When the Ngong Hills, which are part of the Ngong mountain range, were voted by Travelzoo’s 27 million subscribers as the world’s most romantic film location in 2014, this little-known hikers' paradise suddenly acquired celebrity status.
In celebration of the International Kissing Day which is marked every July 6, Travelzoo put together a top 10 list of the most romantic film locations and floated this list to its 27 million subscribers who chose Ngong Hills as the best.
The hills, featured in the 1986 film classic, 'Out of Africa' which depicted stunning sceneries of the hill range as Meryl Streep and Robert Redford flew over them. It went on to win 7 Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. You can watch a trailer of the film at the end of this post.
Today, the hills can be enjoyed inside a 21,000 KM2 gazetted forest reserve called the Ngong Hills Forest Recreational Site. Inside the site, you can spend some quiet time away from city life surrounded by nature interspersed so cleverly with elements of green energy technology from a resident wind farm.
The base of the gigantic wind turbines provides perfect selfie moments as you take in the rhythmic, almost orchestral noise of the turbine blades churning energy from the wind.
The wind farm is owned by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen and offers a pleasant diversion from the uphill task of conquering the 7 hills of Ngong. Lamwia, rising 2,460 M into the Ngong sky, is the tallest of them all.
Plan to start early because it normally takes between 4 to 5 hours to complete the hike. The best location to start is at Kona Baridi because that way, you get to experience all the 7 hills. If you however choose the Ngong town side, you will only go through 4.
Ngong Hills provide an ideal training ground for some of Kenya's finest athletes who frequent the place for a high altitude experience so do not be surprised if you bump into a few as you go up the hills. A curious looking site with radio repeaters secured from hikers and runners lies on your path as you complete the first hill.
From the vantage point of the hills, you can get fantastic views of the Great Rift Valley to the west as you gaze down at Maasai manyattas 1,000 M below. From here, it is possible also to see the city of Nairobi on the far left. The Nairobi National Park, about 15 KM further to the north east of the hills, is also visible.
If you are coming from the CBD take Ngong Road and go past Dagoretti Corner. At the Karen Shopping Centre at the roundabout, take the second turn and keep to the main tarmac road until you get to Ngong Town.
Drive till the Ngong Police Station. You may then park at the station, or arrange for someone to drive your car to Kona Baridi. You could also opt to drive into the recreational site and experience it in the comfort of your car.
If you are using public means from Nairobi, take matatu number 111 (about KES 70.00 one way) from the Railway Station terminus. Once you get to Ngong town, you can then walk or hire a boda boda (motorbike) to the Ngong Police Station where the hike begins. You can later board a matatu from Kiserian to head back to the city.