Mt longonot national park was named from the Maasai word Oloonong’ot, meaning mountains of many spurs or steep ridges .The park has an area of 52 km² and is located southeast of Lake Naivasha. The mountain was formed from viscous and sticky lava that does not flow easily. The lava then accumulates around the vent forming a volcano with steep sides. The park distance from the nearby town of Naivasha is 27.2 kilometres and 74.4 kilometres from Nairobi.
Mount Longonot is protected by Kenya Wildlife Service as part of Mount Longonot National Park. A 3.1 kilometres nature walk trail starts at the park entrance up to the crater rim, and continues in a 7.2 kilometres loop encircling the crater. The whole tour from the gate around the rim to gate is about 13.5 kilometres which takes about 4 to 5 hours allowing for necessary rest breaks. Some parts of the trail are heavily eroded and very steep. The gate elevation is around 2150 m and the peak at 2776 m but following the jagged rim involves substantially more than the 630 m vertical difference Mount Longonot is a stratovolcano that contains a large 8 x 12 km caldera formed by vast eruptions of trachytic lava some 21,000 years ago. The current summit cone was developed within the earlier caldera. This cone itself is capped by a 1.8 km crater. The mountain has several parasitic cones and effusive lava eruptions occur on the flanks and within the caldera floor. Periodic geodetic activity recorded at Longonot in 2004–2006 demonstrated the presence of active magmatic systems beneath this volcano. What is unique about this place is the thick forest that lies within the crater of the mountain. The crater rim has breathtaking scenic views across the beautiful Rift Valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. Some of the common wildlife attractions at Mount Longonot National Park include buffaloes, elands, lion, leopard, bushbucks, common zebra, giraffe and Grant’s gazelles.
Citizen kshs 300 ksh 215
Resident kshs 300 kshs 215
Non resident 26USD 17USD
How to get to Mount Longonot national park
The park is accessible via tarmac road from Nairobi 74.4 kilometres from Nairobi via -Kamandura- Mai mahiu -Narok Road which is fully tarmac up to the park.
Activities done in Mount Longonot National Park
This is one of the magnificent landmarks of the park, the strato-volcano that makes Mount Longonot National Park a hiker’s paradise. The word Longonot can also be spelled as oloonong’ot-is a Maasai word that means mountains of numerous steep ridges. This mountain and the national park in it, is managed and protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service. It offers impressive views over surrounding areas including Lake Naivasha, Aberdare Mountain ranges, Hell’s Gate National Park and many more.
This is best suitable parks for rock climbing which is conducted in Mount Longonot’s crater walls form through previous volcanic activities. It is best carried out during the dry season because, during the wet season, the rocks tend to be too slippery which makes it also dangerous . A complete hike can take approximately 4-5 hours.
This is a perfect family safari destination because of the hiking done and enjoyed as a family or group during your visit here, when it comes to Kenya hiking destinations in Kenya . The park has breathtaking viewpoints as one climbs up and around the rim of a volcanic-formed mountain. Hiking all round the rim takes approximately 1 to 2 hours but depending on visitors body fitness and walking pace. Hiking starts just at the park’s gate approximately 3.1kilomters there is a nature trail that goes up to the crater rim.
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 kilometres 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 .
Mount Longonot National Park is a perfect destination for tourist who enjoy cycling inside the park. Cyclists ride towards the volcanic lava flow for about 2kilometres.
Game viewing in this park gives the visitors an insight of Kenya’s diverse wildlife such as giraffes, grant’s gazelles, elands, zebras, lions, buffaloes, bushbucks, leopards for lucky ones for it is rarely spotted, baboons as well as a good number of birds 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 2 kilometers. This is the way you can appreciate the nature of the park. Bikes are available for hire.
The best time to visit Mount Longonot National Park
Mount Longonot Park is open to visitors all year round. But the dry season is the perfect opportunity for game viewing and hiking adventures. The best months to visit are from October to March because it experiences little or no rain at all.
Accommodations in Mount Longonot national park
Mt longonot national park is one of the parks without accommodation inside the park, with the exception of the Olongonot Campsite, which is located just inside the park main gate with a well-maintained road to the mountains crater. This where wild nature lovers can pitch their tent to enjoy undisturbed Kenyan wild safari experience.
Despite the park having no accommodations inside the park ,there are more options available on the nearby town of Naivasha and along Moi South Lake Road offering plenty of diverse facilities from Budget, Midrange to more luxurious lodges and hotels giving variety of options to choose from. Some of the nearby accommodation facilities with good amenities include Lake Naivasha resort, Enashipai resort and spa,Masada Hotel ,Sawela lodges ,Sopa lodge ,Chambai hotel among other facilities.
The visit to Mount Longonot national park can be combined with boat rides in Lake Naivasha , a visit to Hells gate national park and several other private sanctuaries around lake Naivasha.