Challenging but worth it!
What more would you want besides beautiful views and wildlife sightings as you get in some exercise? my church friends and I decided to visit Mount Longonto for the second time. I will tell you for sure the second time experience was a whole different ball game. Well.. most of us are fit but do not hike too frequently. For those who love kfc, pizza Inn so much all they could do is complain about the entire journey Lol!. Now they were paying for all the kuku fires and pizzas they have been eating. With the sun, it can be challenging. The initial part is easier, but toward the top, it gets steep. We took many short breaks in between. The rim itself can also be challenging in some places, its highly recommend doing it in the morning before the heat hits as there is not much shade. Five minutes into hiking Mount Longonot and Imy friends were complaining how they could feel their heart beating violently against their chest. It was both too early and too late to turn back now. Too early because, well, we were just 5 minutes into our hike. And too late because they had spent the past week boasting about their spectacular hiking and endurance skills. hahahaha! I just couldnt help myself but laugh at them. By 10:am, we began the hike and like I said by 10:45, they were nearly ready to give up! having been here before with this team they had an idea of how tough Mount Longonto is but a number did not expect it to get rough in the first few minutes. A few minutes later, we spotted some zebras and gazelles grazing in the distance. More than being excited to see these animals, they were grateful for a chance to catch my breath. The hike got harder and harder and I kept reminding them about our previous trip here and how we conqured without any complaints… I knew I needed to remind them if they could do it the first time, they can also do it the second time. So we trudged on. As we got higher, our breaths became more stable but now a number of my team physical strength was dwindling. A contstant reminder was let everyone set their sight to the hut atop the hill. “Almost there”, I kept telling them. “Almost there”. After an hour, we got to the rim of the crater. We took in the gorgeous views, excited to have made it thus far, grateful to be in that moment. But our hike was far from over… It took another hour to get to the actual summit and we couldnt have been prouder for sticking it out. They say the best view comes after the hardest climb and Mount Longonot proves every bit of this statement to be true by offering us incredible views of its steep ridges from where it derives its name, the crater floor and Lake Naivasha. After we had rested a bit, we began our descent. This was supposedly going to be much easier than the ascent but it proved to be just as difficult for us. we expected the descent to be an easy walk down but it was far from that. Many parts of the trail were slippery, causing Jane and Kevin to break thei fall several times and surprisingly, there were still lots of climbing to do. By this time, their toes were hurting badly in their shoes, leaving them in excruciating pain for the final descent. Eventually, they had to take them off. Altogether, it took 5 hours to hike Mount Longonot. The time could be much shorter if ONLY they had listened to me. Recomendation – Carry plenty water (carry a reusable bottle with you as plastic bottles are not allowed within the National Park) and snacks/fruits to revamp your hydration and energy. A good camera is also a thing for great photos. After the hike, there’s an Inn at the exit where you can take a quick shower (carry some extra changing clothes) and PACKED LUNCH. It is also important to pack according to the weather conditions. A hat and sunscreen are essential for warmer temperatures and a raincoat may come in handy depending on the time you visit. Mount Longonot is worth giving it a try!