What an Amazing Scene and View, Ngong Hills.
The Ngong Hills are peaks in a ridge along the Great Rift Valley, located southwest near Nairobi, in southern Kenya. The word “Ngong” is an Anglicization of a Maasai phrase “enkong’u emuny” meaning rhinoceros spring, and this name derives from a spring located near Ngong Town. It would then be easy to understand that the massai community has lived around the hill for quite some time now.
The Hills, from the eastside slopes, overlook the Nairobi National Park and, while to the north, The City under the Sun, Nairobi. The Westside slopes beautifully overlook the Great Rift Valley dropping over 1000 metres (4,000 feet) below, where Maasai communities live with their cattle in small villages.
During the years of British colonial rule, the area around the Ngong Hills was a major settler farming region, and many traditional colonial houses are still seen in the area. While in the 1985 film Out of Africa, opened up the hills to the world all over with the four peaks of the Ngong Hills appearing in the background of several scenes.
The Kenya government energy sector and telecommunications sector has as well seized the opportunity to invest in renewable energy setting up a wind farm on the beautiful hills slopes. There is an active wind farm now on the northern hills. While the later has a communication relay satellites up and running.
It is in good order to note that there are 7 peaks stretched one after the other at of it all you will be standing at the altitudes of 2460 meters (8070 feet) above sea level. The weather can really change drastically up there so if you planning on hiking up to the peak be prepared for a windy and cool breezes. Whenever I see an opportunity to hike/bike/run, without a hesitation, I take it. It is something I have trained myself to do. I was sized up the Ngong Hills way back in the 2002 during warm summer weekend; it’s a perfect spot for hikers I found myself there loving the weather and in company of others! If you love hiking and want to witness one of the spectacular views ever, Mind you, you don’t need to be athlete, but prepared, you still need some basic level of fitness, else you will be sore rest of the week.
There is a walking trail along the tops of the Ngong Hills. Kenya Forestry Service has a small post at the NE foot of the park. There is a KSH 600 fee for visitors. Local residents have sometimes held Sunday church services on the southern peak, overlooking the Great Rift Valley. The Kenya forestry department help the hiker with guard at a fee mind you local resident still reported seeing lions in the Hills during the 1990s. And it believed that even today the cats for visit the very top peaks of the hills where most people don’t reach. I have been told there are wild cats, buffalos, monkeys in the forest but I was not lucky enough. “Every few minutes you look around” a word of caution at the gate.
Many hikers have reported being robbed or mugged on the southern hills over the last few years. Kenya Forestry Service offers guides/security to accompany you on your hike for an extra fee. Though it may sound strange the forestry department doesn’t get much funding from the government and the fee charged is for sustainability not profits, first you need to go to Kenya Forestry Services and pay for a guide. Thereafter you should drive to the gate. I do not recommend you to start walking cause you will not have any energy left for the real thing! At the gate you need to pay entrance fee which changes depending on your status. It may vary depending on residency status.
At the start point you will find other groups and visitors preparing to hike up, holidays and weekend are more parked. The hike gets really steep and challenging as you go up! There are total of 7 hills. One is harder than other! On your right you have beautiful forestry and right you can see up to Rift Valley through Lake Naivasha if the weather allowed.
I scaled all of them then with the 4th to 7th hills being harder and thick than I thought am yet to try and scale is again, though it’s still on my diary. If you want to go walk though at least 3-4 hills you should definitely start at the top. Coming back was very steep and very challenging. Every day I think of the hills I remember the Amazing Scene and View of the slopes from the different peaks, at the clouds passes first providing the much needed shade from the heat of the sun above.