How fast is 2017 flying? We promised to share more this year, and here is another exclusive travel edition. ? In one of our previous articles we mentioned that travel need not tear a hole in your pockets; a deep one for that matter! Our recent visit led us to discover Hell’s Gate National Park. This park inspired the making of a classic animation, The Lion King (a favourite!). It’s also home to KenGen operations, the Olkaria Geothermal Spa, and amazing rock formations, gorges and wildlife.
In the beginning we only knew about the Olkaria Geothermal Spa, also known as Mvuke Spa (Owned by KenGen) after a recommendation from one of our close friends. So far, we know of two main entrances to Hell’s Gate National Park:
- The first is a short distance after Karagita town along Moi South Lake Road, on your left.
- The second entrance is farther along Moi South Lake Road heading towards Oserian. Right before Oserian, there’s a road that leads to KenGen plant, take the left and drive towards the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) Gate. The Spa is best accessed from this gate.
At the KWS gate you’ll have to pay park fees for your vehicle as well as for the people accessing the park.
The spa is within sight once you drive into the park. You’ll pay for the facilities as Hapa Kenya listed here.
You could also visit the KenGen website here.
What makes this place so special? The spa is the only one in the continent powered by underground energy. The water has an acrid smell of boiled eggs, real stinky due to the sulphur properties! It takes sometime to get used to, but what really gets you going is the benefits they say the spa has. The water is rich in minerals such as sulphur and silica known to cure diseases such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia, arthritis among others. Also, who can really resist hot, rejuvenating waters! Definitely not me!
You’ll enjoy watching the billows of steam puffing from some of the power plants in the distance. The scenic view lets you soak in the serenity of the environment, birds chirping and occasional baboons stopping by, so watch out for your things! There are lockers in the changing rooms so request a key from the reception in case you’d like to store your items and enjoy a stress free swim.
The water is cooled through 3 different pools of different temperatures, 90degrees, 60 degrees (both not swim friendly due to the extremely high temperatures!), then the main pool, usable with temperatures ranging between 30-40 degrees. They’ve also made a baby pool so the kids won’t miss out.
Make sure you visit this fascinating Rift Valley ‘hot tub’ and tick it off your list this year! ?
Meanwhile, our plan was to visit the park (finally) soon after our swim. All packed up and ready to leave, we put our things in the car and automatically locked the back doors. When we tried opening the front doors, we realized the worst…we had just locked our keys in the car with the rest of our bags and we didn’t have the spare keys with us!