Rift Valley Day Trip: Mt. Suswa Craters and Caves

I recently went on a one-day trip with a friend. We packed a picnic and went off in a 4×4 towards Mt Suswa, just about 50 km from Nairobi as the crow flies and about 120 km on road. The roads to the bottom of the mountain were brilliant as most highways in Kenya are. They may be single lane, but we managed to cover 90 km within an hour driving fairly slow. Driving up the mountain towards the outer crater took another hour and trails are very rocky and in some parts almost non existent.

Mt Suswa is inhabited by Maasai tribes, who manage the Mt Suswa Conservancy. The small income the conservancy gets through tourism go towards building community projects. In return, the locals provide guides who accompany visitors on their hikes and trip to the caves. They even provide askaris if you plan to camp at their campsite overnight.

The main attraction of Mt Suswa is the double crater of this inactive volcano that is separated by a moat like valley. Although you can access the inner ring, tourists generally hike around the outer ring, where the peak of Mt Suswa is.

We drove our car all the way to the edges of the outer crater near the camp site. A panoramic view of what we saw:

Inner and Outer Ring at the Crater
Inner and Outer Ring at the Crater

Mzee Jeremiah is a great guide. He can be reached through the Mt Suswa Conservancy Trust or on +254-712-244583. He took us around the outer ring half way towards the smaller peak of Mt Suswa. We were out of breath, while he just walked on and on and on like a trooper! His knowledge of Mt Suswa is great and he came armed with maps and images and starts every trip with a small history session of the area. He took us through one of the many caves at the eastern edge of the crater, where we visited the Baboon parliament, the bat caves and leopard hideout.

All in all, hiking in Mt Suswa and visiting the caves turned out to be great day out that will be repeated soon enough!

A few blogs with directions and further information on Mt Suswa and Mt Suswa Conservancy. I particularly like jambonairobi with added Matatu directions – brilliant!

http://wildaboutafrica.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/craters-and-caves-in-mt-suswa-kenya/

http://danielmountsuswa.wordpress.com/mount-suswa-conservancy/

http://www.jambonairobi.co.ke/activities/hiking/hiking-places/suswa-crater-caves/

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