The other weekend we took a trip out to the Kitengela Hot Glass Studio out in Ongata Rongai. I had been wanting to go for a while and I had a credit for the store. So, we filled up the tank (it’s on the other side of town from us and then about 45 minutes outside of Nairobi city limits) and braced ourselves. Why brace ourselves?
It’s a rough road. Once you pass Nazarene University, the road is no longer paved. It is really bumpy. I should note that even some of the paved part are bumpy because of potholes.
I’m happy to say that it’s worth the drive, as long as you have a 4×4 with a high clearance off the ground. Don’t take a sedan. Don’t take a car that sits low. Trust me on this. I am glad we took the Tuna.
Once there, we looked around the shop. Kitengela also has shops in The Village Market, the mall at Junction, and one near The Hub in Karen. But I believe the shop at the studio is the largest. There’s a wholesale warehouse section, a regular shop area, and a clearance section.
They sell all kinds of glassware as well as furniture. If you’re not in Kenya and want to order from them, you can email them or call them to place an order. We wound up buying quite a lot while there.
I got some beads for my knitting. We also bought a set of tumblers, a pitcher, a decorative vase, a couple candle holders, and some dessert cups. We had some lovely wine goblets that we bought from them before. All this was to add to our Kitengela collection.
One of the great things about their items—other than the fact that they are well made and beautiful—is that you can feel good about them. Everything is made from recycled glass. In fact, their motto is: Everything Unique – Nothing Wasted. They hire local artisans. And they give back to the local and wider community.
After our shopping, we sent over to the studio to watch them create their magic.
Here’s a bit of video as well:
Afterwards, we had a late lunch in their cafe.
All in all, it was a fun adventure and a great way to spend a Sunday.