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7 Best Reasons To Visit Mount Longonot

7 Best Reasons To Visit Mount Longonot

7 Best Reasons To Visit Mount Longonot National Park, Kenya

The best 7 reasons to visit Mount Longonot National Park, a captivating destination known for its unique volcanic features, scenic landscapes, diverse wildlife and flora and activities such as hiking, bird watching, biking, game viewing, and geological education insights.

Mount Longonot - Wikipedia

Mount Longonot National Park is a stratovolcano located in Southeast of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya in Africa. It is thought to have erupted in the 1860s and its name was derived from the Maasai word “Oloonong’ot” which means “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”. Mount Longonot has a caldera that was formed over 20000 years ago by trachytic lava eruptions.

The crater is surrounded by vents spread across its walls and the crater floor is covered by a forest of small trees. Mount Longonot peak stands at 2780m and is on a rim of a small caldera that is submerged by a lava cone. It is 7.2mile loop trail near kijabe, Rift Valley and generally considered a challenging route that takes an average of 5 hours and 3 minutes to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking so you will likely encounter other people while exploring.

A unique feature is the thick forest that lies within the crater of this volcanic mountain and major wildlife attractions include buffaloes, elands, lions, bushbucks, common zebras, giraffes and grant’s gazelles. The park is also a paradise for birds of prey.

The top 7 reasons why you should visit Mount Longonot National Park

1. Hiking In Mount Longonot National Park

Activities to do in Mount Longonot National Park | Kenya SafarisHiking is an exhilarating adventure, combining physical challenge with breathtaking natural beauty. The trial begins at the park entrance and winds its way up to the slopes, offering hikers a diverse and immersive experience.

The hike presents a varying level of difficulty, with the initial sections characterized by a gentle incline through acacia forests. As you ascend, the vegetation transitions provide a captivating journey through different ecological zones. The path becomes steeper demanding a bit more endurance but ever-changing landscape and occasional encounters with wildlife such as zebras or buffalos serve as a rewarding distraction.

Reaching the rim of crater is a moment of triumph, offering a stunning panoramic view of the expansive crater floor below and surrounding Rift Valley. The trail then continues along the crater rim, providing opportunities to marvel at the geological formations and capture breathtaking photos of the vast landscapes. Hikers may encounter cool temperatures and occasional gusts of wind, adding to the sense of adventure. Guides often work in company groups, sharing insights into the park’s geology, flora and fauna, enhancing the educational aspect of the hike

The descent, while physically less allows hikers to appreciate the scenery from different perspectives. The entire hiking experience at the mountain is a harmonious blend nature, physical activities and exploration, making it memorable and rewarding outdoor adventure.

2. Game Viewing In Mount Longonot National Park

Explore Mount Longonot National Park’s game viewing opportunities where the undulating terrain reveals an array of wildlife. Witness gracefully giraffes gracefully navigating the savannah, zebras grazing in the open and majestic buffaloes moving through the lush vegetation. The thrill of encountering these animals amid the volcanic landscapes adds a layer of excitement making a visit to the park a truly immersive and memorable experience.

Moreover, Mount Longonot National Park is known for its occasional sightings of predators like leopards as well as troops of baboons. While these sightings are less common and require some luck and patience, the possibility of encountering these fascinating creatures adds an element of excitement and intrigue of the game viewing experience.

Visitors can enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape while observing animals in their natural habitat, thus creating unforgettable memories and immersive wildlife encounters.

Game viewing at Mount Longonot National Park offers visitors a chance to connect with nature, appreciate the beauty of Kenya‘s wildlife and gain a deeper understanding of the delicate balance of ecosystems in the park.

3. Mountain Biking In Mount Longonot

Embark on an exhilarating mountain biking adventure at Longonot National Park traverse rugged trails and winding paths and immersing yourself in the breathtaking scenery of this volcanic landscape. The thrill of navigating through diverse terrains, coupled with panoramic views, adds an exciting dimension to your visit.

Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a novice seeking an adrenaline rush, Mount Longonot provides an unforgettable mountain biking experience, blending the joys of outdoor exploration with the challenge of dynamic trails.

One of the main attractions for mountain bikers in Mount Longonot National Park is the opportunity to encircle the impressive Longonot Volcano crater rim, and this circular route offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Rift Valley landscape, providing a rewarding experience for cyclists as they navigate the challenging terrain.

Additionally, the park features a network of trials that cater to cyclists of all levels, from beginner to advanced. Whether you are looking for a leisurely ride or a more adrenaline-fueled adventure, Mount Longonot National park offers something for every mountain biking enthusiast.

