All You Need To Know Before Visiting Kitengela Hot Glass

Here is everything you need to know before visiting Kitengela Hot Glass. It is one of the few places in the world that make glass items from recycled glass. Kitengela Hot Glass is not located in Kitengela, but rather in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County. You will not get to Rongai town but you take a left turn at Maasai Lodge Road. From there you take the turn to Africa Nazarene University and drive past it. From that point, you will notice the signs leading to Kitengela Hot Glass.

To begin, there is Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass and Nani Kitengela Glass. Kitengela Glass was founded in 1981 by Nani Croze, and Kitengela Hot Glass is owned by her son, Anselm Croze. Anselm and Nani Croze own Kitengela Hot Glass and Kitengela Glass, respectively.

Kitengela Hot Glass Location

The journey begins in Nairobi CBD, with the first destination being Ongata Rongai, which is directly opposite Maasai Mall on the road leading to Nazarene University. If you’re taking a private vehicle, Google Maps is all you need. If you are taking public transport, you can hire a taxi or take a Boda Boda once you arrive. The road is quite bumpy and most of it is not tarmacked; it’s a dusty arid drive. You get to see amazing views of the city and, if you’re lucky, some of the animals roaming around Nairobi National Park.

Here is a quick review of what Kitengela Hot Glass has to offer;

1. Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass

From the moment you get into Anslem Kitengela Hot Glass, art welcomes you. Art of different shapes and sizes made out of a variety of recycled raw materials like glass, plastic bottles, bottle tops, metal cans, clay and more. The bright glass pieces dangling from the trees draw your attention to the whimsical Café. The paths are lined with lovely glass furniture, and the flowerbeds are dotted with glass sculptures and pieces. Metal butterflies adorn the walls, creating an almost fairy-like atmosphere. They have art pieces all over the place, which is a visual feast.

a) The Studio

The Studio is dome-shaped. It is bustling with glass artisans. The Studio is divided into two sections, one of which is primarily dedicated to the production of gin bottles for Procera Gin, a Kenyan craft gin brand. The other section is devoted to the creation of vases and other products. You will be guided through the fascinating process of making a vase out of recycled glass. The studio receives scrap glass bottles and windows, which are selected and broken down further into smaller pieces. Clear glass is preferred because it is easier to colour when molten. The broken glass is then melted in furnaces that heat up to 1230 degrees Celsius.

Several furnaces are housed in the studio, some of which run on gas and others on electricity. Once the glass is molten, it is dragged out on a rod and breathed new life into the old. The artisans continue to blow the glass until it reaches the desired size and shape. The glass is then coloured and returned to the furnace. It is then removed, blown, and flattened if necessary. Once the glass has taken shape and is finished, it is allowed to cool for 23 hours in a cooling oven set to 520 degrees Celsius.

The glass-making process is deeply satisfying, and the amount of effort that goes into it will astound you. Artists are very proud of their work. They’re talented and inventive. A lot of time and effort went into mastering the skill. An artisan can become highly skilled in their craft after three to four years of training. Kitengela Hot Glass makes all of its pieces by hand, making each one unique. Aside from that, glass made from recycled glass is more durable than regular glass.

For a fee, visitors can also participate in guided activities such as glass blowing and making glass objects from start to finish. The objects you create as a result of these experiences are then delivered to their shops in the Junction Mall or Village Market the following day for collection.

b) Gallery

This is where the finished glass pieces are sold. Glasses, tumblers, chandeliers, bowls, mugs, jugs, wine stops, key chains, bottles, drink dispensers, and other accessories are available in the store. The one-of-a-kind glass items can be purchased from the on-site store, their stores in the Village Market Mall and the Junction Mall, or online through their website. The various colours of the items blend perfectly in the light and airy store. The shop is well-curated, and it also sells glass from other countries, such as Swaziland (which is made from recycled Coke bottles). The items from Austria and the Czech Republic, on the other hand, are not made of recycled glass. They also make furniture, and the on-site restaurant serves food and beverages in bowls and glasses made in the studio.

