Are you over there looking for the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Maybe get to breath in a lump of fresh air not this toxic air we are so used to? Then Mt. Longonot is the place. I still think that it is one of the most beautiful yet so underrated tour destination of all time. Take that from a girl who has been staring at the majestic feature for like… ever. I still remember saying hi to it every morning before going to school. All these years later and still, it’s like déjà vu… Actually, just thinking about the place as I write this is giving me chills. It would not be fair to keep all these wonders to myself so you should also visit and feel the magic for yourself. Here are some noteworthy aspects that might help.
So, where is Mt. Longonot located?
The 2776m tall mountain is located in the Rift Valley, more specifically in Nakuru County, Naivasha Sub-county. If like me you’re not so good at telling what direction which county is at, Mt. Longonot is approximately 90km from Nairobi… about a 1hr drive from Nairobi. This therefore makes it perfect for a one-day hiking activity if you are around Nairobi or its environs. If you are further off you also do not have to worry, we got you covered. Although there are no accommodation services at the Longonot National park, there are major towns nearby like Naivasha, Longonot and Maai-Mahiu where you can lodge then go hiking first thing in the morning feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
What if the mountain suddenly erupts?!
Yes, Longonot is classified as a volcanic mountain but statistically speaking, it has been like 200 years since the mountain actually erupted so the probability of the mountain erupting as you hike is zero. Actually, there is a magnificent forest within the crater meaning that the stratovolcano has made peace with the magma lying underneath. Furthermore, if there were signs of an eruption like earthquakes or tilting of the mountain, the park officials in conjunction with the meteorological department will have informed the public of the possibility of an eruption a long time in advance. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about.
What do I stand to gain from hiking Mt. Longonot?
Words cannot describe how much beauty lies undiscovered on this majestic mountain. There are lots of wild animals at the foot of the mountain including buffaloes, Zebras, Lions, Leopards, Bush backs, Elands, Giraffes and so many more. There are also over 100 species of birds which include birds of prey. Also, after getting to the peak of the mountain you get to go around the magical crater. I call it magical because there seems to be no gravity in there. My friends and I experimented this by throwing pebbles into the crater but they came right back. It got so crazy that a friend of mine even threw her shoe in there… don’t even ask how that went. As you heave yourself around the rim of the crater, you also get to see the towns that surround the mountain. On the leeward side we have Maai-Mahiu town while on the windward side there is Naivasha town and the magnificent Lake Naivasha. How rewarding is that trip? Crazy, right?
How do I prepare for the hike?
- For one, you have to be super fit.
Remember that although the height of the mountain is only around 2000m above sea level, mountains are usually kinder like a triangle and the hiking takes place on the hypotenuse. Therefore expect around 8-9km of walking.
- Carry snacks and water.
Going in, you should expect to spend at least 5hours. Having a heavy breakfast is a must do if you are to have the energy to hike the steep mountain. Also, after you get to the top, you shall be exhausted therefore having a snack is an excellent idea. Furthermore, a picnic at the top of the mountain doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
- Entrance fee
The small token paid for you to access the national park is payable in advance or at the gate. The charges are Ksh300 for an adult Kenyan citizen, Ksh215 for a child, 17USD for non-resident children and 25USD for non-resident adults. Inclusive of the charges, you get a tour guide who shows you not only the ropes and tips of the hike but also the perks of the mountain that you would have otherwise missed.
Mt. Longonot is the perfect destination for a day trip either by yourself or with friends. You can travel there with much ease either through personal or public means. Set a date, pack your bag and go see for yourself the amazing sights. Don’t forget your camera!
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