Mount Longonot National Park
Mount Longonot National Park is an extinct volcano rising from the floor of the Great Rift Valley like a monolith, positioned southeast of lake Naivasha in Kenya province’ ’Africa’’. The park offers a unique feature of thick forest that sits within the crater of the mountain and steam vents are seen spaced around the walls of the craters. However, the ecosystem of the park composes of mountain rising an elevation 2,77smeter above the see level. On other parts of the mountain are V-shaped valleys and contains with little vegetation. Still there is a trail that takes a 3.1 kilometers from the park entrance up to the crater rim and goes beyond in a 7.2 kilometers loop encircling the crater. Moreover, the crater rim also creates great rewardable scenic views across the beautiful Rift valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. The mountain is habitant of various wildlife species include plain zebras, giraffes, Thomson’s gazelles, elands, lion, leopards, bushbucks and hartebeests among other species.
The mountain’s name Longonot comes from the Masaya word Oloonongot which means ‘’mountains of many spurs’’ or Steep ridges’’. Mount Longonot national park is small is size with only 52 square kilometers of its low land and managed by Kenya Wildlife Service. Fortunately, Mountain Longonot is said to have erupted back in 1860s.It is strata volcano offering large 8x12kilomteres caldera formed by vast eruptions of trachytic lava.
Attractions in Mount Longonot National Park
The extinct volcano and crater forest, scenic landscape with rewardable views of lake Naivasha and the Great Rift Valley.
The views from the rim of the volcano are rewarding. From the elevated perch you will get a gainful birds-eye view over a large section of the stunning southern Rift Valley, all the way to Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains can be viewed in a distance. Beautiful Lake Naivasha is also rewarding as well as Hell’s Gate National Park, both are impressive places can be visited after a tour to Mount Longonot since they are close to each other.
The crater rim of Mount Longonot
While at the crater rim, you can have a perfect view for geothermal steam coming out from several fissures along the crater rim, then a reminder of the energy traps beneath your feet.
The park offers selection of wildlife which can be seen on your way up to the rim, and to those adventuring into the forested crater should also spot out animals like Buffalos, Giraffes, Zebra, several species of Antelopes, Baboons and leopards but tracks are done inside the park. You can as well spot out notable number of Rift Valley birds such as a host of raptors which can be viewed catching the thermals over the crater. Common birds to see are Verreaux’s Eagle and Lammergeier.
Activities done in Mount Longonot National Park
This is the most done and enjoyed activity in here, when it comes to Kenya hiking destinations Mount Longonot is one of them. The right place where you have the chance to hike up to a breathtaking viewpoint at the rim of a volcano, the experience can last in just 1 to 2 hours but depending on traveler’s body fitness. Right from the park’s gate is a 3.1kilomters trail runs you up to the crater rim. Though the hiking distance sounds as a piece of cake to any tested hiker, but sometimes is a challenge to your acumens. It can be a demanding hike, and you need to be reasonably fit to accomplish it but the reward from the rim and the sense of achievement make all the effort impressive experience.
Once you access the rim, it’s you to choose to walk along the perimeter of the caldera, which covers 7.2 kilometers to reach the top and on top you will have thrilling views all the way around. Regulars hikers usually set like to set off in a counter-clockwise direction for the great views and a better ascension to the peak. The whole loop of 13 kilometers to and from the park gate take you around 4 to 5 hours while allowing the necessary stops.
Heroic Hikers who need to venture into the caldera, you will require to get permission from the park ranger and a guide if you plan to match in their footsteps, since this part of the tail is not marked well and could be dangerous. It is advised to plan to establish a campsite inside the crater but currently may require you a permission to do so your own.
Although Mount Longonot national park hosts less wildlife species but provides amazing wildlife encounters since most of the animals live down in the dense forested area inside the crater and can be seen clearly. Abundant of birdlife can be seen from the rim of the volcano such as Verreaux’s Eagle and the Lammergeier.
This is a cycling experience done here that allows one to cycle along the circuit road towards the volcanic lava flow about 2kilometers.This is the way you can appreciate the nature of the park. Bikes are available for hire.
Accommodations in Mount Longonot national park
The park doesn’t have any accommodation inside the park, with the exception of the Olongonot Campsite, which is located just inside the park entrance, along the access road to the crater. The campsite offers the best place to pitch a tent, a toilet and running water. You might carry your own equipment on safari to Mount Longonot national park.
However, classic range of accommodations options are available to the nearby town of Naivasha and along Moi South Lake Road. Some of the nearby accommodation facilities with good amenities include Lake Naivasha country club, Masada Hotel among other facilities.
How to get to Mount Longonot national park
The park covers 60 kilometers from northwest of Nairobi Kenya’s capital and can be accessed from there by a tarmac Road.
Organize your trip now to Kenya hiking safari destination and adventure more of the park’s hidden features. ’Mount Longonot National Park’.