Hiking Mount Longonot Kenya, A Great Day Trip from Nairobi


After hiking the Table Mountain in Cape Town I had a pressing quest to hike in Kenya. I had hiked Mount Longonot before when I was in school and had wanted to do it again, this time without rushing anything. I’m the type who prefers to hike slowly but fast enough, appreciating nature and capturing the memories through my lens.

We left Nairobi at 7 am driving towards Mai Mahiu with a quick stop at the View Point just to appreciate breathtaking view of the Great Rift Valley. It had rained heavily that night and were afraid our hike may not go as smooth with the ground being slippery but we were totally wrong. The hiking trails were super dusty!

Mount Longonot National Park is 90 kms from Nairobi which is about 1.5 to 2 hours drive, thanks to the narrow Mai-Mahiu route. When you get to Mai-Mahiu town, drive on for 14 kms and you’ll see a large signboard on your left indicating the path to the park.

We almost missed it since it doesn’t look like a proper road for cars 😀

Mount Longonot hike can be done all year round. Parking is available for free and park charges are as below:

   Citizens (KES)   Residents (KES)   Non-Residents (USD)
 Adult          300          600                    26
 Child          215           300                     17

Note: KWS doesn’t accept cash payments any more. You’ll be required to pay using M-Pesa or credit card


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude


We were lucky to meet these majestic giraffes near the entrance, and on our way we could see a herd of many other wildlife from a distance – zebras, giraffes, gazelles and buffaloes. How rewarding!


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude

What to Carry when hiking Mount Longonot

Although volcanic action ended centuries ago, this place gets hot and dry therefore you need a lot of drinking water. The hike is short but steep with resting points. It’s advisable to bring some energy bars like chocolate granola bars just to refuel during the hike.

Sunscreen is a must if you mind being scorched. Hiking up, around the crater rim and down is a long way which means you’ll remain exposed to the unforgiving sun for hours.


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude

What to Wear

When choosing what to wear for a hike, I always consider three things- comfort, safety, and style. The hiking trail is steep with loose fine volcanic soil on parts of the trail. You’ll need good hiking shoes which are comfortable on your feet. Normal gym shoes would do as well.

We met some school kids hiking down barefoot. Not sure how it went with their feet afterward given the ground was hot.

Also, wear light comfortable moisture-wicking clothes. If you choose to dress heavily, the extra fabric becomes a liability and a source of discomfort during your hike so leave that trendy maxi for the ruracio next weekend.

Bring your sunglasses too. Hiking up especially if you hike towards midday means you’re facing the sun directly.

Remember never sacrifice safety and comfort for style.


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude

The summits… Crater Point and Kilele Ngamia

We hiked up, round the rim and down with the entire trip taking us 5 hours. Many people just hike up and down with very few going round the rim. The highest part of the whole journey is Kilele Ngamia summit at 2780 metres above sea level.

A random stranger advised us to go round the crater rim from the right so that we conquer the most difficult part then have it easier on the left side when we have lesser energy left, and he was totally right.


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude


Hiking-Mount Longonot-with-My-Global-Attitude


Do you hike? Have you hiked Mount Longonot? What do you wear for hiking? Leave a comment!


Carolina | My Global Attitude

Comments (7)

  1. I Have always struggled in choosing what to wear for a hike 🙁 I now need to invest in good hiking/walking shoes.
    Thank you for this informative post Carolina.

    1. Hi Wamboe,
      If you’re an outdoors person good hiking/walking shoes would be a good investment. I’m glad you found this post informative.
      Enjoy your next hike 🙂

  2. I hiked Mt.Longonot and it was tough, i had no access to search good advice especially the carrying of lots of drinking water part.
    Thank you for the article.

    1. Hi Tom,
      Yes you need lots of drinking water because Mt. Longonot is sizzling hot!!
      Always good to stay hydrated when outdoors.
      Cheers xx

  3. Hi Carolina, nice blog you have here!
    I prefer to wear tights and quick dry tops with proper hiking boots, so I don’t have to worry about thorns or looses stones 🙂

    1. Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts. I totally agree with you, comfort and safety is key when dressing for a hike. Tights work best for me too. And good hiking boots are a great investment for outdoor lovers.
      Cheers xxx

  4. Thanks so much for your detailed description – it makes me feel as if I’ve been there (as I’d love to do one day). I’m actually researching for a novel, so it is helpful to see your pictures and hear about your experience!

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