The Splendid Longonot – Mt Longonot National Park
Just discovered I have been to Longonot six times and haven’t gotten enough of it yet…Mt Longonot National Park, is a perfect stop for steep challenge enthusiasts. Longonot the name, is derived from the Maasai word ‘ Oloonong’ot,’ which means “Mountains of many spurs” or “Steep ridges”. This dormant stratovolcano is said to have last erupted in 1860s.
A single day visit is enough to thrill a trekker-cum-hiker. It all begins with an hour’s drive from Nairobi via the the lower escarpment road, past Mai Mahiu town, just before reaching the Longonot station on your way to Naivasha.
The current park entry fees are $26 and $17 for non-residents adults and non-resident children respectively. Charges for resident adults are ksh.600 and ksh.300 for resident children. Kenya adult citizens pay ksh.300 while Kenyan children pay ksh.215.
From the park’s main entrance is a trail that runs to the crater rim – a short trek that takes about One to one and a half hours. The rim encircles the crater in a length that will take you about two and a half to three and a half hours depending on the hiking energy.
A rewarding view of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha meets you at the top as is a virgin forest of small trees covering the crater, with steam vents spaced around the walls. Longonot is home to Buffaloes, Gazelles, the Impala and giraffes with rare sighting of leopards.
Major activities here include; Hiking, Rock climbing, Biking, Walking and viewing Lake Naivasha.
The gates open at 0600hrs and close at 1800hrs and there are a couple of items advisable to carry along to make your hike a success and include; a pair binoculars, enough water, some snacks, some energy bars, sunglasses, comfortable boots, light loose comfortable pants, a camera and an adjustable walking cane (not necessary, can be customized from sticks around).
With only Olongoonot campsite, the best place for accommodation around here is either Naivasha town or along Moi South Lake Road where there is a wide range of options available.
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