Nic Hailey climbs Mount Longonot

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Mount Longonot
Mount Longonot. Photo: Valerius Tygart (used under the Creative Commons Licence)

UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, used the Easter weekend to climb Mount Longonot which is located to the south-east of Lake Naivasha in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Its name is derived from the Maasai word oloonong’ot, meaning “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”.

Mount Longonot is protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service as part of Mount Longonot National Park and is home to various species of wildlife, notably plains zebra and giraffe and buffaloes and hartebeest. African leopards have also been reported but are extremely difficult to spot.

If you would like to follow in the High Commissioner’s footsteps, 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. The whole tour (gate-around the rim-gate) of 13.5 km takes about 4–5 hours allowing for necessary rest breaks.

Be warned thought, that parts of the trail are heavily eroded and very steep. The gate is around 2150m asl (above sea level) and the peak at 2780m asl, but following the jagged rim involves substantially more than the 630 m vertical difference.

Mount Longonot is 60 kilometres northwest of Nairobi and can be reached from the tarmac road which was resurfaced by the EU, reducing travel time from Nairobi to around an hour.

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