Mount Longonot National park Kenya – “Sheer Adventure” Rising from the floor of the Great Rift Valley like a monolith is the extinct volcano of Mount Longonot. A unique feature is the thick forest that lies within the crater of the mountain. The crater rim also provides great scenic views across the beautiful Rift Valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. Major wildlife attractions at Mount Longonot include buffaloes, elands, lion, leopard, bushbucks, common zebra, giraffe and Grant’s gazelles.
Mount Longonot is an extinct volcano that rises from the floor of the Great Rift Valley like a pillar. Mount Longonot National Park is located southeast of lake Naivasha in the great rift valley of Kenya– East Africa. Approximately 90km from Nairobi, Kenya`s capital city. Mountain Longonot is said to have erupted way back in 1860s. This strata volcano has a large 8x12km caldera formed by vast eruptions of trachytic lava. The name Longonot came from the Masai word Oloonong’ot, meaning “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges. Mount Longonot is a small National Park in only 52km2 and is protected by Kenya Wildlife service.
The ecosystem of Longonot National Park comprises of mountain rising 2,776m above sea level. On the sides of the mountain are V-shaped valleys and ridges with little vegetation. A 3.1 km trail runs from the park entrance up to the crater rim, and continues in a 7.2 km loop encircling the crater. A unique feature of a thick forest occurs within the mountain crater. The crater rim also offers stunning scenic views across the beautiful Rift Valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. Major wildlife attractions in Mount Longonot include buffaloes, elands, lions, bushbucks, common zebra, giraffe and Grant’s gazelles, Thomson gazelles and many other antelopes. Leopards have also been spotted but can be difficult to spot.
Abbott’s Starling, Lesser Kestrel (a passage migrant on the moorland), Jackson’s widowbird, Sharpe’s, Longclaw, Olive Ibis, Lammergeier, Ayres’s hawk-eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Widowbird, Abyssinian Owl ,Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, and Kenrick’s Starling which is confined to this area in Kenya.
Major wildlife attractions in Mount Longonot National Park include buffaloes, elands, lions, bushbucks, common zebra, giraffe and Grant’s gazelles, Thomson gazelles and many other antelopes. Leopards have also been spotted but can be difficult to spot.
The park is accessible via tarmac through Kamandura-Mai Mahiu-Narok which is 90 kms which can take 3-4 by road from Nairobi.
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When the weather is good (generally January to March and July to October), Mount Longonot offers staggering views, which take in the shimmering waters of Lake Naivasha, the lilac-blue scarps of the Mau Escarpment, the brooding peaks of the Aberdares and the rolling waves of the Rift Valley itself.