4. Geological Educational Insights

Mount Longonot | Kenya Safari Destinations | Hiking Safari ToursDelve into the park’s volcanic history, exploring the intricacies of its unique geological formations. The well-preserved volcanic crater and lava flows offer insights into Earth’s dynamic processes. Educational trials provide a hands-on opportunity to understand geological phenomena, making it an ideal destination for geology, enthusiasts students and anyone intrigued by the planet’s geological witnessing. Witnessing the park’s geological wonders firsthand enhances learning ad appreciation for the Earth’s natural history.

5. Unique Crater Formation

The park boasts a distinct volcanic crater, a remarkable sight that captivates visitors with its vastness ang geological significance. Hike along the rim to witness the breathtaking panoramic views of the crater’s interior, showcasing the forces that shaped this natural wonder. The crater’s sheer magnitude and the surrounding landscape create a one-of-a-kind experience, making a visit to Mount Longonot an opportunity to marvel at the Earth’s fascinating geological processes.

6. Diverse Flora

Mount Longonot National Park Kenya wildlife safaris

The park is a haven of nature enthusiasts, offering a chance to encounter a variety of plant species and wildlife. Marvel at the vibrant colors of indigenous flowers, while diverse trees and shrubs create a picturesque backdrop against the volcanic terrain. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and numerous bird species, adding an exciting dimension to the exploration. Mount Longonot National Park’s biodiversity provides a unique opportunity to connect with the nature in a setting that seamlessly blends volcanic landscapes with thriving ecosystem.

7. Bird Watching | Birding At Mount Longonot National Park.

Helmeted guineafowl - WikipediaBirdwatching at Mount Longonot National Park offers a captivating experience due to its diverse avian population. The park is home to numerous bird species [mount Longonot has over 100 bird species] including raptors like eagles and vultures as well as colorful varieties such as hornbills and sunbirds.

Exploring the park’s varied habitats from forested areas to open grasslands provides ample opportunities for bird enthusiasts to spot and observe these fascinating creatures in their natural environment. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a novice, Mount Longonot National Park offers a rewarding birdwatching adventure amidst stunning scenery. The park’s diverse ecosystems support an assortment of birdlife, making it a haven for birdwatchers.

File:Speckled pigeon (Columba guinea bradfieldi).jpg - Wikipedia

When To Visit Mount Longonot National Park

The best time to visit Mount Longonot  National Park in Kenya is during the dry seasons which typically occur from late December to March and then July to October. This helps to ensure clearer views and more comfortable hiking conditions.

Mount Longonot experiences a tropical climate with temperatures varying throughout the year. During dry seasons, day time temperature can range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius [68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit]. In contrast, the wet seasons [April to June and November to early December] may bring higher humidity and occasional rain, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius [59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit]. Its advisable to always check specific weather before planning to visit the area.

How To Access Mount Longonot  National Park

The main transport method used to access Mount Longonot National Park is road transport. Visitors typically travel by car or bus to reach the park which is conveniently located near the Nairobi-Nakuru highway in Kenya.

In additional to road transport, some visitors may choose to access Mount Longonot by hiking and trekking. The park offers various trails and paths for those who prefer a more adventurous journey on foot. However, the primary and most common means of transport remains.

Where to stay at Mount Longonot National Park (Safari Lodges At Mount Longonot)

There are three types of accommodations around Mount Longonot: luxury , mid-range and budget.

  • Safari Luxury Lodges

Luxury accommodation near Mount Longonot typically include high-end lodges or resorts that offer premium services and amenities for example Great Rift Valley, Enashipa Resort and Spa, Kiangazi House, Olerai House and Golf Resort. These places often feature spacious rooms, fine dining options, spa facilities and stunning views of the surrounding Landscape.

The prices of luxury accommodation can vary depending on factors like time of the year, room type and specific amenities required. It’s advisable to check with the respective lodges directly or through reputable booking platforms for the most up-to-date information on prices and offerings.

  • Safari Mid-Range Lodges

Mount Longonot National Park may include lodges, guesthouses or hotels that offer a balance between comfort and affordability. Prices and examples change so it’s always recommended to check current sources for the latest information.

The following are some of the examples of mid-range accommodation.

Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge; This lodge is located near Lake Naivasha and provides comfortable rooms, dining options and recreational facilities. Prices can vary based on room type and seasonal factors. The lodge is 15km and it takes 20 to 30 minutes from Mount Longonot National Park. However, factors like traffic and road conditions may affect the time.

