A Sh3,000 day trip to Suswa

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A section of Suswa Railway Station in Narok, on Wednesday, October 16 2019 [David Njaaga,Standard]

Two hours from Nairobi lies a town located at the foot of Mount Suswa and along the Nairobi-Narok town main road called Suswa.

Being 50 kilometres from Nairobi city, this makes it an ideal day’s trip or a weekend getaway for people living in Kenya’s capital.

“Mount Suswa is the closest active volcano to Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi,” says Kenya Wildlife Tours.

The Northwestern part of Mount Suswa is in Narok County, while the Eastern and Southern parts are in Kajiado County.

Known for its breathtaking volcanic scenery, geothermal activity, vibrant Maasai culture, and abundant wildlife, Suswa offers an unforgettable escape from the city’s hustle.

With a budget of Sh3,000 one can have a great time there. Remember to pack a bottle of water, snacks, sunscreen, bring a flashlight and wear comfortable walking shoes.

How to get there

To take a matatu to Suswa, head to Nyamakima in Nairobi where you can catch a Narok matatu/minibus and ask the driver to drop you off at Maragateway Hotel in Suswa town. The trip should typically take about two and half hours.

Alternatively, book a ride on the Madaraka Express train, which departs from the Nairobi Terminus early morning at 8.30am. Be sure to book your train tickets in advance and arrive at the station an hour early to print your tickets and check in.

The train ride from Nairobi to Suswa is Sh250 one way for adults and children aged above 11. Children aged 3 to 11 pay Sh125, while those below three travel free.

Enjoy the wildlife and the city’s skyscrapers in the background as the train passes through Nairobi National Park.

You can also catch the train from Ongata Rongai, Ngong or Maai Mahiu.

The return train from Suswa leaves at 3.50pm.

Excursions and Activities

Depart from Nairobi via SGR train/matatu. The train leaves at 8.50am and arrives at the Suswa Terminus at around 11.10am.

You can take a boda-boda ride to transfer you (around 20 minutes) to the starting point of your activities.

Explore the Suswa Caves with a paid guided tour that costs Sh500. This should take about 1.5 hours. Embark on a guided tour through the Suswa Caves, a fascinating network of lava tubes home to bat colonies and rich in Maasai legends.

You can also take a short drive or walk to the base of Mt. Suswa for the hike.

A hike up to the Mt. Suswa Crater provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and the Great Rift Valley.

Hiking up and back should averagely take around two and a half hours depending on one’s pace including time spent enjoying the views and taking breaks.

Hiring a local guide for the hike is advisable, costing about Sh1,000

Spend some time relaxing and possibly visiting a nearby bird-watching attraction before catching a matatu back to Nairobi.

Accommodation

This being a day trip it will not typically require one to spend the night but should you wish to extend your stay, consider camping at the Suswa Conservancy Campsite. An adventurous night under the stars will cost you Sh1,000 a night.

For more comfort, local guesthouses and lodges offer rooms ranging from Sh2,000 to Sh5,000 per night, with amenities like hot showers, Wi-Fi and comfortable beds.

If you extend your stay or decide to return at a later date, there are still more places within Suswa to be explored including Wildlife viewing, the hot springs and geothermal activity.

Capture stunning pictures and videos of the landscapes of Suswa with the backdrop of the Great Rift Valley and Mount Suswa.

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