Location: South 00.91620, East 036.44773 (GPS on the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 2
Climbed February 18. 2020.
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).
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¨steeper,
(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.
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.