Hip hip hurray…the month comes to a closure today and i kicked it off by hiking at the Ngong Hills on Saturday. With the right gear, drinks, snacks and company on check we took a bus number 111 at Nairobi Railways where we paid fifty shillings to Ngong town. On arrival at Ngong we had to border motorbikes that charge 100 per person but since we were many we each had to each part away with 70 shillings ( the power of bargaining) to the Ngong hills entrance gate. At the entrance gate charges were 200 per head for adults, 50 shillings for children and 600 for foreigners.The good thing about been in Peace Ambassadors Kenya and having policemen and women in our midst is that we had to only pay 50 shillings each. (Lucky us). Security guards escort individuals throughout the hiking at an extra fee of 1,500 but for us we didn’t want one and we were not told to hire one.
The first thing that welcomes one here are big windmills used to generate power and they give a cooling effect in this hot region. The Maasai community live here and this was proven by the number of goats, cows roaming about in the bushes with the escort of dogs and young Maasai boys. One would tell they were not lost as a bell tied across the leading animal would guide the rest in search of greener pastures. More so, the friendly pastoralists would sell sweets, water, beaded Maasai chokers that ranged from 600-900, Maasai bangles at 200 each, Kenyan key-holders at 200 each, beaded necklaces just to mention but a few to showcase their culture.
The Ngong hills has 7 hills each different from the other as others were rocky, steep, sharp and bushy. First climb involves a view about the community, radio repeater station masts and it is one hilly, dusty, rocky path till you come across a Kenya Forest Service barrier. It is here that we though we had finished the first hill but that according to a guard was a warm up. He pointed to a hill 30 min walk as the first (we thought we were 1 down, 6 to go). My bad. The journey to the 7th hill was the most risky as buffaloes thronged the area but we didn’t see even one which made me ask if indeed it was true or false. Beautiful landscapes, terrain, trees, thorny bushes, getting a glimpse of Nairobi, Kiserian and Rongai made the hiking more memorable with strong winds hindering our walk as we approached our finishing point. It all started at Ngong at around 1 (African timers while we had planned to start at 10) and in 4 hours we had completed our hiking at Kona Baridi where wind strong enough to carry you and cold enough to make you get pneumonia turned us into pale beings. As they say the higher you go the cooler it becomes and we were at 8070 feet above sea level.
Going back was not our cup of tea and from the top hill we could see our route to border a matatu. Downhill it was and in about 45-60min we were at Kona Baridi where after 30 minutes of shaking a matatu made its way and paid 50 shillings to Kiserian. Here we had to take another matatu to Rongai and from there another to the city.
Did i tell you i was the first lady to finish all 7!! Now you know.
What to carry:
- Lots and lots of water
- energy boost drinks
- camera/fully charged phone (mind you the network keeps on disappearing inside the bushes)
- money to buy Maasai items
What to wear:
- hiking shoes/ good comfy shoes for climbing. No heels
- light clothing and no skirts or tight trousers due to friction