This breathtaking national park gains its name from the break in the cliffs, and the analogies continue - the devil's kitchen (hot and cold springs), the devil's shower (hot spring waterfalls) etc. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of visiting was that we were free to walk around, as KWS describes it "a walk on the wild side".
The harsh and dramatic scenery of the gorge has inspired much of the settings of Lion King, and Tomb Raider was shot in the gorge itself. A particular wildlife highlight was seeing some enormous birds encircling the skies: Rüppell's Vultures and Verreaux's Eagles. The former have about an 8 foot wingspan and fly over a hundred miles in order to find food in Maasai Mara and Nairobi, returning back to their nests in Hell's Gate.
We were advised to take a guide as we had been warned about recent flash floods causing fatalities - the gorge can fill-up very quickly. Our Maasai guide entertained us while telling his story of a tribal boy who was more interested in nature and education than herding cows. After being outcast by his father, he grew up in an orphanage and upon reaching adulthood and coming of age he decided that he had to re-initiate himself into the society. The traditional ritual was that in order to prove his strength and bravery, he had to kill a lion. Armed with nothing more than a spear, he set-off with the men of his tribe on a week-long search for a lion. Once found, they circled it and our guide threw his spear before being given the go-ahead by the leader. Perhaps even less fortunate was the outcome - although the spear hit the lion it did not injure it and it attacked him. The rest of the group had to flee, leaving him injured but he was later helped back home (another week-long journey) and it took six months to recover using local herbal remedies. He was given honorary initiation back into the tribe in consideration of his ordeal, but he is still trying to accumulate a herd of cattle so that he can afford to pay a dowry and get married!
Technical details: Olympus ZD 70-300mm and 12-60mm lenses; all unedited and straight from the camera except for some of the small bird photos. which have been cropped.