Exploring Mount Suswa: A Hidden Gem near Nairobi

Nestled in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, Mount Suswa stands as an impressive natural wonder waiting to be discovered.

With its breathtaking landscapes, unique geological features, and proximity to vibrant towns, Mount Suswa offers an unforgettable experience for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re a hiker, a geology enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene getaway, Mount Suswa has something special to offer.

Located approximately 120 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, Mount Suswa is easily accessible for a day trip or a weekend excursion.

Several towns in the vicinity serve as gateways to this mesmerizing destination, each with its own charm and attractions. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Mount Suswa and its neighboring towns worth exploring.

Mount Suswa: A Geological Marvel

Image courtesy of Mount Suswa Conservancy

One of the most remarkable aspects of Mount Suswa is its geological significance. The mountain is an extinct volcano with a double crater system, making it a rare and intriguing formation.

The outer crater spans an impressive 11 kilometers in diameter, while the inner crater showcases an array of unique features like lava caves, natural bridges, and hot springs.

This makes Mount Suswa a haven for geologists, adventure seekers, and photographers eager to capture the wonders of nature.

Towns Close to Mount Suswa

  1. Narok: Located on the eastern side of Mount Suswa, Narok is a vibrant town known for its cultural diversity and bustling markets. It serves as a gateway to the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, offering a perfect blend of wildlife and cultural experiences.
  2. Mai Mahiu: Situated to the south of Mount Suswa, Mai Mahiu is a small town renowned for its hot springs. Visitors can unwind in the soothing thermal waters while enjoying the surrounding scenic views. The town also acts as a transit point for those traveling to Naivasha or Nakuru.
  3. Naivasha: Positioned northwest of Mount Suswa, Naivasha is a popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning Lake Naivasha, which is surrounded by lush vegetation and teeming with diverse birdlife. Visitors can take a boat ride, go hiking in Hell’s Gate National Park, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the area.

How to Get To Mount Suswa from Nairobi

Reaching Mount Suswa from Nairobi is relatively straightforward. The most convenient option is to drive, which takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and the specific route taken.

From Nairobi, head northwest on the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway until reaching the designated turnoff for Narok or Mai Mahiu. The route is well-marked, ensuring a smooth journey.

Alternatively, public transportation is available with regular matatu (minibus) services between Nairobi and Narok. From Narok, it is possible to hire a local guide or arrange private transportation to explore Mount Suswa and its surroundings.

However, one of the latest entrants forms of transport that has attracted many people from Nairobi due to its convenience is the Nairobi-Suswa SGR Train. Take a look at our comprehensive guide on the same to know how to get to Suswa using SGR and how much it costs.

Fun Activities to Do in Mount Suswa

  1. Hiking and Trekking: Mount Suswa offers excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. Alongside the nearby Mount Longonot, it is one of the best hiking spots in Kenya. Explore the unique lava caves, marvel at the panoramic views from the summit, or venture into the heart of the crater. Local guides are available to provide insights into the geological formations and ensure a safe and rewarding experience.
  2. Camping: Spend a night under the starry African sky by setting up camp near the base of Mount Suswa. The serene surroundings and the absence of light pollution create a perfect ambiance for stargazing and connecting with nature. If you are a camping enthusiast, you can check out our list of the top campsites in Kenya.
  3. Wildlife Spotting: Embark on a game drive in the nearby national parks and conservancies to spot Kenya’s iconic wildlife. The Maasai Mara National Reserve, Hell’s Gate National Park, and Lake Nakuru National Park are all within reach, offering opportunities to encounter lions, elephants, zebras, and a plethora of bird species.
  4. Cultural Encounters: Engage with the local Maasai community and learn about their vibrant traditions and way of life. Many Maasai villages offer cultural experiences, including traditional dances, beadwork demonstrations, and interactions with Maasai warriors.
  5. Birdwatching: Mount Suswa and its surrounding areas are home to a diverse range of bird species. Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting numerous avian wonders, including flamingos, pelicans, eagles, and various migratory birds. Lake Naivasha, in particular, is renowned for its rich birdlife.
  6. Photography Opportunities: With its dramatic landscapes, geological features, and wildlife, Mount Suswa provides endless opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture stunning shots of the crater, lava caves, wildlife encounters, and breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky over the Great Rift Valley.
  7. Nature Walks and Picnics: Enjoy leisurely walks amidst the scenic beauty surrounding Mount Suswa. Pack a picnic basket and find a tranquil spot to relax and soak in the serene atmosphere. The peaceful surroundings and fresh air make it an ideal location for a day of unwinding and reconnecting with nature.
  8. Rock Climbing: Adventure seekers can try their hand at rock climbing on the volcanic cliffs and rock formations of Mount Suswa. The challenging terrain offers a thrilling experience for climbers of various skill levels.
  9. Conservation Efforts: Mount Suswa and its surrounding areas are part of conservation efforts aimed at preserving the region’s unique ecosystem and cultural heritage. Visitors can learn about these initiatives, support local communities, and contribute to sustainable tourism practices during their visit.
  10. Accommodation Options: While Mount Suswa itself does not have formal lodging facilities, nearby towns like Naivasha offer a range of accommodation options. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, visitors can find suitable places to stay and use them as a base for exploring Mount Suswa and its surroundings.

In conclusion, Mount Suswa presents a captivating blend of natural wonders, geological marvels, and cultural experiences. Located within a reasonable distance from Nairobi, this hidden gem offers a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Whether you’re drawn to its unique volcanic formations, seeking adrenaline-fueled adventures, or eager to immerse yourself in the rich Kenyan culture, Mount Suswa is an absolute must-visit destination.

Reach out to us for any assistance getting to Mount Suswa as well fully organized trips and discounted tours.


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