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Ngong Hills takes crown as world’s most romantic movie spot

By Brigid Chemweno | July 13th 2014 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

A section on the Ngong Hills. [Photo: Brigid Chemweno]

NAIROBI, KENYA: It is no secret that Kenya boasts some of the world’s finest tourist attractions. The natural beauty, undulating hills and serene nature of her flora and fauna are legendary. And the world is not ignorant of her beauty.

Only last week, the Ngong Hills got a major lift after it was voted the world’s most romantic movie location by Travelzoo, a UK travel website.

Travelzoo’s Louise Hodges and Maryline Morini, told The Standard on Sunday through email that Travelzoo, the UK’s top travel deals provider, put together a list of the 10 most romantic film locations to celebrate International Kissing Day on Sunday 6 July and said Ngong Hills emerged top on the list.

Publisher of Travelzoo’s Top [email protected], Maire Bonheim, said lovers and singletons can travel around the world and back in time with their selection of favourite romantic flicks of all time.

“Each of the 10 destinations reflect a memorable love story to inspire those looking for a smooch,” said Ms Bonheim.

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Bonheim said Travelzoo Deal Experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.

Ngong Hills has been voted as the most outstanding movie location for the movie, Out of Africa. Paris came second for serving as location for Before Sunset and New York third for Sleepless in Seattle.


Besides the nature trail in Ngong Hills, termed as wonders of God by nature lovers, tourists can visit the grave bearing the remains of Denys George Finch Hatton of Out of Africa, whose plane crashed and in accordance with his wishes was buried at the foot of the hill. This spot has become a stopping point for tourists from all over the world. They see what they watch in the famous movie, Out of Africa.

The monument in Kaburi Village at the foot of Ngong Hills is clear indication that what is viewed in the movie is a true reflection of the life of Denys George Finch Hatton and his lover Baroness Karen Blixen.

Finch Hatton’s brother erected an obelisk at the graveside in 1945 when the area was a thick forest and with a date of his birth, death and extraction from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s narrative poem, Rime of the ancient mariner, “He Prayeth well, who loveth both man and Bird and Beast.”

Born in April 1887, Denys George Finch Hatton was an aristocratic big-game hunter and lover of Baroness Karen Blixen.

Blixen was a Danish noblewoman who wrote about him in her autobiographical book Out of Africa which was published for the first time in 1937. The movie Out of Africa played by Robert Redford as Finch Hatton and Streep as Karen Blixen gives a fictional portrayal of the reality in the 1985 film.

Those who have watched the film or read the book Out of Africa would not believe about the existence of his grave and some have had to tour Ngong Hills to prove it for themselves.

In an earlier interview at her home in Bondeni area of Ngong, an octogenarian who did not want to be named, and who owns the plot where the monument lies, said they bought the land in 1967 with her late husband, oblivious of the treasures it carried. “We did not know that one day the grave would be of significance,” she said.

Damaris Wanjiku, who lives with the octogenarian, took us to the grave after she was granted permission by her grandmother. We had to part with a small fee though, something anyone who wants to set your foot on this monument, has to contend with.

Ms Wanjiku, who led us through the secret memorial garden through a corrugated iron door takes care of the grave and says visitors are impressed with her work. One of them even gave her a dog as a gift, which provides good company as well as security.

The tourists then descend down the hill to the monument after enjoying the magnificent view at the peak of the mountain. According to Trip Advisor Traveler reviews website, Ngong Hills has been reviewed by many who describe it as a tranquil place with beautiful landscapes, and a nice picnic spot with great points for photography.


The place is stunning and is best for hiking and provides good exercise, especially if they opt to trek to the peak. “From high up above you see the vastness of the country and its beauty. It is a place to behold; you can shout at the top of your voice and hear your echo shouting back. It is a great place to cast your troubles aside, make friends and capture special moments with your camera,” a reviewer once wrote.

Others termed the hill one of the most amazing parts in Kenya to relax and forget your worries for a while. They say there are no words adequate enough to describe the attractive scenery.

“We wanted to just go for a ride but with the assistance and encouragement from a friend, we climbed the hills on a chilly day. The view out of this world. We loved the experience and would go back again and again,” wrote another reviewer.

“Looking down into the plain is always an awesome experience,” added another.

Ngong Hills world’s most
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