02 May 2014

Ngong Hills - Hiking with Hannah

The church where we attended the Good Friday service meets in the large striped tent.

We really enjoyed worshiping with the congregation.

After attending a wonderful Good Friday service, my friend, Hannah, and I hiked up to the hills. We had a wonderful time enjoying the views and interacting with a few kids. It was her first time to be up there, but I've had the distinct pleasure of hiking them numerous times. I enjoy a fond fascination with them.

The full Maa word for the hills is 'Enkong’u-e-nchorro-emuny', but it was shortened to Ngong, by early explorers from Europe. A ridge of undulating hills, they are characterized by the four peaks that are the highest. The word means 'knuckles', and sure enough the peaks resemble the knuckles of a closed hand. The tallest peak is 8070 feet above sea level.

Maasai legend has it that the hills were created from a handful of earth that a giant clutched after falling over Mount Kilimanjaro (to the south in Tanzania).

On a clear day the Ngong Hills overlook the city of Nairobi. On the other side, one can view the Great Rift Valley dropping over 4,000 feet below, where Maasai villages dot the flat and arid landscape. The highest peak of the Ngong Hills is 8,070 feet above sea level.

During the years of British colonial rule, the area around the Ngong Hills was a major settler farming region, and many traditional colonial houses are still seen in the area. Local residents report seeing lions in the Hills during the 1990's.

In the 1985 film Out of Africa, the four peaks of the Ngong Hills appear in the background of several scenes near Karen Blixen's house.

Local Maasai graze their cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys on the hills.

View looking toward the Great Rift Valley 4,000 feet below

Issac spent a lot of time with us, and we became good friends with him.

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