Mount Longonot Hike; Mount Longonot is one of the remaining stratovolcano which sits in southeast of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, its name is derived from the local word of Masai ‘’ Oloonong’ot which means ‘’Mountain of many spurs’’ or steep ridges and it is under management of Kenya Wildlife Services together with Mount Longonot National Park.
However, hiking experience is one of the best done activity here, however hiking trail starts from the park entrance up to the crater rim and goes into a 7.2 kilometers loop encircling the crater. If you’re an expert, you can choose to do whole tour which can take about 4 to 5 hours hiking just to allow for necessary rest breaks through the trials which are heavily eroded and very steep.
More so, the gate elevation measures around 2150 meters and the peak raises around 2776 meter but to access it you have to follow the jagged rim that involves substantially of more than the 630-meter vertical difference.
However, this mount measures 60 kilometers northwest of Nairobi and can be accessed by a tarmac road. However, this Mount last erupted in the 1860’s tills to date it has never been erupted.
Geographically, Mount Longonot last erupted in the 1860 years ago and since it is stratovolcano it contains a large 8 x12 kilometer caldera formed by vast eruptions of trachytic lava in past 21,000 years ago. But recently summit cone developed within the earlier caldera of which the cone is capped by a 1.8 kilometer crater. More so, the mountain experiences lot of parasitic cones and effusive lava eruptions that happens on the flanks and within the caldera floor. Between 2004 to 2006 there was demonstration of active magmatic systems beneath this volcano.
Despite the area around the Mountain is surrounded by the forest of small trees that covers the floor of the crater as well as the small steam vents which are found spaced around the walls of the craters. More then, the mountain is inhabitant to various wildlife species such as plain zebra, giraffes, Thomson’s gazelle, buffaloes and hartebeest among others.
You may be wondering, how many days you can take to climb Mount Longonot; Climbing Mount Longonot is strenuous though it requires you to be in good health to take on the climb and to those who wish to experience the whole walk can only take about 8 to 9 kilometer long but very steep. The round trip from the main entrance gate to the Longonot peak and back covers around 5 hours of hiking.
Park size; Mount Longonot National park covers an area of about 52 square kilometers.
Attractions; There are very many impressive attractions to see including; Extinct volcano and crater forest
Views of Lake Naivasha and Great Rift Valley.
Spotting of birdlife; Since the park is haven of birds of the prey and here are some of birds to encounter as include; Mottled Night jar, Horus Swift, Black stork, Red-eyes Dove ,Ring-necked Dove ,Fulvous Whistling Duck ,Egyptian Goose ,Hildebrandt’s Francolin ,Scaly Francolin ,Helmeted Guinea fowl ,Red-eyed Dove ,black stork mentioned few.
Activities to engage in while safari; They include Mountain biking, game viewing, hiking, rock climbing, Rewardable view Lake Naivasha.
Climate; This mountain lies in average temperature that ranges from 20 -300 degrees Celsius and average rainfall that ranges from 200melimeters – 700 millimeters.
Best Time; You can visit the Mountain for the sheer adventure all year around.
What to carry with you;
Here are useful essential items to carry with you; Enough mineral water bottle, camping equipment if you intend to stay overnight, energy giving snacks. Other items include; hat, binoculars, sunscreen, sunglasses and guidebook.