Kenya’s state-owned electricity generator, Geothermal Development Company (GDC), has unveiled plans to build a health spa at its Menengai geothermal fields.

Kenya is on its way to becoming a primary spa destination thanks to the development of new geothermal facilities. According to information from the Kenya News Agency, the country’s electricity company GDC has launched bidding for a feasibility study on a swimming pool and a spa complex to be developed at its Menengai geothermal fields. Bidding is open to investing firms until August 18, 2022.

In a conversation with the Kenya News Agency, GDC’s drilling and infrastructure general manager Paul Ngugi explained how the natural spa would be modelled on Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Health Spa. Its close proximity to well-known attractions such as Lake Nakuru National Park, Menengai Crater and Hyrax Hill Prehistoric site could turn it into a hit for tourists.

Upon completion, Menengai geothermal spa would be the second of its kind in Kenya. The spa at the Naivasha Olkaria steam fields, run by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is already operational. The latter is also the biggest natural spa in Africa with the capacity to host 500 people at once.

Naivasha Olkaria is home to the country’s first geothermal spa (Photo: KAMAU DANIEL MWAURA, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Blue Lagoon is something we are looking to replicate at Menengai,” Ngugi explained to the news agency. “One of GDC’s mandates is to promote alternative or “direct” uses of geothermal energy. We envision geothermal-heated pools and spas here for leisure, recreation, wellness, and eco-tourism. The project will also add a revenue stream to our geothermal sites.”

The Menengai geothermal spa is projected to consist of several interconnected lagoons, a sauna and a steam bath. The facility is also expected to host a geological and geothermal documentation centre.

In recent years, Kenya has experienced a surge in spa facilities. They are turning into a common feature in many hotels and resorts offering a wide range of treatments including basic massage, body wraps, scrubs, and specialised treatments including Ayurveda, a form of holistic medicine.

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