend in the country so headed up to Lake Naivasha, where we stayed at the very lovely Carnelly Camp, on the shores of the lake.  Leigh and Megan, if you’re reading this I thought of you and really missed you here, you would both have loved it.  Perfect campsite, and a fabulous bar.  There was an inquisitive Colobus Monkey keeping an eye on us from above, and in the morning the tatty looking Hippo pictured above wandered nearby.

Colobus Monkey

Colobus Monkey

On Sunday morning we headed a few Kilometers up the road to Hells Gate National Park.  Hells Gate is in the Rift Valley, and has some beautiful geology and remnants of it’s turbulent past –

Fishers Tower - thats a volcanic plug to you

Fishers Tower - thats a volcanic plug to you

and it’s turbulent present as it has one of the world’s largest geo thermal fields, which is being exploited in the hope that it will eventually provide half of Kenya’s electricity. 

More big dramatic scenery, steam plumes in the distance

More big dramatic scenery, steam plumes in the distance

Hells Gate NP is unique in that you can walk around it without a guide, so Sean & I explored the Lower Gorge on foot, apparently Tomb Raider – Cradle of Life was filmed here…

Hells Gate Gorge

Hells Gate Gorge

That night we had the whole campsite to ourselves, Hyenas whooped very nearby, I retreated up the ladder jolly early, and this was our view from bed in the morning:

View from the Hotel du Van

View from the Hotel du Van

Hells Gate has a healthy population of ungulates, or grazers, owing to the fact that there is nothing around to eat them.  We saw lots of Zebra, Eland, Thompsons and Grants gazelles and the ubiquitous Impala, or Swala Pala, as I found out they’re called in Kiswahili.

No table manners!

Dribbling Giraffe - no table manners!

We’re now back at Jungle Junction, and have finished all our Nairobi admin, so we’re ready to head off to Lake Nakuru National Park tomorrow.  At the moment the moon and two stars are making a smiley face outside – unfortunately, I can’t get it on camera but it’s wonderful.

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