Lake Naivasha Country Club offers a blend of modern amenities and a serene setting. It also includes comfortable rooms and various services for guests. The club is 20km  and it takes 30 to 4o minutes from Mount Longonot National Park. However, the time might change due to traffic and road conditions.

Crater Lake Tented Camp; Tented camp can be popular, mid-range choice, providing a unique and immersive experience. Crater Lake Tented Camp is located near Mount Longonot and may provide affordable rates compared to luxury options. The camp is 10km that is 6.2 miles and it takes 15 to 20 minutes from Mount Longonot National park. However the estimated time can vary depending on factors such as traffic and road conditions.

  • Safari Budget Lodges

Mount Longonot may include guesthouses, hostels or campsites that offer more affordable options for travelers. Prices for budget accommodation can be based on factors such as the type of accommodation, amenities and time of the year. Budget accommodations often focus on providing essential amenities at a lower cost making them suitable for travelers seeking economical options.

The following are examples of Budget accommodations

Fisherman’s Camp; is situated on the shores of Lake Naivasha and it often caters to budget-conscious travelers with options like camping sites and basic accommodation. The distance from the park to the camp is 14km and takes 20-30 minutes to cover it while using road transport. However, factors like traffic and road conditions can affect the travel time.

Camp Carnelley’s; This campsite is located near the lake and may offer budget-friendly camping facilities and simple rooms for travelers looking for economical choices. The distance between the part and the camp is 18km and its 30-40 minutes to cover it however the actual travel time may vary.

Crater Lake Camp; Offering camping options and basic rooms which might be affordable for those on a budget. The distance between the park and the camp is approximately 5km and it takes 10-15 minutes to cover it. However the estimate can vary depending on factors such as traffic and road conditions.

Commonly asked questions about Mount Longonot National Park.

  • What are some of the interesting facts about Mount Longonot National Park?

The cone that is capped by 1.8km crater. The mountain also has several parasitic cones and effusive lava eruptions occur on the flanks and within the caldera floor, there is also a periodic geodetic activity recorded at Longonot in 2004 to 2006 that demonstrated the presence of active magmatic systems beneath this volcano.

  • What animals are in the Mount Longonot crater?

The major wildlife attraction at Mount Longonot  are buffaloes, elands, lions, leopard, bushbucks, common zebra, grant’s gazelles and giraffe.

  • What is the size of Mount Longonot National Park?

Mount Longonot National Park covers an area of  52 square kilometers with a landscape at an elevation of  2776 above the sea level and the landscape of the park is composed of Mount Longonot, v-shaped valley, ridges and little vegetation cover.

  • How old is Mount Longonot National Park?

Mount Longonot was formed 20000 years ago by trachytic lava eruptions. The crater is surrounded by vents that is spread across its walls and the crater floor is covered by a forest of small trees.

  • What are the features of Mount Longonot National Park?

Mount Longonot National Park is also easily accessible from Nairobi 90km on a tarmac road and the main attractions of the park include  the extinct volcano and crater forest and the views of Lake Naivasha and the Great Rift Valley  and also a great destination for birding.

  • What is the meaning of  the word Longonot?

The name Longonot was gotten from a Maasai local song “Oloonong’ot” meaning “mountains of many spurs of steep ridges” or “steep ridges.”

  • What type is Mount Longonot National Park?

Mount Longonot is stratovolcano mountain which contains a large 8 by 12 km caldera formed by vast eruption of trachytic lava some 21000 years ago.

  • How does it take to climb mount Longonot National Park?

Longonot hiking takes 4 to 6 hours.

  • Is Mount Longonot active or dormant?

Mount Longonot is a young dormant volcano that is located in the southeast of Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya in Africa. Mount Longonot last erupted in 1863 whereby there were lava flows on the northern flank of the mountain

  • What happened at Mount Longonot National Park?

A hiking mission on Mount Longonot in Naivasha by a group of men from PCEA church in Kinoo turned tragic after one of them died after falling into a cliff while the other feared death after trying to save him.

  • Did Mount Longonot erupt?

The last eruption of Mount Longonot was in 1863. Longonot National Park reported on October, 27, 2022 and put out the statement that the park is safe to visit.

In conclusion, Mount Longonot National Park located in Kenya is a captivating destination known for its unique volcanic features, diverse wildlife and scenic landscapes. Visitors can explore the challenging hiking trail leading to the crater rim, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Rift Valley. The park’s ecological richness and geological significance that make it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. For more information, contact