This post is about our hiking experience in Mt. Longonot National Park, Kenya.
We went hiking in Mt. Longonot some weeks after our coming back from Zanzibar.
This was our first hiking experience in Kenya, so we did not know what to expect at all. All we knew was some general information about Mount Longonot.
Mount Longonot is located southeast of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. It is thought to have last erupted in the 1860s.
It is 60 kilometres northwest of Nairobi and may be reached from there by a tarmac road. The road was re-done and is now much better, reducing travel time from Nairobi to around an hour, an hour and a half. We went there from Nairobi at 7:00 and arrived at 8:30. As for me it is the most convenient time to start hiking as the whole tour will take you about 4-5 hours (in case you walk around the rim).
In the park one can choose among various activities: hiking, rock climbing, biking, walking and viewing Lake Naivasha.
A trail runs from the park entrance up to the crater rim, and continues in a loop encircling the crater. The whole tour is only about 8–9 km long but very steep, so that the round trip of park gate - Longonot Peak - park gate takes around 3 to 4 hrs hiking.
The mountain is home to various species of wildlife, notably zebra, giraffe, buffaloes (droppings on the rim) and hartebeest. Leopards have also been reported but are extremely difficult to spot. We have not seen any animals except some sheep.
At the entrance one can take a guide, however we did not do that as we had experienced friends with us. As for me, a guide is really not necessary in this National Park as well as one can not loose his way there. There are few paths that are really clear and plain.
My tips before hiking in Mt. Longonot:
- start your trip as early as possible (in order to leave before sun becomes really strong);
- take some appetizers (snacks, chocolate bars, nuts) and a lot of water with you (at least 2 liters per person);
- make sure you do not forget hats, and a lot of sun creme. Even if the the sky is cloudy, you may have a sunburn, as we had;
- some may find umbrellas also useful to protect himself from sun;
- wear hiking boots, long trousers and long-sleeve pullovers;
- if you are resident in Kenya, DO NOT forget you resident cars to have your resident discount. Resident price is 500 Kshs, non resident price is 20$.