Have you ever wondered why someone would wake up in the wee hours of the morning to go for a hike? Well, whatever the reasons may be, am sure that it’s definitely something to cherish. Almost all the time, hours later, one is normally really glad that they took that step. The experience is always worth it.
You know how you might not be an early riser but for the sake of making it to an adventurous hike, you have to commit, this was one of those moments. By 6:00 am, a group of drifters had already assembled at the meetup point in Nairobi CBD eagerly awaiting the Above The Clouds (ATC) induction experience. We literally couldn’t wait to hunt for fresh air and a serene, calm environment away from life’s busy hustles.
This experience was arranged to dub as an induction ceremony for anyone looking to begin mountaineering and joining the Lets Drift ATC club.
By 7:30 am, we had already arrived at the Ngong Hills main gate ready to conquer the hills. The entrance fee was Kshs 232. We met other hikers already hiking, ready to do the 7 hills before the sun came up.
As per tradition, we did a few stretches inclusive of some great yoga stretches, introduced ourselves as well as the guides, and embarked on the hike.
Towards the beginning of the hike, we also saw quite a number of wind turbines.
A Ngong Hills hike would be considered incomplete if you either didn’t take a picture or enjoyed the beauty of the massive wind turbines.
Did you know?
There are thirty wind turbines at Ngong Hills having a total installed capacity of 25.5 megawatts. Wind power or wind energy is the use of air flow through wind turbines to generate electricity. This sustainable source of renewable energy has become popular across the world over recent years.
As we continued on the trail around the second hill, we were invited to a spectacular sight of a leaning tree. Another famous photo spot.
At this point, the cold wind was biting our faces and it was quite chilly thus warm clothing is recommended for this trail.
Another favorite part of the hike was climbing an awe-inspiring tree that we came across as we continued on. Such an exciting experience. Talk about joyous moments.
We also crossed paths with some ultra runners perhaps finishing their morning runs ready to start over again. How motivating!
And then there was more beauty. The peak of the Ngong Hills is at 2,460 m (8,071 ft) above sea level with the 4th hill being the highest.
On the ascent and descent of the 5th and 6th hills, one could hear the tinkling of bells from a distance and clearly, this was a perfect getaway from the city life as we met a herd of goats.
The trail will also offer you amazing and far-reaching views over the Rift Valley, Nairobi City, and various mountains. On a clear day, you can see both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya from the hills.
We made it to Kona Baridi after around 3 – 4 hours having done the 7 hills covering a distance of around 11 km. This was our proud moment.
It was also advised that hikers avoid buying the wooden trekking poles which were being sold along the trails as a means to protect our trees.
We took a break before continuing back the same route. It was going to be a double experience. However, there are those that opted to end it at Kona Baridi whose exit area has roads and accessible means of transport.
There was no way the hike was going to end without taking a couple of pictures at the magnificent rock spot. This is the same spot where we were handed our beautiful badges. ATC here we come!
Ps: You can check out more about the Ngong Hills hike live on our IG stories.
Written by Maggie Wanjiru.