Mt Susua

Southern Rift Valley

With a crater that’s even more of a lost world than that on nearby Mt Longonot, this unique volcano is well worth the considerable effort of visiting. The steep outer crater protects a second inner crater, whose rim peaks at 2357m and begs to be trekked. There’s also a network of unexplored lava caves on the mountain's east side, some of which are home to baboons. For an excellent local guide, contact Daniel, a local Maasai guide and wonderful companion and guide, for visiting Susua.

There’s no designated route and all land is owned by local Maasai, so you’ll have to find someone from the nearby villages that dot the B3 Nairobi–Narok road to guide you. It’s a 90-minute drive from Nairobi to the point where you leave the tarmac road, with a sign indicating Mt Suswa Conservancy, whereafter it’s a further 2½ hours to the crater’s outer rim. It takes about eight hours to circumnavigate the outer crater. Two local councils were in dispute about where and to whom you had to pay the conservancy fees – ask your guide in advance for the latest situation.

If you do the trek, you’ll need to camp overnight (and be completely self-sufficient in food and water); campsites in the conservancy are little more than cleared patches of grass under the trees, but wonderfully quiet. Is it worth it? Absolutely, not least because you and the Maasai will have it all to yourselves. For a fabulous insight into Susua's charms, watch the BBC's 2010 documentary, The Great Rift Valley.

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