Inside the Devil’s Bedroom
Posted Saturday, April 28 2012 at 18:00
- Hell’s Gate is a picturesque park whose enthralling beauty undoubtedly epitomises the marvels of Mother Nature. From the blood-chilling name, Hell’s Gate National Park has unique and awesome sceneries
The allure of the rocks, the gorges, the caves, the hot water springs and the way nature has crafted them into a marvel keeps visitors to the Hell’s Gate gawking in awe.
Hell’s Gate is a picturesque park whose enthralling beauty undoubtedly epitomises the marvels of Mother Nature. From the blood-chilling name, Hell’s Gate National Park has unique and awesome sceneries.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the state corporation that manages it, it’s the second smallest park in the country covering 68 square kilometres with a diverse geology.
The park easily courts controversy due to the naming of the popular sites, including the Devil’s Bedroom, Devil’s Shower, Devil’s Mouth and Hell’s Kitchen.
Gazetted in 1984, the park has consistently attracted large numbers of domestic and foreign tourists. More than 100,000 people go there annually, despite a series of tragedies that have left nature lovers baffled.
Just last week, Hell’s Gate snuffed out the lives of seven young members of the Presbyterian church in Nairobi, who had gone sightseeing. The seven were swept away by raging floods in the gorge.
Many other people have had mishaps or been involved in accidents there. For now, the Gate is closed to visitors until the current rains subside.
The impressive number of visitors who turn up at Hell’s Gate has been attributed to the curious names that identify key sites, with 90 per cent of the visitors trooping to the gorge to witness the rare spectacle – a canyon.
The history of Hell’s Gate can be traced to volcanic eruptions that happened ages ago leaving indelible landmarks that remain the talking point of campers as they while their day on cliffs on the edges of the recreational area.
During the Second World War, the place reverberated with the deafening the sounds of artillery fire as it was used as a training ground.
But today the beautiful scenery is a sight to behold for holiday makers who love sightseeing while a climb to the towering cliffs is literally breathtaking.
Still, nature lovers can walk and savour the beauty of the game sanctuary.
The camping is not complete without getting a glimpse of the obsidian rocks which, then hit by the sun’s rays, reflect them into the rainbow colours.
The gorge that the park derives its name from is virtually endless. It baffles and awes observers and it is said to resemble “hell,” hence the name Hell’s Gate.
Wild animals roam the park which is home to the rare Klipspringer of the antelope family. Other species that are a joy to watch include the ostrich, waterbuck, impala gazelle, African buffalo and warthogs.
Yet Hell’s Gate is not just about the unique canyon. Just a few metres from the entry point, the towering Fischer’s tower captures one’s imagination. The famous tower stands stoically in the middle of the park and it is here that the brave test their nerves in rock climbing.
Going up more than 25 feet, climbing the rock is usually a sweaty affair, but a proud moment for those who manage to get to the top.
According to a brief provided at the park, the Fischers Tower and Central Tower, also known as Ol Barta (the Horse), were formed after hot lava was pushed to the exterior through the cracks on the earth surface. The lava cooled and solidified forming the two rock plugs.