|Distance from Nairobi||About 22km|
|Starting Point||Ngong Police Station|
|Ending point||Kona Baridi|
|Walking Duration||4 - 5 hours|
|Terrain||Initially a dirt road till the radio masts, then trails over the rolling hills for the rest of the way.|
|Difficulty||Moderate. Can get very windy.|
The Ngong Hills’ proximity to Nairobi, 22km southwest of the city, makes it a very popular weekend destination for visitors from all over the country. Some come for walks while others picnic or worship on the hills. Professional and amateur runners will also be found in the morning jogging up and down the steep slopes.
The whole mountain range is a gazetted forest reserve covering an area of over 21,000 sq km, with the highest peak on the knuckle-shaped Ngong hills at 2460m above sea level.
The hiking trail on the Ngong Hills starts from Ngong town at the northern foot of the hills 1961m above sea level, and traverses the top edge of the range to the southern end at Kona Baridi. This takes about 4 to 5 hour to complete, depending on fitness levels. The first 2 kilometers from Ngong Police Station are a gradual ascent through human settlements until you get to a Kenya Forest Service (KFS) barrier indicating the start of the Ngong Hills forest reserve. From here on, you go past a wind farm, before climbing the first steep hill leading to an area populated with Radio repeater station masts.
The trail thins out and descents into a trough before you climb the next steep hill. Just when you think the worst is over, the rolling hills seem to keep popping up, with each taking its toll on you. Thankfully, the views all round are magnificent, making the effort worthwhile. On a lucky day, you are likely to encounter buffalos around the fourth hill, on account of the abundant bushes at these higher altitudes on the range. To your right is a fantastic view of the Great Rift Valley, while on the far left is a view of the City of Nairobi.
If using public means from Nairobi, take matatu number 111 from the Railway Station terminus. You can then walk or hire a boda boda (motorbike) to Ngong Police Station, the starting point for this hike. The fare to Ngong Town is about Ksh 70 one way. You’ll then return to Nairobi using matatus from Kiserian.
If driving, take Ngong Road and go past Dagoretti Corner, Karen and Ngong Town till Ngong Police Station. You may then park at the station, or arrange for someone to drive your car to Kona Baridi.
Entry fee is Ksh 200 per person paid to Kenya Forest Service at their office opposite the Ngong Police Station, or at the KFS barrier on the trail.
Caution: Security on Ngong Hills is a major concern, with some incidents of muggers attacking small groups of visitors reported over the years. You are therefore advised to get armed escort from KFS at the gate.
If you’d like to have a guided tour of the Ngong Hills, get in touch with:
Emmanuel Kaimarish (tel: +254 704 866745, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)