Camp Longonot

It felt great to be back on the road this past weekend after being indoors during the previous one, since President Barack Obama was in Nairobi for the weekend to curtain raise for the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).

We started off our day by catching the sunrise at the Uhuru Park View Point in Upper-Hill, Nairobi. We were at the view point by 6 am. However, the sun was not to be seen up until around 6:45 am and boy wasn’t it EPIC! I wanted to get a completely different perspective of the Nairobi cityscape at sunrise and so I opted to go into the park itself, just to catch those golden sun-rays and that warm light.

The reflection was just too good not to capture
The reflection was just too good not to capture

We were to depart Nairobi at 7:30 am so we hurried off to the agreed meeting point in the Nairobi CBD, just to make sure we were not the ones keeping everyone else. Can you believe it was all for nothing? We ended up leaving two hours later. We are not called African timers for no reason. Hahaha! My friend Marcus even joked that the reason he came to work in Africa was because he’d never have to worry about being late seeing as how Africans, (especially Kenyans), never keep time.

One and a half hours later, we arrived at our destination, Mount Longonot, ready to hike. We were all pretty psyched for the climb, some (like myself) more than others. Of course there were those who chickened out (names withheld) and decided to stay behind, doing only God knows what. Hehehe

The view of Mt. Longonot as you get into the park
The view of Mt. Longonot as you get into the park

Off we went at exactly 11:55 am, armed with water and high energy levels, ready to conquer the mountain, in the scorching sun.

Looks can be extremely deceiving as I came to learn 30 minutes into the hike :-(. That mountain is NO JOKES!! Steep slopes, rocky terrain and clouds of dust were the order of the day. War unto you if you were not well dressed. There were even people in suits and kitenge outfits… I KID YOU NOT!

I honestly thought I was very fit… HA! The entire time I was busy panting like a run-down hare. At some point I was ready to call it quits but thanks to my hiking buddies Rey, Safina and Darlene, I was back to my senses. Also, it seemed that the higher we went the more spectacular the views became.

Can you believe we were once on that path below
Can you believe we were once on that path below
These stairs really helped us ascend the mountain
These stairs really helped us ascend the mountain

Camp Longonot-16

Two and a half hours later and WE MADE IIIIIIIIT!!! *victory dance*. There were actually people at the top cheering us on so that really motivated us hasten our steps.

Camp Longonot-19
The crater 🙂

One item on the 2015 resolution list ticked off :-D. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPP!! There is no greater feeling than accomplishing what you had set out to do. *adds mountain climbing to CV*

Hikers going round the crater
Hikers going round the crater

There are those of us who still opted to continue with the hike and go round the crater. However, I was NOT one of them :-D. Next time maybe? Hahahaha

After taking a loooong breather and re-energizing ourselves with some glucose, we were back again on our feet , this time descending the mountain. Everyone was in a hurry to get back done, especially since it looked like it was about to pour.

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Primary school children descending the mountain

Exactly 4 hours later and we were back on flat ground *praise Jesus*. After much rest and filling our tummies, we were off to Lake Naivasha Crescent Lodge, where we would be camping for the night. We got there and immediately set up our tents. We then hurried off to the nearby lake to catch the sunset. It was not as spectacular as we had anticipated but we managed to get some decent shots nonetheless.

The light at sunset against the trees
The light at sunset against the trees
Trust photographers to do whatever it takes to get a good shot
Trust photographers to do whatever it takes to get a good shot
Reflections
Reflections

Soon, it was dark. We had to get back to our camping site especially since it was hippo o’clock at the lake shore.

It was a chilly night but luckily we had a fire to keep us warm althroughout as we enjoyed each other’s company.

Bonfire
Bonfire

The men grilled some nyama choma while the ladies prepared a few more dishes to go with the meat. Nobody wanted to sleep so we decided to play some rather interesting games, as we waited for the ugali to cook. The ugali was made by three different people by the way. I will not get into details of the state of the ugali when it was finally “ready” BUT, the saying too many cooks spoil the broth is not a lie :-D.

We were hoping to shoot some stars but unfortunately the weather man decided otherwise. There was so much cloud cover and the full moon did not make it any easier either. Compulsory sleeping it was :-(.

At 5:30 am we were up hoping that the sunrise would compensate for the failed sunset the previous day. We headed to the lake armed with torch lights since it was pitch dark. There was an electric fence separating the camping site from the lake, to prevent the hippos from trespassing. The brave ones (myself excluded) went over the fence to try see if they could spot the sun while carefully scanning their environment for hippos that were roaming around. Sadly the sunrise was a disappointment as well as it was not all that glorious as we’d hoped it would be.

After having breakfast, we took down our tents and packed our bags, ready to head back to the city.

The morning after
The morning after

Since the lodge had a swimming pool, we decided to check it out before leaving, especially since the sun looked like it was there to stay.

Weren’t we glad we did :-D.

Caught unawares
Caught unawares
Hahaha nobody was safe
Hahaha nobody was safe
Everybody wanted to put their swimming skills to the test
Everybody wanted to put their swimming skills to the test
Water selfie
Water selfie
Swimming pool reflections
Swimming pool reflections

We really maximized our stay there :-).

Typical tourist behaviour :-D
Typical tourist behaviour 😀

I cannot wait for the next adventure :). But for now, back to reality :-(.

Be sure to check out #CampLongonot on Instagram for more photos from the trip.

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