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Mt Longonot to Mt Suswa Hike

ABOUT THIS HIKE

Grading Level - T2 (click HERE to find out more about our grading)

Mt Suswa is a double crater volcano with a shield-shaped cone covering an area of about 270km in Kenya. Its inner volcano soars to an altitude of 2356m above sea level at its summit. The inner crater, about 5km across, is covered by a forest that is also home to leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, antelopes and other wildlife, and has breath-taking view that has to be seen to be believed.

 

The outer crater, estimated at about 10km in diameter, is currently dotted with Maasai homesteads. The Maasai graze their livestock on the outer crater and the slopes of the inner volcano, and harvest water for their domestic use from the numerous springs spouting steam and hot water in this area.

 

The lava caves on the outer crater have over 30 entrances, most of which are collapsed roofs into these caves. The caves are home to large populations of bats that are said to travel as far as 30km in search of food at night and then retreat to the caves in the morning. As you walk and crawl through the caves, you can view the colonies of bats hanging from the roof, asleep and dead to the world, until evening when they stream out.

Another interesting location in the caves is the Baboons’ parliament where a large troop of Baboons take shelter at night from their predators. The Baboon troops’ arrival in the evening coincides with the departure of the local bat colonies, creating two way traffic.

It is said that if you peer down the opening in the roof early in the morning, you will find the troop’s leader perched on a pile of rocks at the centre of the chamber, seemingly addressing the rest of the troop perched on ledges high up the walls of the cave.

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Hell's Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, north west of Nairobi. Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. Established in 1984 as a small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. This includes the Fischer's Tower and Central Tower columns and Hell's Gate Gorge.

 

Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It received the name "Hell's Gate" by explorers Fisher and Thomson in 1883.

The 1994 film, The Lion King, was heavily modelled after the park, where several lead crew members of the film went to the park to study and gain an appreciation of the environment for the film. The 2003 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life was also shot on location in this park.

ITINERARY

Day 1

Arrive in Nairobi

You will be met at the airport. Drive to Lake Naivasha

Dinner, and overnight at the hotel.

Day 2:

Mt Longonot – Hell’s Gate, 25km

After an early breakfast you will depart for Mt Longonot. Today’s walk will be along a beautiful and windy gorge. The gorge is a tributary to an ancient lake that once existed. We will explore the curving walls of the gorge and experience the aptly-named sections – the devil’s sitting room, Hell’s clinic, and the devil’s mouth. There are several small waterfalls, both cold and hot, as well as stunning, multi-coloured rock strata and formations. You might even recognise some of the locations – they’ve been included in productions such as Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, and inspired others such as The Lion King. 

At 25 metres tall, Fischer Tower is a remnant of the park’s volcanic history. This craggy behemoth was formed when semi-molten rock was forced through a fissure and solidified around 35 million years ago.

Another vestige of volcanic activity are the obsidian caves, located along the Buffalo Circuit (a 14km track around the eastern part of the park). Entering the cool of the caves, you’ll notice the shiny, black and dark green surface of obsidian rock. This mesmerising gleam is the result of molten lava coming into contact with water and cooling rapidly. 

lunch break and refreshments in between. Dinner and overnight at the Hell’s gate park.

Day 3:

Hell’s Gate, 15km

Hell's Gate is one of only two Kenyan national parks in which you are explore the park on foot. Apart from the spectacular geology, Hell’s Gate is also home to a wide range of wildlife. Despite its relatively small size, the area’s wildlife includes giraffes, lions, leopards, buffalo, thomson gazelles, and eland antelopes. The high cliffs of the park are also ideal for nesting birds, which total around 103 species. Of particular note is the bearded vulture – a rare yet stunningly beautiful bird. 

Day 4:

Hell’s Gate – Suswa Town, 25km

Leave Hell’s Gate after breakfast and walk for approximately 25km onward through the gorge towards Suswa town. Lunch will be served along the way.

Dinner and overnight at a selected midpoint.

Day 5:

Suswa Town – Mt Suswa – Baboon Parliament, 20km

Drive from the overnight midpoint after breakfast and head towards the Mt Suswa road and be dropped off at a designated point for start of the walk towards the mountain. In the evening visit the caves for Baboon Parliament.

Lunch will be along the way and dinner will be at the camp.

Day 6:

Mt Suswa – Olkaria Geothermal Spa - Nairobi

Drive from Mt Suswa to Olkaria Geothermal Spa. Spend some time at the spa, enjoy lunch at a designated spot and then head for Nairobi and arrive in the afternoon. 

Dinner and overnight at Nairobi hotel.

Day 7:

Shabbat Rest Day

Rest and enjoy a relaxing Shabbat at the Boutique Hotel in Nairobi.

Day 8:

Homeward journey

Our staff will transport you to the airport for your return flight home.

What's included?

  • Airport transfer on arrival and departure days

  • 2 nights (arrival and departure days) accommodation in Nairobi (sharing double BB)

  • 4 days overland truck exclusive use and equipment vehicle use on trekking

  • All Hell’s gate park and Mt Suswa park entry and camping fees including drivers and vehicles

  • Olkaria Geothermal Spa entry

  • Kosher food B,L & D

  • All guide and tour fees

  • Amref medical evacuation cover

  • Photography during tour

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