|Distance from Nairobi||About 60km|
|Starting Point||Mt Longonot Park Gate|
|Ending point||Mt Longonot Park Gate|
|Walking Duration||4 hours|
|Terrain||Fine dust, with loose gravel in some areas.|
|Difficulty||Moderate, with some steep climbing.|
As you drive from Nairobi along the upper escarpment road to Naivasha, the breathtaking view of Mt Longonot beckons you to the left, barely 60km out of Nairobi. This colossus dominates the surrounding landscape, with lava canyons on its steep slopes, and a circular caldera over a kilometer in diameter. It is a dormant volcano estimated to have last erupted in the mid 1800s, standing at an estimated 750m above the floor of the Great Rift Valley and 2776m above sea level. A number of viewpoints on the highway have become popular stopovers for motorists drawn by the splendor of this magnificent view.
The whole mountain is a National Park under the jurisdiction of Kenya Wildlife Services. It is home to several wild animals, most of which live in the thick forest covering the crater floor. Spotting them is not guaranteed.
A hike on this mountain takes about 2hr from the Park Gate to the rim of the crater and back. For those going round the crater, the hike takes about 4hr for the round trip. The path up the slope is pretty steep and slippery at some points, so you need to be reasonably fit for this hike. The views from the crater rim however make every painful step worth the effort.
If driving, the shortest approach is the lower escarpment road commonly used by trucks to Naivasha. This road takes you past the old Catholic Church built by Italian Prisoners of War during WW2, reputed to be the smallest church in Kenya. Further on, you will go past Mai Mahiu town before reaching Longonot Station. Turn left and drive 4km to the Park Gate.