Located at the heart of Narok county is a small town, Suswa, which is one of the under-explored places in the region, yet it boasts of numerous thrilling activities to engage in, and is one of the few places you can visit to relax on a budget.
Outdoor activities will definitely help you wind down, like hiking, site seeing, picnicking, group, and team building activities and this is just the stop for that.
You can get to Suswa via road, or try the newly constructed Standard Gauge Railway, which will give you a more unique experience.
Suswa is dominated by the Maa community, a subgroup of the plain Nilotes of Kenya. They are such staunch holders of their values and culture, granted, you will not leave the place without learning a thing or two about their way of life.
Be sure to have a taste of their food, especially meat, while at it. Without further ado, below is the list of places to visit and things to do to in Suswa.
Being less explored, this is your go-to place if you are looking for a wild experience in a place that is less crowded.
It is a broad, low shield volcano that was formed after the eruption process. Located a few kilometres from Suswa town, the mountain has the perfect vegetation for all kinds of outdoor activities.
The weather is mostly sunny, which is exactly what you need to make your experience a blast. The activities you can take on include;
This is obviously the first activity you can engage in while exploring a mountain. Mount Suswa is ideal for both beginners and experienced hikers.
It has an elevation of about 2356 meters, which means that the peak will give you stunning views of the landscape below and the vast Narok County.
There are two ways to hike Mt Suswa, where beginners opt to hike through the crater edge all the way to the main summit, which collectively takes about four hours, but if you wish to try something more challenging, make sure to pass along the inner crater and deep into the forests, which will take you about eight hours.
It is a tiring but very satisfying experience, with plenty to behold along the way, such as wild animals that will make your experience even wilder.
Remember to carry sufficient water with you while scaling the mountain as it is physically engaging and the high temperatures will quickly leave you dehydrated
Should you wish to extend your stay for a day or two, and are looking for a place to put up, why not try camping in the mountains for the ultimate wild experience?
All you have to do is bring your camping gear; a sleeping tent and sufficient bedding, and you are good to go.
Go hunting in the woods, cook, light a bonfire, although under regulations and make your experience epic.
Campsites have been set up in safe areas within the mountain, so you need not worry about stumbling upon a pack of wild animals.
The serenity at night is one to be marvelled at and the only sounds that will drown you are the chirping crickets and the occasional howling of animals in the distance.
Climax your night by staring at the clear skies and the galaxy of stars and the bright moon. Wake up to unrivalled views of the sun rising on the horizon, leave alone the orange hues it creates while setting.
Water is not readily available, but can easily be brought to you upon request.
Mount Suswa is covered in caves that you definitely should explore.
The caves came along during the formation process and are covered in lava, hence considered to have one of the most intricate patterns.
The caves also bear historical significance, since they served as hideouts for the Mau Mau soldiers when the war between them and the British soldiers became too intense.
They retreated to the caves to strategize, organize themselves into groups and also spot the enemy from far.
Similar to the Kitum cave in Mt Elgon near Kitale, the caves here are flocked by bats, especially at night, which move along the caves in search of food.
In the evenings, the caves are home to baboons, which use them for shelter and as hideouts for protection against predators.
The baboons frequenting the caves have actually made it a wonder, that the locals have named one of the caves ‘the baboon parliament.’
The caves have also been spots for rock art, especially by young Maasai morans who use the caves as recovery centres after their initiation ceremonies.
Manyattas and hot springs
Manyattas are small make-shift structures made of grass that Maasais use as places of residence. The structures have been in existence since time immemorial and have been passed down from generation to generation.
Every member of a particular family huddles together in one structure, and only the head of the family has his manyatta separate from the rest.
It is actually interesting how people can make a house entirely from grass, have it house not one but several members of the family, and see the structure stand the test of time, including volatile weather patterns.
Be sure to visit one of these homesteads, since the owners are very hospitable. Guests are shown how to milk cows and how to make the iconic ‘chai’ that is a staple breakfast in most homesteads.
While visiting the manyattas, you might be lucky enough to stumble upon them performing one of their traditional ceremonies such as weddings and initiations that will have you awed.
From how the women don jewellery to the lads spreading ochre on their hair, you will enjoy everything that they have to offer.
Their traditionally made food, especially meat cooked in herbs, is a far cry from the food sold at high-end restaurants.
Hot springs force up streams of jets, especially early in the morning, and with time local residents have learnt to tap the water and use it for domestic purposes such as cooking and cleaning, as the area can get dry sometimes, leaving them with no means of getting water.
The best time to catch the steam being let up is early morning, just when the sun is starting to rise.
The entire ecosystem in Suswa makes it home to hundreds of varied animal species, making game viewing a top activity.
Apart from the baboons and hundreds of bats frequenting the caves, guests get to see elephants, en route Maasai Mara from Amboseli national park, hyenas, gazelles, buffaloes, leopards, wild dogs, hyraxes and even lions.
The leopards have even been reported to have a feeding area inside one of the caves.
Game drives are offered to visitors who wish to see the animals in proximity since going alone could be dangerous.
The wardens give detailed explanations about the animals encountered along the way, so feel free to ask even the most mundane questions.
Bird watching is also an activity to engage in since hundreds of different bird species flock to the mountain in search of food and water every so often.
Mount Suswa conservancy
This conservancy is run entirely by the Maasai community that lives within mount Suswa. The Conservancy was started to protect animals and the larger environment around Mt Suswa from pollution and invasion.
Every amount paid at the conservancy, starting with the entrance fee to any kind of activity undertaken, goes towards developing and improving the conservancy and improving the lives of the locals staying at the conservancy.
The first activity you can do is go on a game drive and see different animals in proximity. Over the years, the number of animals staying at the conservancy has been rising steadily, including monkeys, lions, antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, leopards and baboons.
The animals are well cared for to attract tourists and also prevent their extinction, so be sure to heavily tip the wardens for their exemplary work at preserving heritage.
The Conservancy has plenty of nature trails that will help you wind down, especially after experiencing the searing temperatures that will leave you exhausted.
While taking a nature walk you are likely to encounter flocks of birds searching for food, and the chirping will enthral you, not to mention the serenity of the place.
Camping at the conservancy is permitted, so be sure to bring your camping gear with you and have a fulfilling experience.
Suswa ranch resort
This is a state-of-the-art facility that will make your stay at Suswa an unforgettable one.
The strategic location of the ranch ensures that guests have stunning views of the nearby Mt Suswa. The orange horizon when the sun is setting will have you blown away.
Guests wake up to chirping and singing birds, a far cry from the chaos and noise in towns.
Savour your taste buds with exemplary dishes, both local and international, that will have you drooling.
Security is tight, parking facilities are ample, room service is top-notch, and the staff is very friendly, so what more could you ask for while on a holiday?