Oloonong’ot

Mt. Longonot has its name derived from the Maasai word: Oloonong’ot” meaning ‘mountain of many spurs’. It is a dormant stratovolcano believed to have last erupted 150 years ago.That’s pretty recent if you ask me!

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Longonot is a popular tourist attraction for a number of reasons. For one, its close proximity to Nairobi works in its favour (one hour’s drive away). It’s a volcano! A dormant one, but a volcano nonetheless. And who wouldn’t want to see a volcano? Huh? Also, it contains a large crater/ caldera covered in dense forest that is home to a host of wild animals. It is quite a short hike (3.1kms, about one to two hours) to the rim of the crater, and the top boasts the amazing view of Lake Naivasha and her environs.

I hiked up Longonot with Thato, Wakanyi and Sian last week while in the Rift Valley. It was very refreshing. However, I haven’t exercised since I came home for the holidays (save for a 10 minute cycle once), so while the hike was truly refreshing, I did have to stop once, or twice, or thrice, or seven or eleven times to catch my breath.

On our way up we were caught in the middle of some really hard rain and we were drenched by the time we got to the top. The view at the top was breath taking! I feel like my pictures don’t even show half the beauty I experienced up there.

It took us about 1 and a half hours to get to the rim, and half an hour down. One does have the option of going round the circumference of the crater, but given the rain (and the possibility of giving journalists a really juicy headline should you trip over yourself in the excitement of going round a volcano, and falling into the crater and cracking your skull open for the vultures to feed on your brain matter), I thought it wise to pass.

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Mandatory indemnity statement.

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Campsite at the foot of Longonot
Campsite at the foot of Longonot
Our guide Peter. He was such a star
Our guide Peter. He was such a star
View on the way up
View on the way up
I forget the name of this plant. Apparently the Maasai use it as a deodorant.
I forget the name of this plant. Apparently the Maasai use it as a deodorant.
Whistling Thorn. When wind blows over this tree, it makes a whistling sound. It has lots of medicinal properties.
Whistling Thorn. When wind blows over this tree, it makes a whistling sound. It has lots of medicinal properties.
Stratified Lava
Stratified Lava

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Mount Longonot in all her glory
Mount Longonot in all her glory

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Finally at the top!
Finally at the top!
Started from the bottom now the whole team here!
Started from the bottom now the whole team here!
The crater carpeted with jungle
The crater carpeted with jungle
View from the top. If you look really closely, towards the left, you'll see Lake Naivasha
View from the top. If you look really closely, towards the left, you’ll see Lake Naivasha
Steam jets all around the crater walls
Steam jets all around the crater walls

And the post wouldn’t be complete without a panorama now would it?

And the post wouldn't be complete without a panorama now would it?
And the post wouldn’t be complete without a panorama now would it?
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