Mount Longonot

Longonot Travel Blog

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Eppie and Nick prior to our climb of Mount Longonot, Rift Valley, Kenya.
We set our alarms for 6:30 so we could get ready to climb the dormant volcano, Mount Longonot. John picked us up and dropped us off in Nairobi at the meeting point at 8am. We were supposed to leave soon after on the bus but nobody had arrived. This is where I first learnt about the concept of 'African Time'.

African Time means 'just take it easy and get there when you like'. It's a wonderful philosophy but can be frustrating when you are a person who is constantly on time.

We waited until 10am before we set off on our trip, giving us plenty of time to wake up and breathe in the African air before being cooped up on a bus.

As we drove through the Kenyan countryside we saw some amazing scenery.
Prior to our climb of Mount Longonot, Rift Valley, Kenya.
We drove via the Great Rift Valley, which is abundant with wildlife and a variety of flora. Zebras trotted through the valleys, and goat herders ushered their animals along the roadside.

As we drove up the mountainside, we realised how difficult the climb might be. The volcano was quite steep with deep looking ridges all the way to the top. The name Longonot is derived from the Masai word oloonong'ot, meaning "mountains of many spurs" or "steep ridges".
Mount Longonot is the tallest in the Great Rift Valley, standing at 2776 metres (9108 feet) above sea level.

We arrived at the Mount Longonot National Park at 12:15, the hottest part of the day, and paid 100 Ksh to enter.

We started walking up the mountain and after around 20 minutes I started feeling really ill.
On the way up Mount Longonot - view over the Rift Valley
I thought I was going to be sick and pass out. I sat down and told Eppie and Nick that I would walk down and they should continue. They stayed with me, made me eat and drink and I felt much better (apart from feeling really sily.) In my defence, I had slept no more than a couple of hours since my departure from the UK two days before, was un-accustomed to the heat, the altitude and was just getting over a dodgy stomach.

We struggled up to the middle of the volcano where there was a flat part where everyone was taking a break. We rested there for a few minutes before Nick continued on, and Eppie and I walked with a guy who said he'd help us the rest of the way. (We were both exhausted by this point.)

We eventually made it to the top and the view was amazing. The crater of the volcano contained a forest, and standing at the top looking over the Rift Valley was incredible.
On the way up Mount Longonot - view over the Rift Valley.
Lake Naivasha to the left, mountains to the right and the Abedares in the distance.

My camera had stopped working because I hadn't realised that the cheap batteries I bought were not powerful enough to power my camera, and so I only managed to get a few photos.

We had a break for about 15 minutes before heading back down the mountain. Much easier going than climbing up! I was wearing trainers, and not hiking boots so I kept slipping down the trains of volcanic ash.

On the way down we passed what I called a 'Singing Tree'. It made a really high pitched sound which is caused by ants moving around inside little pods that grow on the branches. The real name for the tree is the Acacia drepanolobium. We also saw a mini hurricance just below the mountain - very impressive looking but sadly my camera didn't want to turn on to capture the moment.
Crater of Mount Longonot


We reached the bottom in good time with little difficulty, and bought a drink and sat in the shade while waiting for the others to join us. When they arrived we got back on the bus and drove back, listening to music and singing along. We were covered in dust from the mountain and really wanted to get a wash but at the same time we were all full of energy and with the music, we were all in the mood for dancing.

We arrived at the meeting point where John was going to be picking us up. He wasn't there on time so we stopped and had a beer - Tusker - the Kenyan 'traditional' beer.

John arrived and picked us up, and we went to a club for a drink while he met his friends there. It was nice and there were lots of cool neon lights and decorations. We had a couple more beers and then headed back to the house to get washed and changed for the place we were headed to that night, called Florida 2000 on Moi Avenue.

It was a bar/nightclub which played classic 80s songs. We bought a drink and danced to some good songs for a bit. We left at around 2am and came home, exhausted. I moisturised my sunburn, got changed and went straight to sleep.
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Eppie and Nick prior to our climb …
Eppie and Nick prior to our climb…
Prior to our climb of Mount Longon…
Prior to our climb of Mount Longo…
On the way up Mount Longonot - vie…
On the way up Mount Longonot - vi…
On the way up Mount Longonot - vie…
On the way up Mount Longonot - vi…
Crater of Mount Longonot
Crater of Mount Longonot
Crater of Mount Longonot
Crater of Mount Longonot
Crater of Mount Longonot
Crater of Mount Longonot
From the top of Mount Longonot - L…
From the top of Mount Longonot - …
From the top of Mount Longonot
From the top of Mount Longonot
From the top of Mount Longonot
From the top of Mount Longonot
From the top of Mount Longonot
From the top of Mount Longonot
Nick resting after our long climb.
Nick resting after our long climb.
The other members of our climb tea…
The other members of our climb te…
Mount Longonot in the distance
Mount Longonot in the distance
Sunset on the way back to Nairobi
Sunset on the way back to Nairobi
Longonot
photo by: AlexandraQuinton