En-Route to the 5.1 MW KenGen Ngong Wind Power Station, Ngong
Route guide to Kenya's largest wind farm that has an output of 5.1MW. The farm is located in Ngong, Kajiado County.
The Ngong Wind Farm stands at the near top of the Ngong Hills, some 22km South West of the capital, Nairobi. The area where the farm is located, is a forest reserve 21,000sq-km protected by the Kenya Forest Reserve, so access to the site is controlled.
Generally like any other wind farms, its not fenced and thus you can get as close to the turbines as possible. The site is common to church groups, primary and secondary school children trips, adults and explorers en-route to the top of the hill. Security escort up past the wind farm is required since there are many reported cases of mugging, and since its a forest...wild animals.
From the capital, Nairobi, getting to the wind farm is pretty simple. You can use public or private means all up-to the Kenya Forest Service Gate. If you opt for public transport, which is waaay cheaper, you need to find your way to the Railways Bus Terminus. At this terminus, look out for the buses route number 111 heading to Ngong town. Board the bus and enjoy the 1hr ride to Ngong Town in the Great Rift Valley, Rift Valley Province.
The fare will range between KES 40 and KES 60 [0.46 USD] much depending on the time of the day. At 10.00AM is the favorable time. When one arrives at Ngong Town alight and head to the main junction of the town from where you will take the right turn. Further on a group of motorcycles will be waiting to take you up for KES 100 [1.16 USD].
If you want to trek the 2km uphill, follow that road which is tarmacked up till the Government offices and proceed and the gradient increases steeply. The long trek will come to an end at the Kenya Forest Service Gate where the charges for entry varry for locals and tourists.
If using private means, the journey is the same only that when you arrive at the Kenya Forest Service Gate, they may allow you to go by the vehicle till some point into the forest. At the much talked about KFS Main Gate, the locals will part with KES 200 for Adults and KES 50 for Children. Normally for students the prices vary so have your students' ID at hand and you might get a discount. But for foreigners passports and other documents will come in handy.
As for the charges for foreigners, we will update soon but if anyone has such info, add it in the comments section below and I will update here. Thanks. One thing to note is that the guards at this post are armed and are mandated to protect the forests, so co-operate with them and you will be fine.
The dusty winding path will pass by some small human settlements. They sell beadery work along the path up the hill. They're very friendly, you can purchase one or two items and the seller will be pleased. Most are from the Maa community. A quick glance at the turbines...very tall . Welcome to the Ngong Hills Wind Farm.
Remember as you go about exploring the tall turbines, the area is used by the Maasai to graze their cattle so you might want to avoid the bulls, but all in all enjoy Kenya's Wind Mega Project. Cell-phone reception here is not very good, so its wise to charge all your communication gadgets before hand since they will tend to use up more power trying to get a good signal.
KenGen is working on a new substation just away from the farm for the expected increase of the farm's capacity.