We experienced the untamed world of the safari in Hell’s Gate National Park, watched local dance from the Masai tribe and wound down our aching muscles in the geothermal volcanic spa.
We were greeted by a man from this Maasai tribe, he wasn’t wearing traditional dress, not a totally necessary I suppose. Our group had come bearing gifts for the children, I am guessing too many by the looks of things. The kids honestly didn’t know which direction to look in, they were asked to form an orderly queue in the end. The footballs are an international language between the guys so they had a kick around. The girls were super excited about the dolls but I’ll never forget the infectious giggle of one girl, she knew she had the ‘queen of the crop’… a doll with blonde hair!
Maasai ladies entertained us (in traditional dress this time) with a song and a dance to thank us for the gifts meanwhile some older gentlemen stood by looking somewhat stern. The tribe needed to get back to their duties and the visit was over very quickly without learning very much about how they live their life.
Hell’s Gate National Park
It has been quite some time since I rode a bike so didn’t really know what I was looking out for when I selecting my vehicle… it has 2 wheels which rotate, tick…. the brakes work, tick… somewhere for a bottle to go, tick…. NO ladies, I do advise you to see if there is any padding on the seat (I’m sure it’s the same for guys too). We started off to see the safari in Hell’s Gate National Parks on wheels, I absolutely loved it, this is one of the only safaris in Africa that you can ride bikes, it’s safe to do so without the predators. And I found out you never forget how to ride a bike!
There were so many zebras playing along the open savannah with impalas and gazelles bounding across the road. The giraffes, elands and buffalos grazed slowly whilst the warthog families could be seen trotting along in line behind each other. It really was a dream come true!
We stopped for lunch at the meeting point but beware of the black-faced vervet monkeys, (the males can easily be spotted with their blue balls), one leapt from the tree on the apple in my hand as I took a photo of his mate. I pulled an Oscar-winning performance as I threw myself backwards on the floor, think I scared him off and lost a bit of dignity at the same time.
We hiked the gorge in Hell’s Gate National Park, an outlet from Lake Naivasha. The salt of the volcanic sandstone turns the fresh water into algae which can be seen along the walk, the beauty of this is it’s the favourite feed for flamingos! There were parts where you need to climb the rope to reach the next level, just be careful not to slip! Reach the top of the gorge and you are rewarded with sensational volcanic landscape, not to be missed. It stands to reason that the setting of Hell’s Gate National Park and Pride Rock was a big inspiration for the Disney blockbuster, The Lion King.
Mvuke Natural Spa
Our final resting spot was the beautiful Mvuke geothermal spa with water straight from the fumarole geyser. Such a delight to lay in this huge pool, the water is very pale blue in colour and warm, head over to the inlet and the water is very toasty indeed. The water has health benefits to relax muscles (much needed after our weekend), open the pores in your skin (fantastic free facial) and the mineral-rich water can heal skin diseases such as Psoriasis. You can definitely smell the rotten eggs sulphur stench but I really didn’t care; I felt refreshed and revitalized for my flight home!
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>> Discover more of Kenya with the Great Rift Volcanoes and the stunning Lake Naivasha.
>> Follow Wanders Miles on Instagram for more travel inspiration
>> Trip organised by Trekkup flying with Air Kenya.
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