Casting a cautious eye throughout the line-up of various bikes on supply, I knew we have been in for an attention-grabbing morning mountain biking in Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park in Kenya. And never only for the wildlife we’d be biking previous, together with the possibility to identify a number of the “Large 5” from the saddle.
Wanting like a second-hand jumble sale on the native college, the mountain bikes for our expedition into the guts of Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park ranged from barely working to scrapheap worthy.
Mountain Biking in Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park
Not ones to be simply delay we grinded away up the highway.
Sticking to the again of the pack as we set off for the 4km trip to the Sport Park entrance it rapidly grew to become obvious that my preliminary evaluation of the bikes was spot on. As our “Information” cycled away into the space I maintained a gradual stream of riders who have been stopping to repair slipping gears, misplaced chains and caught brake pads. Fortunately by the doorway our bikes have been considerably sorted and preliminary nerves settled.
Cruising beneath the park gates, the crew from my 75 Day tour by means of Africa with Oasis Overland continued a gradual pedal up the slight incline into Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park.
Identified for its lovely landscapes (scenes for the Lion King have been impressed right here) fairly than it’s large array of wildlife, we have been initially struck by the fantastic thing about the cliff formations main us into “Hell”. The limestone cliffs of assorted shades of purple, yellow, white and black have been formed by Mom Natures hand over hundreds of years with glaciers, wind and rain slowly whittling away tiny particles like a wooden carver tuning a chunk of ebony.
Eroded limestone towers and fingers strike up out of the earth creating good climbing routes for journey seekers in search of rock climbs to beat.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than we started to identify out first indicators of recreation both.
Impala, warthogs, zebra and even a lone Giraffe strolled between the valley partitions as we pedalled on and on. Whereas we had been nearer to the animals whereas exploring Lake Nakuru Nationwide Park, biking alongside herds of recreation animals is one other expertise fully.
Stopping to snap footage at common intervals whereas making an attempt to maintain your distance from these wild animals is one thing I’m undecided I may ever get used to.
Watching a Water Buffalo stare you down from simply 50m’s away whereas sitting on a mountain bike, and realizing that in the event you needed to run then there was no means that you can outpace it if it was aggravated is sufficient to get the adrenaline pumping. In addition to these drained legs rotating somewhat bit faster.
After 11kms our information determined to let our butts relaxation however preserve our legs working.
We started a zig-zagging descent into one of many tightly winding canyons. Carved from rivers and thermal exercise, these canyons break up the earth in two in periods of heavy rain.
Scalding water pours from cracks within the limestone partitions inflicting steam to stand up out of the canyons which provides Hell’s Gate its title.
Leaping from stone to stone and scaling the partitions like mountain goats we needed to resort to varied Parkour manoeuvres to make our means deeper into the canyon. Whereas not for the faint-hearted it wasn’t terribly taxing and there have been simpler routes we may have taken.
Scrambling again out of Hell’s Gate into the blazing Kenya sunshine after the relative cool shade throughout the canyon simply meant that we’d quickly need to be again within the saddles to trip again previous the wild animals. However not earlier than we have been rewarded with a gorgeous view throughout the size of Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park which we hadn’t but ventured into.
Because it had been some time since I had a motorbike seat clenched beneath my thighs, the return trip again was tender to say the least. However with drained legs we have been in a position to journey slower throughout the rutted trails permitting extra time to view the animals of their pure environment.
Most of which paid us barely any consideration in any respect.
Data for Mountain Biking in Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park
Situated 2.5 hours north of Nairobi in Kenya, it’s a worthwhile stopping level in case you are making your option to Uganda or Rwanda to trek with the Mountain Gorillas.
The doorway payment for Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park is $20, whereas Mountain Bike rent prices vary from $15 – $25 per individual.
The mountain biking in Hell’s Gate Nationwide Park is infinite and it’s also one of many solely Sport Parks on this planet the place you possibly can cycle by means of. Our trip took 4 hours and included a lunch at an area restaurant with scrumptious native delicacies.
Whereas our native information offered bits and items of historical past, data and pointed us in the precise route, we’d have appreciated a bit extra of a hand with the bikes. Self-guiding is unquestionably an possibility.