Experience African Stories at Kikwata Picnic Site
It was sometime in May 2010 after a birding trip to Olergesaile Pre-Historic Site that Susan Wamucii Kungu requested us to visit a piece of land that she had bought set on the foothills of Ngong Hills. It was a wet, muddy and raining afternoon and we only spent a few minutes on the farm. Fast forward to 2015, I ran into her at Tuskys Supermarket and she urged me to visit her campsite, she handed a flier and we planned on a tentative date to visit her campsite.
On the set date, we finally arrived outside an embossed acacia tree coloured metal gate; we drove in and my eyes were drawn onto the lush green and well manicured campsite grounds.
As we drove in, Wamucii explained that she was inspired to call the picnic site Kikwata after the Acacia mellifera (Black Thorn) which is a low, branched tree with a more or less spherical crown that were commonly found in the area. The heat of the midday sun was moderated by a cool breeze from the nearby Ngong Hills.
Wamucii ushered us into her house; prepared tea and homemade scones as she shared a brief on her life and how she came to set up Kikwata Picnic Site. As she prepared the scones, she narrated the story of the Buffalo and the Rain Story. WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP for the full story.
Once the tea and scopes were ready, Wamucii picked her ‘kinondo’ sisal bag and ‘panga’ machete in preparation for the farm tour as she ushered us under a thatched roof shed. She placed the tray with our refreshments, snacks and fruits on a beautiful natural wooded tree stumps off cut table as we settled on to listen to more stories as we enjoyed the gentle breeze from Ngong Hills and the wind whistles across the lush lawns of the magnificent Kikwata Picnic Site.
Susan explained that she hosts children groups on the lush, manicured grounds as she engages them in storytelling, children games and camping. There is also a separate shade that can be used as an outdoor kitchen by groups to prepare and cook food.
Wamucii guided us on a farm tour where she engages in organic farming. We learned how to grow herbs like mint, rosemary, lemon grass and some best practices in organic farming.
Wamucii heavily uses mulch to help protect the ground from direct sunlight exposure and uses a net to protect spinach from birds. As we toured, we harvested a few passion fruits, berries, carrots and green capsicum that were not only appealing but ready to eat.
On her farm, Wamucii has also planted bananas, potatoes, pumpkins, black night shade (Managu), amaranthus (Terere), collard greens or kale (sukuma wiki), and spider plant (sagaa or saget).
As we left the farm, Wamucii demonstrated how to clean a panga that she was given by her mother-in-law to dig and aerate around plants and other vegetables in the farm.
The Kikwata Picnic Site is a five minutes walk from the Deny’s Finch Hatton grave on the slopes of the Ngong Hills, this beautiful picnic site is the ideal place to relax in an attractive rural setting. In case you are planning on camping or visiting the picnic site, you can combine with a visit to the Denys Finch Hatton Grave or a hike up the Ngong Hills. You can combine a visit to the two sites.
Susan has also published her titled ‘Life is a Gift’ that has insightful stories from her long and varied life including; growing up in the United Kingdom, her life in Kenya, marriage, life in the village, learning to speak in Kikuyu, her experience as a teacher in Kenya, music, storytelling and so much more. Make sure you buy her book and get it autograph while visiting the Kikwata Picnic Site.
Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for a visit to Kikwata Picnic Site or hike to Ngong Hills.