Mount Longonot National Park
Mount Longonot national park is a scenic Kenya safari destination and hidden magical gem of Kenya with a rugged landscape located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya south East of Lake Naivasha, the park is situated about 90 kilometers from Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Mount Longonot national park gets its name from a Maasai local slag “Oloonong’ot” meaning “Mountains of many spurs or steep ridges” which is a reference to Mountain Longonot which is part of the park. Mount Longonot is a stratovolcano formed as a result of volcanic eruption process and thought to have last erupted in the 1860s.
Mount Longonot national park covers an area of 52 square kilometers with a landscape standing at an elevation of 2,776 meters above the sea level, the landscape of the park is composed of Mount Longonot, V-shaped valley, ridges and little vegetation cover.
Mount Longonot which is the major tourist attraction contains of a caldera of 8X12 kilometers formed as a result of vast eruptions of trachytic lava about 21,000 years ago, the summit cone of Mount Longonot national park was developed within the crater, the cone itself is capped by a 1.8 kilometer crater, the mountain also has several parasitic cones and effusive lava eruptions which occur on the flanks and within the caldera floor. The crater floor on Mount Longonot is consists of forests thus creating a very spectacular scenery enjoyed while hiking to the crater, there are also geothermal vents at the crater and steam is noticed escaping from several fissures around the rim of the crater.
Mount Longonot national park is a habitat to a reasonable of wildlife species living in the grassland plains of the park, these animals include buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, hartebeests, grant’s gazelles, elands, impalas, baboons, leopards, bushbucks, zebras among others.
The park is a paradise for Kenya birding safaris, the park is a home to over 100 bird species recorded to be living in the park and these include Fulvous Whistling Duck, Egyptian Goose, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Scaly Francolin, Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove, Montane Night jar, Mottled Swift, Horus Swift, black stork. Kori bustard, black-headed Heron, Hadada Ibis, Spur-winged lapwing, Scissor-tailed Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Shikra, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Black Kite, Augur Buzzard, African Grey Hornbill, Common Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-fronted Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Little Bee-eater, Rufous-crowned Roller, Lilac-breasted Roller, Pied Kingfisher, Lesser Kestrel, Lanner Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Chinspot Batis, Tropical Boubou among others
Kenya safari activities to do in mount Longonot national park
Mount hiking is an adventurous and a very rewarding Kenya activity in Mount Longonot national park, this activity is done on a trail of approximately 3.1 kilometers starting the park’s gate heading the rim of the crater. Hiking to the crater rim of Mount Longonot is short though challenging, while on this activity you trek along the borders of the approximately 7.2 kilometers caldera and during the trek you will enjoy impressive views of the caldera, the peak and beautiful scenery.
Mount hiking on the park takes approximately 4 to 5 hours with resting stops inclusive.
Though the park is not a habitat for large concentration of wildlife species, the park offers memorable Kenya wildlife safari experiences, wildlife viewing safari in Mount Longonot national park takes you on a hike to the rim of the crater and inside the crater floor of the forested crater of Mount Longonot, in the crater floor you will be amazed to watch a number of animals such as leopards, baboons, bushbucks, grant’s gazelles, impalas, elands, hartebeests, cape buffaloes, antelopes among others.
Cycling is a thrilling Kenya safari activity offering an opportunity to explore the park, this adventurous activity is done on a 2 kilometers circuit running through the park heading towards the Volcanic lava flow. Bikes used during cycling safari activity are hired at the park’s headquarters.
The park is a birder’s haven inhabiting over 100 bird species which you will enjoy spotting during a Kenya birding safari in the park, the park is composed of savannah plains and forest galleries offering perfect home for various species of birds. Birdwatching in the park is a chance for birders to spot many bird species such as Fulvous Whistling Duck, Egyptian Goose, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Scaly Francolin, Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove, Montane Night jar, Mottled Swift, Horus Swift, black stork. Kori bustard, black-headed Heron, Hadada Ibis, Spur-winged lapwing, Scissor-tailed Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Shikra, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Black Kite, Augur Buzzard, African Grey Hornbill, Common Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill among others.
How to get to Mount Longonot national park
Mount Longonot national park
Accommodation in Mount Longonot national park
There are no accommodation establishment inform of safari lodges inside Mount Longonot national park, the only available is the Olongoonot campsite situated just a few meters from the park gate along the route access to the crater. The Olongoonot campsite provides basic facilities such as a tent, toilet and running water.
However, there are a wide range of accommodations to choose from in Naivasha Town while on your Kenya safari in the park and these include Lake Naivasha Country Club in Naivasha Town, Masada Hotel also found in Naivasha Town, Esidai Hotel, Escarpment Motel, Eldama Lodge, Amicus Choice hotel, Firebird Inn among others.