KenGen announced the reopening of the Olkaria Geothermal earlier this week.
The Spa had temporarily been closed at the height of COVID-19 restrictions but is now open for business. It was opened after a thorough assessment by Ministry of Health and Nakuru County Government Health Officials who gave the facility a clean bill of health to resume operations under strict compliance with the COVID-19 preventive measures.
“I encourage members of the public visiting our Geothermal Spa to observe all COVID-19 protocols as you enjoy this natural resource that is unique not only in Kenya but in the entire African continent,” said KenGen Managing Director and CEO Mrs. Rebecca Miano.
Located near the famous Hell’s Gate National Park, this facility with a tempting ambience is an irresistible getaway. Its exotic aura and sparkling blue waters are a welcome serene away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, Nairobi.
KenGen’s Peketsa Mangi, one of the brains behind the Spa cannot hide his excitement when he is asked about the geothermal leisure center or direct use and demonstration center as it is popularly known in Olkaria, Naivasha where it is situated. “This is the first of its kind in Africa. The only other one I know of, is in Iceland,” he offers.
A brainchild of KenGen, this facility was born out of the need to explore other uses of geothermal energy. Basically, once steam has been used for electricity generation, the by-product is channeled to a series of cascading blue lagoons created from the geothermal brine to form a natural spa where the water is put to good use.
According to Mangi, other than the obvious aesthetic addition, the leisure center adds value to Hell’s Gate National Park by providing tourists with additional relaxation activities to engage in. “The Park will not just be about game drives anymore,” he renders adding, “it now also provides other exciting and environment friendly activities for tourists.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the center attracted hundreds of visitors each week. During occasions like Easter Holidays, close to 800 visitors would throng the site.
The decision to set up the leisure center was informed by the fact that KenGen’s geothermal power plants are in a national park which attracts tourists. Also its close proximity to Nairobi makes it an alternative attraction to other tourist destinations like the Mara, Serengeti, and even Mombasa. One can easily access the Spa from Nairobi and those who wish to can travel back the same day, but why would you?
The facility also has a demonstration room with an excellent facility for conferences and workshops. Staff and visitors can enjoy a fully-fledged conference center, two demonstration rooms, a hall, sheds and tents along the swimming pool.
Moving forward KenGen intends to diversify and explore other direct uses of geothermal resources including greenhouse heating, fish farming, and industrial extraction of minerals among others.
Via Frank David, Chief Communications Officer at Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen)
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