I was excited to join Hikers Arena on a Mt Longonot hike. Most of my friends had already been there before but it was the first time for me. Mt Longonot is a stratovolcano located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya.
The journey from the pick-up point in Nairobi to Mt Longonot National Park, where the mountain is located, took about two hours by car. Along the way, we made a stop-over at Maai Mahiu viewpoint to use the washrooms and enjoy the beautiful sunrise.
As we approached the mountain, I was in awe of its majesty and the sheer challenge it presented. The entrance to Mt Longonot National Park was lined with intriguing artwork, including the skulls of buffaloes that once roamed the area. Our guides, who were with Hikers Arena, advised us not to rush and to take our time, as we were not in a competition.
As a beginner hiker, I was grateful for the guidance and support of the Hikers Arena team. They provided important safety tips for the hike, such as wearing warm clothing, jackets, socks, and a hat. These came in handy since it was chilly when we started but turned hot and windy by midday.
The ascent up the mountain was slow, steady, and increasingly challenging as we went higher. We passed a spot called Buffalo Point, where buffaloes like to gather and eat the freshest vegetation, but unfortunately, we did not see any on this particular hike. Along the way, we were able to spot some wildlife, including giraffes, zebras, and Grant gazelles, who seemed undisturbed by our presence in the distance.
Finally, after about an hour of steep climbing especially t the final approach, we reached the rim of the crater. The views from the top were truly breathtaking, with thick green forest in the crater, heavy fog across the rim, and panoramic views of the surrounding attraction sites. It was a moment when time seemed to stand still, and I was in awe of the natural beauty of the area.
We were encouraged to push ourselves further and embarked on the walk around the crater rim. The trail was quite challenging, with some steep sections and rocky terrain. If you are planning to go on a Mt Longonot hike here, it is important to be in good physical condition and wear sturdy shoes. It is also important to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the hike can be strenuous and the sun can be intense.
As we made our way along the crater rim, we were treated to breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha. The summit of the mountain, Kilele Ngamia, offers 360-degree views of the surrounding area. We then reached the end of the rim and descended to the starting point.
In total, the length Mt Longonot hiking trail is about 13.5 km. It is 3.1km from the gate to the crater rim, 7.2km going around the crater rim, and 3.1km descending back to the gate.
The peak of Mount Longonot stands at 2,776 meters and is named after the Maasai word “Oloonong’ot,” which means “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges.” It was a truly memorable and rewarding experience to hike up this magnificent mountain. and I was grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.
Overall, I had a fantastic time on the Mount Longonot hike with Hikers Arena and would highly recommend them to anyone looking to explore the natural beauty of Kenya.