Longonot Travel Blog› entry 48 of 81 › view all entries
We rose from a comforting sheltered sleep by 6:30 and began clearing our possessions from the lodge before the Chief Warden made his seven o'clock rounds. It wasn't a very long drive to Karuru Falls. We hiked upward in the cool shade of large-leafed conifers, lobelias, and cedar trees. The damp and dense forest seemed out of place from the rest of Africa that we had seen. The chirps of birds and hoots of monkeys echoed from the rocky gorge. We reached the top of the fall's first stage which plummeted 383 feet. A second stage plunged 427 feet and a third, another 84 feet into a blue-green pool at the bottom the gorge. Across the way, Gura Falls was equally dramatic cascading 791 feet in three stages.
We finally exited an east gate of the Aberdare National Park.
The track led us back into the Rift Valley and - after a short stop in Naivasha for lunch and a few groceries - we continued south along the eastern escarpment. Our final camp of the safari was made in thick growth at the base of Longonot Crater. We hiked to the rim of the 9,111-foot (above sea level) volcanic cone and marveled spectacular views of the two-and-a-half-mile-wide crater. The inside walls were nearly vertical; 600-feet to the floor. Scattered clouds of steam drifted out of dense forest - probably by the same tectonic forces that created the Great Rift Valley millions of years ago. Back in camp as darkness fell, we prepared our last supper using up all of our groceries but for breakfast.