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Mount Longonot National Park

The park’s diverse landscape further includes beautiful V-shaped valleys and jagged lava rocks; all offering the most breathtaking views to travelers on Kenya safaris to the Park. 

Situated in the Great African Rift Valley in Kenya, Mount Longonot National Park is a magical gem located southeast of Lake Naivasha. The park is protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service and is named after the gorgeous stratovolcano – Mount Longonot where the park sits. Thought to have last erupted during the 1860s, Mount Longonot is a young dormant volcano whose name originates from a native Maasai word “Oloongong’ot” meaning mountains of numerous steep ridges. Mount Longonot National Park covers an area of 52 square kilometers, encompassing mount Longonot and the mountain’s crater which is covered by an attractive impenetrable forest. The forest supports an incredible variety of wildlife and birds that call this park home.

The park’s diverse landscape further includes beautiful V-shaped valleys and jagged lava rocks; all offering the most breathtaking views to travelers on Kenya safaris to the Park. Mount Longonot is one of the most scenic volcanoes to hike on Kenya Wildlife safaris; the volcano rises between 2150m to 2776m above sea level. A 3.1 km hike would lead you from the park entrance to the crater rim, and a 7.2 km loop encircles the crater. However, the entire 13.5 km hike (gate-around-the-rim-gate) takes around 4-5 hours, with appropriate rest stops; bearing in mind that some portions of the route are extensively eroded and quite steep. 

Our Tours to Mount Longonot National Park

1 Day Mt Longonot Hike

3 Day Longonot Safari

7 Days Longonot and Naivasha

Getting to Mount Longonot National Park

Mount Longonot National Park lies 60 kilometers northwest of Nairobi and may be reached from there by road via a tarmac road which takes about 3 – 4 hours. The nearest town to the park is also called Longonot.

Attractions in Mount Longonot National Park

Wildlife 

Mount Longonot National Park is home to a variety of wildlife that can be seen even on the way up to the rim: the forested crater is a natural cradle to a range of wildlife species such as buffaloes, Grant’s gazelles, giraffes, zebras, elands, bushbucks, baboons, lions, and leopards, to mention but a few. 

Mount Longonot National Park is also a haven for Kenya birding safaris boasting over 100 bird species recorded a notable number of Rift Valley birds and many others. Notable bird species that can be seen in the park include Verreaux’s Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Common Scimitar bill, Augur Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Pied Kingfisher, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Kori bustard, Montane nightjar, Helmeted Guineafowl, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black kite and African Grey Hornbill among others. 

The Park’s Spectacular Scenery 

Another highlight of Mount Longonot National Park is its spectacular scenery: the vistas from the volcano’s rim are spectacular and from the lofty vantage point, visitors can see a significant stretch of the gorgeous southern Rift Valley, all the way to Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains in the distance. Moreover, the gorgeous Lake Naivasha is very gratifying, as is Hell’s Gate National Park; both are magnificent destinations that can be visited following a trip to Mount Longonot due to their proximity. Standing on the crater rim, you may see geothermal steam flowing out of various fissures around the rim, which serves to remind you of the energy traps beneath your feet.

Top Tourist Activities in Mount Longonot National Park

Mountain Climbing/Hiking 

Mount Longonot is the park’s major tourist attraction and mountain climbing/hiking is an exciting and fulfilling Kenya safari activity enjoyed by several hikers to Mount Longonot National Park. The activity takes place on a 3.1-kilometer trail that begins at the park’s gate and leads to the crater rim. Climbing to the crater rim of Mount Longonot is a short but demanding activity in which you journey along the borders of the about 7.2-kilometer caldera. However, be sure to enjoy amazing views of the caldera, the summit, and gorgeous surroundings. Mountain climbing in the park takes around 4 to 5 hours, including rest intervals.

For the experienced hikers looking for a more enthralling experience, you’ll need permission from a park ranger and a guide, because this stretch of the trail is not properly marked and might be perilous. It is recommended that you intend to set up a campsite inside the crater; regardless, doing so may need you to obtain permission.

Game Viewing 

Game viewing in Mount Longonot National Park is authentic and impressive; and although the park does not have a high concentration of wildlife species, it does provide memorable Kenya game viewing safari experiences. A game-viewing safari in Mount Longonot national park takes you on a trek to the rim of the crater and onto the crater floor of the forested crater of Mount Longonot, where you will be amazed to see several animals including leopards, lions, buffaloes, elands, impalas, hartebeests, baboons, bushbucks, and grant’s gazelles, you name it. 

Bird-watching 

With over 100 recorded bird species, Mount Longonot National Park is a paradise for Kenya bird-watching safaris. Bird-watching tours in the park are enjoyed on the crater rim through the forested crater; offering abundant views of birds such as Verreaux’s Eagle, Kori bustard, Lesser Kestrel, hornbills, etc. 

Cycling 

Cycling in Mount Longonot National Park is such an amazing experience that sees tourists cycling on the high slopes of the mountain ranges through the huge wilderness of the park; catching glimpses of various animal species along the cycling paths. This cycling adventure allows you to pedal for around 2 kilometers along the circuit route toward the volcanic lava flow. This is how you can admire the park’s natural beauty. Bike rentals are available in Mount Longonot National Park. 

Best time to go to Mount Longonot National Park

Mount Longonot National Park can be visited at any time of the year. However, the park is best visited during the dry season, which is generally from January to March and July to October. During this time, game viewing is good and hiking excursions to Mount Longonot are less strenuous. 

Accommodation in Mount Longonot National Park

There are no established safari lodges within Mount Longonot National Park; the only establishment is the Olongoonot campground, which is located just a few meters from the park gate along the way to the crater. The Olongoonot campground has basic amenities including a tent, a toilet, and running water. But, while on your Kenya safari in the park, there are a variety of lodgings to select from in Naivasha Town, including; 

Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge

Located on 150 acres of grassland, Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge is surrounded by Acacia shrubs and trees. The lodge lies on the southern shore of the lake, featuring 82 en-suite rooms, including 6 inter-connecting rooms and 2 wheelchair-accessible rooms. Guests at the lodge can enjoy conference facilities, a swimming pool, a bar lounge, a restaurant, and children’s playgrounds. Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge not only houses resident giraffes, waterbucks, and monkeys but it also serves as a night stop for hippos, who leave the lake every night to cut the grass on the property’s wide lawns. 

Lake Naivasha Country Club

The Naivasha Country Club, known as the oldest property in Naivasha, is a 55-acre property gorged with lush gardens in Naivasha, an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, wide meadows, and plenty of shade acacia trees. The lodge has comfortable, beautiful guest rooms and villas. Apart from the country club’s onsite amenities, which offer plenty of room for outdoor and indoor parties and gatherings, guests may also make use of the onsite fitness facility and sip drinks while enjoying the crackling fireplace while sipping drinks; or appreciate the park’s views in the lounge. 

Burch’s Resort

This welcoming oasis offers a stylish escape in a tranquil setting on Moi road south of Lake Naivasha with a lakefront view. The Resort provides a variety of spacious accommodation options, both indoors and outdoors; that are lavishly furnished to provide quite the highest standards of comfort and value at affordable rates. The facilities are completely equipped with contemporary conveniences to meet your travel, business, and leisure requirements.

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