Sunday was adventurous. Thanks to some new friends in Nairobi we got ourselves ready to go trekking to Mount Longonot. It’s a dormant volcano located Southeast of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. It’s a 60KM drive from Nairobi city.
For somebody who has never hiked, we were excited and even a bit sceptical on our physical abilities to do the 6 hour journey from the park gate to the rim of the crater and then back to the gate. My friend’s past experience helped and we started the hike by about 8AM. The early morning cool weather helped us make a head-start. The path for the hike isn’t very well etched out so certain tracks are very rough and the climb gets tough.
I am no expert but contrary to belief the descend is more challenging. While going up you need a lot of stamina to overcome the steep climb. But while coming down maintaining your body balance on some of the slippery ash/mud filled tracks can be a task. You need to learn some smart footwork which helps you tackle the path. We made the mistake of not hiring some walking sticks, which would have been useful.
Although tiring, wife and I were very happy that we did it. Great experience and something we would cherish for a long time.
Here is a small list of tips if you plan to visit Mount Longonot.
Start early. The sun can be intolerable. So it would be advisable that you have completed the hike by mid-day.
Travel light. You may want to pack water, snacks, camera and some more. But remember more weight means more pressure on the climb, so pack smart.
Carry an extra pair of clothes. There are shower facilities at the park gate. After the ‘ashy’ trip you may want to clean-up before going home or the hotel.
Food. After the 6 hour hike, when you are back at base you are going to be super hungry, so make sure you have enough to eat kept in your car.
Must haves – water, sun-screen, cap, stick [gives good support for the climb]. Also recommended are biscuits & energy drinks like Lucozade, Red Bull. Camera – I took my DSLR but I suggest make do with a Point & Shoot.