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To Hell's Gate on A Wheelbarrow

wbarowHell’s Gate National Park is situated near Lake Naivasha and just 110 km from Nairobi and covers an area of approximately 70sq kilometers. Despite its alarming name, Hell’s Gate provides the ideal avenue for a beautiful get away. Set in the shadow of Mt. Longonot, Hell’s Gate is itself a miniature Rift valley, covered by ashes from the Longonot eruption which occurred 100 years ago. The park is famous for its hot natural geysers, spectacular geographic scenery from towering cliffs that give one an awesome view of the Rift Valley, huge rock towers, volcanic gorges, belching plumes of geothermal steam and the OlKaria geothermal power station, bird and game viewing amongst other magnificent geographical wonders. Hell’s Gate National Park is one of a few parks in Kenya where walking and cycling is allowed.

This is an exciting, fun filled, challenging and unique fundraising event for participants and spectators drawn from corporate institutions and local communities living around Hell’s Gate National Park and the Naivasha region.  This 5km triathlon race was first held in June 2009 and it aims to bring together people from all walks of life in celebrating the spirit of conservation, sports and health. The race involves teams of two, a ‘driver’ and a ‘navigator’ with their ‘formula one’ wheelbarrow!

Purpose of the event

The Hell’s Gate conservation area is home to over 67,000 wild animals, however, less than 5% of these animals permanently based in the protected area. The resultant effect has been an increase in illegal game meat trade, human encroachment and loss of wildlife habitat, conflict in land use, land sub division and fencing, leading to increased human-wildlife conflict. To address most of the issues, KWS works with the surrounding communities whose land is vital for the survival of wildlife. The park stakeholders considered having a fun-cum-fundraising event dubbed “To Hell’s Gate on a Wheelbarrow” to provide an avenue for engagement.

This year’s event raised Kshs. 2,833,150.00 which will be used to equip an Environmental Education centre. The centre will provide knowledge about the significance of appreciating and conserving our God given national heritage to the public through out-reach programmes.

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