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Published: March 7th 2020
A bit of a lazier start since we didn’t have to pack up our gear then out at 8am to hire a couple of bikes on the road to Hell’s Gate National Park
. As Hell’s Gate doesn’t have any resident big cats its considered safe for tourists to walk and cycle here. We cycled along the 2km of road leading to the park gate dodging potholes and avoiding traffic all whilst remembering exactly how to ride a bike! Moses followed us in the minivan to the gate, paid for our park entry then bunny hopped past us whilst we cycled through the park. It was nice to get out of the van for a bit and get some fresh air during the 8km ride through Hell’s Gate and see some wildlife from our own feet.
• Masai giraffe
• Secretary bird
• Ruppell's eagle
• Lots of smaller birds, including one which caught a butterfly above the road in front of us!
We also saw several prints in the soft sand of the track, including some rather larger ones which may have been hyena…
At the other side of the park we rejoined Moses and dropped the
With Masai giraffe
Hell's Gate National Park
bikes off at the edge of the gorge. Sadly the gorge is now closed to visitors due to the rapidity of the flash flooding which killed 7 visitors last autumn. It looks like it would have been an amazing walk though.
The whole area is very geologically active and they have a large geothermal energy plant there. We drove past it on our way to Olkaria Geothermal Spa
where we relaxed in the warm, cloudy, suphur-smelling water! It was beautiful to see the blue sky, white clouds, green trees, blue water & many white butterflies flying overhead. I got stung by a bee that had landed on the floating barrier in the pool & couldn’t get the whole sting out – but an hours soak in the water drew it out and healed up my hand completely!
Back to Fish Eagle Inn for a late lunch then out on the small boat at 3pm to see the hippos and other wildlife on the lake. We saw:
• two groups of hippos (first 3+ a youngster then another 2)
• African fish eagles
• Long-toed lapwings
• Sacred ibis
• Hadada ibis
• Pied kingfisher
• Common sandpiper
• Great white egret
• Grey-backed heron
The lake used to be around 30m deep but a build-up of sediment washed down means it’s now only around 15m. As at Lake Nakuru it has also spread out and flooded nearby land which here means local homes and businesses, including some large rose growing facilities. This area used to be the main flower growing region of Kenya but now many of the places stand empty. It got rather windy and choppy on the way back to camp but we managed to avoid the band of rain coming over the lake. We then read for a while until just before supper when we had a glass of wine at the bar before dining. There was another loud party, but thankfully it stopped before midnight tonight!
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