Hell’s Gate National Park

This past weekend was a great one ;one of my best so far if I may add. Instagram has got to be one of thee best social media platforms we have today. Through it I have been privileged to network with not only people from Kenya but also with other people from different parts of the world. This weekend I was lucky enough to meet José. He is a renown photographer from New York and is well known for photographing in harsh light. He was in town to conduct a workshop that was organized by Airtel Kenya. The workshop took place on Saturday 11th July, at The Foundry Africa in Westlands.

As soon after the workshop was over, in the company of some of the most talented photographers in Kenya, we set out to Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha to camp for the night. We got to the campsite some minutes after sunset and immediately began to set up the tents in which we’d be sleeping in.

I had never set up a tent before so I was ecstatic when Efi decided to give us a lesson on how to go about it. After that lesson I can now confidently say that I know how to put up a tent :). *pats self on the back*

A few of the people with whom we shared the campsite with
A few of the people with whom we shared the campsite with

Afterwards, a few of the men got together and lit a fire in which we would later sit around and chat the night away, as we enjoyed some banana splits, made by Samir, and eachother’s company.

It was now nightfall and the stars looked like scattered moondust in the sky. Because Joe had frequented the place a number of times therebefore, he knew which spot would be ideal for astrophotography. Moments later, we were down in the valley shooting stars. There was pindrop silence as all the wild animals had turned in for the night… Or so we thought.

Suddenly, a hyena emerged from a nearby thicket. At first we all stood still and waited to see whether it would go away. Then, the animal began calling for backup and slowly but surely a pack of hyenas emerged :-o. The stars just had to wait! Safety first. You best believe we were out of there and back at the campsite in a jiffy.

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At least all was not in vain 🙂

Back at the campsite, we had a hard time convincing the rest what had happened. They seemed to think we had made it all up *sigh*. I would also not have believed me so I don’t blame them, lol. You would think that such things only happen in movies… WRONG! At about 2 am, majority of us called it a night while others opted to stay up and try capture some star trails.

At 5:45 am we were all up, ready to catch God’s morning star. Using the sun surveyor, we were able to identify the direction in which the sun would be rising from. 

Right before the sun emerged
Right before the sun emerged

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The zebras at the park are such posers :)
The zebras at the park are such posers 🙂
Such a stunner
Such a stunner
José capturing that beautiful sunrise
José capturing that beautiful sunrise
It doesn't get better than this :
It doesn’t get better than this :”)
Joe scanning the environment for the perfect place to shoot from
Joe scanning the environment for the perfect place to shoot from
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) doing their morning patrols
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) doing their morning patrols

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Cedi
Cedi
The greats: Joe Were and José Silva
The greats: Joe Were and José Silva
Another great, Mutua Matheka
Another great, Mutua Matheka

After capturing the sunrise, we headed back to the campsite to clear up the place of any clutter and take down the tents. We then split up, one group headed back to Nairobi while the other proceeded to the gorges. I opted to explore the gorges since it was my first time at the park.

Our guide, Sammy, at the gorge
Our guide, Sammy, at the gorge
Trevor
Trevor

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Asif
Asif

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Adios
Adios

All’s well that ends well.

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8 thoughts on “Hell’s Gate National Park

  1. I love how you tell the story of your photography sessions…feels like I was there.
    Beautiful piece, Great shots!!
    BIGWIG 🙂

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    1. Awwwww thanks Fosh. I always aim at taking people to the places I have visited, even if it’s not physically. I am glad you enjoyed the trip (mentally) and the photos even more :). Thank you

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