Kitengela Hot Glass Opening Hours
  • Tuesday – Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Sunday and Monday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

Note: The studio and the Café are open until 4:30 pm. Please keep in mind that they are closed on the 24th, 25th, 26th, and 1st of January every year, and the studio artisans are on annual leave from the 19th to the 10th of January every year.

Kitengela Hot Glass Charges
  • Touring the studio and watching the demos is free, however, you can partake in the glass-making process.
  • Blowing bubbles (on request) cost Ksh 500 (3 minutes standing up to blow a giant bubble)
  • Touching fire (one hour’s notice) costs Ksh 2,500 (15 minutes at a bench, shaping a paperweight)
  • Blown to life (two hours notice) costs Ksh 5,000 (30 minutes, making a glass from start to finish, or 2 smaller objects)
  • Catching light (two hours’ notice) costs Ksh 10,000 (60 minutes, 2 to 4 objects. Can be shared with up to three other people)

2. Kitengela Glass

Kitengela Glass, the compound next door, is run by Nani Croze, Anselm’s mother. Kitengela Glass creates sculptures, mosaic art, and pottery. In most cases, they work with stained glass. When you walk into Nani’s, you will notice sculptures all over the place, mosaics on the walls and steps, and wind chimes dangling from the ceiling. You can tour the premises at Nani’s for a fee, and they also offer other activities such as;

a) Swimming

Kitengela Glass has got a sizeable swimming pool accessible between 8.00 am to 5.00 pm at a cost of Kshs 500 per person for two hours and Kshs 250 for children under the age of 16. (Please note that children under 5 years are not allowed in the pool).

b) Pottery

If you are a fan of clay products, you will enjoy the pottery section. The potter demonstrates how to arrive at the different stages of clay, and you also get to inspect the finished products that can be purchased. Pottery costs Kshs 1,000 per person, per hour.

c) Sauna

Adjacent to the pool, is a sauna. It costs Kshs 1,500 to use the sauna. It however takes some hours for the sauna to be prepared for use. Thus you are advised to book in advance for the same to be readied for you.

d) Animal Farm

Kitengela Glass charges Kshs 500 per person for non-professional horseback riding. The cost of a camel ride is Kshs 300 per person. Donkey rides are also available for a fee of Kshs 300 per person. Aside from the animals mentioned above, you may see cows and chickens during your visit to Kitengela Glass. The tortoises are kept near the gallery. The tortoises are most active during feeding time.

e) Kitengela Hot Glass Scary Bridge

Photo Credits: Malis travel diaries & Jemima Simiyu

The Kitengela Hot Glass Swaying Bridge is suspended over a river and connects Kitengela Glass to Maasai Lodge. It’s long and narrow, and the best part is that it swings with every step. If you are afraid of heights, this may not be for you because it is only 100 meters above a deep river valley. Not only that, but your movement along the bridge combined with the wind will cause the bridge to sway sideways, adding to the thrill. The bridge can only accommodate seven people at a time, and you are accompanied by a guide. We would not recommend it for children due to the lack of side coverage.

The Kitengela Glass Bridge entrance fee is Ksh 300 for both adults and children.

Visitors can also pay a fee to enter the gardens. They also have quaint, quirky cottages on-site where you can spend the night, as well as an artsy treehouse they designed in Watamu.

Other Kitengela Glass Charges include;

  • Tour of the premises and access to the galleries costs Kshs 200
  • Picnic by the pool costs Kshs 500 per person for two hours (You bring a picnic and enjoy it by the pool)
  • Mosaic, Dalle de Verre, Stained Glass and Glass Fusing cost Kshs 2,000 per person (per hour) 
  • Bead Making costs Kshs 2,500 per person (per hour)

Kitengela Glass Opening Hours

  • Monday to Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Kitengela Hot Glass Contacts

SMS, WhatsApp or call the main studio line: +254 (0)11 0001499


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