Mt. Longonot and Lake Naivasha Day Trip: How to Get the Most Out of it

Mt. Longonot and Lake Naivasha Day Trip

Embarking on a day trip to Mount Longonot and Lake Naivasha offers you a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. This is mountain hiking. To ensure you make the most of your experience, here’s a comprehensive guide of what you must do:

Preparation and Planning

Research and Plan Ahead

  • You need to understand the basic itinerary: start with an early morning hike up Mount Longonot, followed by an afternoon of relaxation and activities at Lake Naivasha.
  • Check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly.

Gear and Supplies

  • You wear comfortable hiking shoes and breathable, layered clothing.
  • Pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection.
  • Bring plenty of water (at least 2-3 liters per person) and high-energy snacks.
  • Carry a small first aid kit, including blister care.
  • Use a sturdy backpack to carry your essentials.

Travel Arrangements

  • Arrange for transportation; renting a car or hiring a driver are common options.
  • Start your journey early (around 5-6 AM) to avoid the midday heat during the hike.

Hiking Mount Longonot

Early Start

  • Arrive at the Mount Longonot National Park gate by 7 AM.
  • Pay the entrance fee and register at the gate.

The Hike

  • The hike to the summit and back typically takes 4-5 hours.
  • Pace yourself: the initial trail is steep, but it levels out near the crater rim.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views from the crater rim and take breaks as needed.
  • Optionally, hike around the crater rim (additional 1.5-2 hours) if you have the energy and time.


  • Capture the stunning views of the Great Rift Valley and the crater.
  • Keep your camera/phone safe and charged.

Lake Naivasha Exploration


  • After the hike, drive to Lake Naivasha, which is about a 30-minute drive from Mount Longonot.
  • Have a light lunch at one of the lakeside restaurants or lodges.


  • Boat Ride: Take a guided boat tour to see hippos, birdlife, and possibly some game on the shores.
  • Crescent Island: Visit this game sanctuary where you can walk among zebras, giraffes, and other wildlife.
  • Elsamere: Explore the former home of Joy Adamson, now a conservation center and museum.


  • Unwind by the lakeside, enjoy the serene environment, and perhaps engage in some birdwatching.
  • If time permits, have a leisurely afternoon tea or coffee at a lakeside café.

Safety and Sustainability

Safety Tips

  • Stay on designated paths during the hike to avoid damaging the ecosystem and ensure personal safety.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and respect wildlife both at Mount Longonot and Lake Naivasha.


  • Carry out all trash to keep the natural environment clean.
  • Support local businesses and guides to contribute to the local economy.

Return Trip

  • Start heading back to Nairobi or your accommodation by late afternoon to avoid driving in the dark.
  • Reflect on the day’s adventure and plan for future trips!

Extra Tips

  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a guide for the Mount Longonot hike to enhance your experience with local knowledge.
  • Stay Hydrated: The hike can be strenuous, and the area can get hot, so drink water frequently.
  • Local Wildlife: Be cautious around wildlife and maintain a respectful distance.

By following these tips, you’ll ensure a memorable and enjoyable day trip to Mount Longonot and Lake Naivasha, balancing adventure, relaxation, and nature exploration.

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