Mt Suswa - Hells Gate Trek

Kenya

Grading Level - T2 (click to HERE to find out more about our grading)

Mt Suswa is a double crater volcano with a shield-shaped cone covering an area of about 270km2. Its inner volcano soars to an altitude of 2356m above sea level at its summit. The inner crater, about 5km across, is covered by a forest that is also home to leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, antelopes and other wildlife, and has breath-taking view that has to be seen to be believed.

 

The outer crater, estimated at about 10km in diameter, is currently dotted with Maasai homesteads. The Maasai graze their livestock on the outer crater and the slopes of the inner volcano, and harvest water for their domestic use from the numerous springs spouting steam and hot water in this area.

 

The lava caves on the outer crater have over 30 entrances, most of which are collapsed roofs into these caves. The caves are home to large populations of bats that are said to travel as far as 30km in search of food at night and then retreat to the caves in the morning. As you walk and crawl through the caves, you can view the colonies of bats hanging from the roof, asleep and dead to the world, until evening when they stream out.

Another interesting location in the caves is the Baboons’ parliament where a large troop of Baboons take shelter at night from their predators. The Baboon troops’ arrival in the evening coincides with the departure of the local bat colonies, creating two way traffic.

It is said that if you peer down the opening in the roof early in the morning, you will find the troop’s leader perched on a pile of rocks at the centre of the chamber, seemingly addressing the rest of the troop perched on ledges high up the walls of the cave.

Hell's Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, north west of Nairobi. Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. Established in 1984 as a small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. This includes the Fischer's Tower and Central Tower columns and Hell's Gate Gorge.

 

Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It received the name "Hell's Gate" by explorers Fisher and Thomson in 1883.

The 1994 film, The Lion King, was heavily modelled after the park, where several lead crew members of the film went to the park to study and gain an appreciation of the environment for the film. The 2003 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life was also shot on location in this park.

Itinerary


Day 1: Sunday
You will be met at the Airport on arrival and drive to the hotel.

 

Day 2: Monday

Trekking 3-4hrs
Walk to the Mt Suswa Eco Camp. Watch the spectacle of thousands of bats fly into the night as the baboons have a meeting and get in to shelter for the night.


Day 3: Tuesday

Trekking 7–8hrs
Summit Mount Suswa. Lunch at a local Maasai homestead and enjoy some of the local song and dance. You will drive back to Mt Suswa Eco Camp


Day 4: Wednesday
Leave Mt Suswa for the Hells Gate National Park - about 2 hours away. The park generally has scattered plains game such as Zebra, antelopes, gazelles, monkeys, and giraffes.  You will have picnic lunch at the neighbouring Olkaria geothermal spa. Back to Nairobi in the early evening.

Day 5: Thursday
You will be driven to the airport for your flight home

Included in this trip:
. 2 Nights hotel stay in Nairobi
. Airport arrival and departure transfers
. Land Cruiser Transport for the trip
. Camping at Mt Suswa
. Mount Suswa trekking and caving (with local English speaking guides)
. Maasai homestead cultural visit
. All park/conservancy fees
. Hells Gate National Park visit with official guided visit to the gorge
. Bottled Mineral water for all the days
. Amref medical evacuation cover

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