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Background


Ngomongo Villages Park is a collection of 10 diverse rural Kenya tribal homesteads, each complete with hut, cultivated crops, domestic and wild animals (such as Crocodiles), wild animal traps, charms and fetishes, tinsmiths and even a village witch doctor!
 

Getting There


The park is situated in an abandoned murram quarry that has been reclaimed into a lush forest over a ten year period located 10 Kms North of Mombasa Island. It is situated along the road leading to Five Star Hotels in Shanzu.
 

Key Attractions


One of the accomodation facilities at the Ngomongo VillagesNgomongo Villages is a theme park which offers a unique representation of the ways of life of the rural peoples of Kenya. It presents the ways of life of ten most colourful and diverse rural peoples of Kenya including the Kamba, El Molo, Luo, Rendille, Mijikenda, Kalenjin, Turkana, Kikuyu and Maasai.

But the ultimate beauty of Ngomongo lies in the fact that it comprises all of rural Kenya in one spot. The tribes have been chosen according to the geographical distribution of ethnic groups namely Cushites, Bantus, Nilotes, and the Hamites, that form Kenya's 45 tribes.

Each village has activities that visitors can participate in including archery, boating, rafting, tasting tribal foods, trekking, hook fishing, grinding and pounding maize. At the end of the trek through the village households, one gets the feeling that one has literally walked throughout rural Kenya in just one and a half hours!

A visitor arriving at Ngomongo is welcomed with a drink served in a traditional calabash to initiate one into the traditional African villages. Ngomongo also offers traditional African games. They include the traditional Maasai practice of "spearing a lion". Other games include jumping up Maasai style and fishing Luo style.

Ngomongo Villages have hosted famous events such as Big Brother where the housemates spent some time around December 2009. What better way to enjoy your visit than to be an African villager for once! While in Ngomongo, visitors are asked to participate in the daily activities of each village.

One would be given a bow and an arrow and asked to be a Kamba hunter and asked to shoot a deer 100 feet away. Alternatively, one would be asked to be an El Molo and ride on a raft in the crocodile infested Lake Turkana at one's own peril! Visitors are also treated to tribal foods and drinks. After the trek, visitors can retreat to the traditional African foods restaurant, where service is also traditional.

 

History


Ngomongo Villages was born in 1991. At that time it was a sun baked and barren rocky base of an exhausted limestone mine. The floor of this quarry is barely five feet above the slightly salty water table. A local medical doctor, Dr Fredrick Gikandi, started single handedly to reclaim this quarry by planting four acres of eighty different indigenous trees.

Public awareness to tree planting was raised by inviting the public to plant the last open acre of quarry. A total of about fifteen thousand trees and plants have so far been planted in Ngomongo Villages. Once the forest was ripe, rural villagers from far-flung corners of Kenya were invited to recreate their rural homesteads, each in a niche of the now fully-grown forest. The recreation was to detail including huts, farms, animals associated with some rural people like cattle for the Maasai and crocodiles for the crocodile hunting El molo people.

The paths connecting each village were themed to represent a dominant feature of each community. For example, beehives line the path leading to honey gathering Akamba people. Cattle skulls line the paths leading to cattle lovers Maasai homestead. Once the households were complete, the villagers moved in in January 1998 to tender the crops and animals. These villagers have since found a permanent home in the village, living as they would in their rural homes up country.

That completed the Garden of Eden creation of Ngomongo Villages. A visitor completing this interesting one and a half kilometer walk through the village gets the impression of having literally walked through the entire rural Kenya in two hours. It is easy for the visitor to forget that this was once a desolate quarry. The village therefore presents a fairly comprehensive look at the ways of life in rural Kenya in an enjoyable manner and without having to go and travel into all the respective rural areas. Ngomongo Villages was nominated by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to the Global 500 Roll of Honour in 2001

 

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