Weekend in Lake Naivasha / Mt Longonot Lodge

Shan and I decided to spend the weekend outside of Nairobi to enjoy neighboring Naivasha. Our goal was to enjoy Hells Gate National Park and see some hippos. What we got was so much more.

We booked a night at the Mt. Longonot Lodge based on the notion that I thought it’d be cool to stay near an extinct volcano. Turned out to be a good thought. We were the only ones there. The place was built back around the second world war and turns out that Ernest Hemmingway’s 2nd wife lived there. I believe we actually stayed in her room.

Our meals were served in a fashion that I can only explain as being a hollywood depiction of Africa. Table out in the grass, under the acacia tree, with a breathtaking view.

The staff Klaus, Duncan and Kris were wonderful. Klaus is a 70 year old German gentleman who arrived just a couple of years ago to spend the rest of his years in what I consider a paradise.

We started the weekend with a trip to Hells Gate National Park for some bike riding. I’d been there before just a couple weeks prior, but had such an amazing time that I wanted to bring Shan. It did not disappoint. Our ride started with an approaching thunderstorm, but we threw caution to the wind and headed out. A little rain never stopped us. We saw zebra, warthogs, gazelle and even managed to see a herd of water buffalo (thankfully from a distance).

We made our way to the gorge for a nice tour. Our guide Joseph decided that we were the adventurous type and we took the double black diamond way into the gorge on a rope. I was very proud of Shan as she hurried her way down as I was the one feeling timid. It was cool though as on my previous trip we avoided this way so we got to see a lot of new things. I couldn’t help but feel we were hurrying through our journey though. I later learned that Kenya was playing Uganda in soccer; it then made a lot of sense.

Our return journey on the bikes presented us with the most amazing rainbow we both had ever seen.

It also presented us with water buffalo just about 5o feet off the road. Having heard quite a few stories about the dangers of water buffalo we weren’t really sure what to do. We did what any clueless person would do and we proceeded and at quite a quick pace. The first group we encountered seemed to take a step toward us. We watched with held breath as we sped by. Phew. Then another group on the right. This group was startled and ran away. We escaped unscathed and with a good story. We certainly weren’t in any danger, but sure was an interesting moment. Just glad there weren’t any lions.

That evening we had an amazing dinner, bon fire and enjoyed the sky full of stars. We saw water buffalo and hyenas at the watering hole. I have to say that it was a great night sleep on a very comfortable bed.

The next morning we arranged to go out on a nature walk at 7am with a Masai guide. Nothing like walking in the bush of Kenya. The sound of a herd of gazelle running is quite an amazing sound that I hope you all can experience some day.

Breakfast was ready for us when we returned and in their amazing fashion was situated again in the grass land outside the building. I’ve really never felt so relaxed.

It was a good thing because what came next was a boat ride to see Africa’s most dangerous animal, the hippo. This boat ride was amazing on Lake Naivasha. We saw hundreds of birds and dozens of hippos. I can recommend this trip to anyone.

Our return trip found me driving Klaus’s 25 year old Land Rover Defender through the fields of the ranch in pursuit of 3 ostrich. I think this weekend was a perpetual dream to me as I kept feeling like I needed to pitch myself. Truly an amazing two days.

The trip was capped off with another amazing meal on the porch of the lodge as a rain storm came in. It was chilly and great weather for a nap, which I happily obliged myself with.


  1. I’m sure this is one trip among many that you two will never forget. Love you both.

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