Mount Longonot is a stratovolcano (a conical volcano built up of many alternate layers of hardened lava and ash) under the management of Kenya’s KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service). It can be found in the Great Rift Valley on route between Nairobi and Naivasha, 90km from Nairobi and south east of Naivasha. It is thought the volcano last erupted in the 1860′s.
It is 52sq km in size and it’s crater floor is made up of thick forest. Wildlife in the area surrounding Longonot includes Buffalo, Giraffe, Impala and Zebra.
Longonot comes from the Maasai word Oloonong’ot meaning steep ridges. Inside the crater rim there is a bush campsite called Buffalo Camp which is so named after a buffalo fell into the crater and died at the spot
It’s possible to hike Mt Longonot as a day trip from Nairobi or part of a longer safari however it’s best to begin as early as possible in the morning. It can get extremely hot on the steep hiking trails and at the top of the crater rim, carrying a hat, wearing plenty of sunscreen and carrying sufficient water is a must! Camping overnight within the park gates, at the beginning of the hiking trail is also possible at the KWS campsite.
A 3.1 km trail runs from the park entrance up to the crater rim and back, it continues in a 7.2 km loop encircling the crater. The whole 13.5 km circuit takes about 5-6 hours depending on fitness and rest breaks – parts of the trail are heavily eroded and very steep and if you have a fear of heights you may struggle with the circuit around the rim. You will find some beautiful views from the top.
If you would like us to help you organise your trip to hike Mount Longonot don’t hesitate to get in touch!