Longonot

  • Longonot
  • 2776 m
  • Primary factor 626 m
  • Kenya
  • Location: South 00.91620, East 036.44773 (GPS on the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed February 18. 2020.

Information:


How to get there:
Take Hwy. A104 north from Nairobi or south from Nakuru. Branch (east) to Hwy. C-88 (Old Naivasha Road). The turn-off to Mount Longonot is just south of the small town of Longonot. This (slightly rough) dirt road ends at the park headquarter (2-3 kilometer).
Route description:
The trail heads directly towards the crater. Pretty level, then starting to climb, some concrete steps. Higher up, the trail is steeper and more eroded. Nothing difficult, but it earns a (YDS) class 2 rating. When you reach the rim, you clearly will see the highest peak about one third of the way along the crater rim when going counter-clockwise. This trail is very pleasant, initially quite level, the route crosses a small hump, then traverses left of the next, small summit. The trail becomes┬Ęsteeper, (YDS class 2), but not difficult, climbing the last part of the slope to reach the summit point.
The rim route that continues back to the starting point, can also be recommended. It is slightly less steep (but longer) than the route of ascent.
Comments/Trip report:
This trip continued from Menengai. After a pleasant drive lasting about 2 hours, we arrived at the national park trailhead around 1000. I quickly bought 2 tickets (about USD 25 each), note that the park authorities only accept payment by credit card (anti corruption measure?). The ticket counter suggested that we should take a guide due to buffalo danger, however, I told her that we would do just fine without any.
We left at 1020, the temperature would soon go higher. The trail went directly towards the crater rim and we soon caught up with other hikers. The last part of the trail is a bit steeper, eroded and with some loose gravel. We noticed several people that struggled a bit, feeling unsecure due to lack of good friction.
We were at the rim after 40 minutes, a short break for photos, we could now see the summit peak towering over the crater. The trail along the crater rim was both scenic and pleasant, we arrived at the summit at 1140. More photos and a chat with a young American and his girlfriend from Poland. Leaving at 1150, we decided to continue our traverse of the crater rim. This hike can certainly be recommended, a pretty good trail and very good views outside as well as inside the crater. The circlular trip completed at 1300, another short break, then an easy descent back to the trailhead, arriving there at 1340.
Next in order, a complete rearrange of gear and change back to travel clothing. The drive back to Nairobi is fairly short, but our arrival during rush hours had its own driving challenges. It took us well over 45 minutes to enter a big roundabout, then about 15 minutes before popping out at the correct exit. You need to "fight" other vehicles continuously, if not persistent, you will be squeezed out and never get where you want to go. Other cars will not hesitate to drive close enough to push your side mirrors out of position, survival of the strongest.
We were back at the car rental agency well before 1800 and they then drove us to the airport, another traffic chaos, but now with Sammy behind the wheel. Airport at 1900, a smooth check-in and a pleasant wait in the airport lounge before an on time departure with Lufthansa to Frankfurt. This marked the end of a very successful trip. We had climbed 7 ultra prominent mountains and also visited another 7 "bonus peaks". Many thanks to Adam for being such a good hiking and travel companion. I was able to get Adam into the Lufthansa lounge in Frankfurt (he had a longer connect), before running to my next flight. Back in Bergen at noon.
This trip report begins with our ascent of Lesatima.

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