Kenya’s Hell’s Gate National Park for adventure tourism and hiking, has once again lived up to its name as two more Kenyans on a weekend hike up Mt. Longonot lost their lives.
Last year it was a team of church youths on a team building exercise who got caught up in flash floods and this time a group of hikers was attacked by wild bees, sending two of the group tumbling down the crater walls.
Reports on Twitter by the Kenya Red Cross, which immediately got involved in the search and rescue mission, indicated that one of the two was found alive but succumbed to his injuries after being airlifted by a KWS helicopter to a hospital in Nairobi. The search for the second mission person was suspended at night fall but will resume in the morning, likely to be a recovery mission as hope to find that person alive has dimmed.
It was unfortunate that they got attacked by a swarm of wild bees and that caused everyone to panic. Two as a result fell into the crater which triggered an immediate search and rescue mission from staff at the park offices and the Red Cross which was alerted also.
Guide training has been increased since the accident last year and the park staff is alert to weather conditions. They would warn of rains to be careful about flash floods for instance. But a bee attack is something no one can predict really. The loss of lives is very much regretted and KWS will officially express their condolences to the families and friends of the deceased’ said a source from the KWS headquarters in Nairobi on condition of anonymity as he was not the official spokesperson for the organization.
Hell’s Gate National Park is just about 100 kilometres from Nairobi at the bottom of the Great African Rift Valley, with Mt. Longonot, an extinct volcano, the main feature of the park. Unlike many other parks hiking and biking are possible and draw regular visits by groups of Kenyans and foreign tourists to the location.