|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, about 22km southwest of the city, makes it a very popular weekend destination for visitors from all over the country, including school groups. Some come to take walks while others picnic or worship on the hills. Professional and amateur runners will also be found in the morning hours jogging up and down the steep slopes.
The highest peak on the knuckle-shaped Ngong hills is at 2460m above sea level, and the whole mountain range is a gazetted forest reserve covering an area of over 21,000 sq km.
The hike up Ngong Hills starts from Ngong town at the northern foot of the hills 1961m above sea level, and traverses the whole range to the southern end at Kona Baridi. This takes about 4 to 5 hour to complete, depending on fitness levels. The first kilometer from Ngong Police Station is a gradual ascent through human settlements until you get to a 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 get 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.
Visitors are required to pay Ksh 100 per person to Kenya Wildlife Service at their office near the Ngong Police Station.
Caution: Security on Ngong Hills is a major concern, with some incidents of criminals attacking small groups of visitors reported over the last few years. It would therefore be prudent to get armed escort from the KWS rangers.
If you’d like to have a guided tour of the Ngong Hills, you can get in touch any of the following Guides:
Paul Kalaile (tel:0202014970, cell:0714155872, email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Moshila Peter (tel:0725703511, email:email@example.com)
Other Hikes Near Nairobi
- Kereita Cave and Waterfall
- Gatamaiyu Riverine Walk
- Mt Olorgesailie
- Suswa Crater & Caves
- Ol Donyo Sabuk
- Hell’s Gate
- Oloroka, near Oltepesi
- Ole Sayeti
- Karura Caves & Waterfalls
- Mt Longonot
- Elephant Hill, Aberdares