One thing that remains constant about Kilimani is the fact that it is always changing. It is home to Nairobi’s newest buildings and beautiful skyscrapers such as FCB Mihrab Towers. With buildings going higher than 5 storeys, 24-hour security services, Kilimani is the place to be.
If you have thought of moving to Kilimani or investing there, you are on the right path. There are different amenities and things to do as a family or with friends, you won’t run out of options. One minute you could be reading a book indulging your imagination on a hammock in your balcony overlooking lush green gardens. The next minute you could be having meetings with potential clients at Java Coffee House.
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Kilimani is located 2 miles, approximately 4 kilometres, away from the Central Business District.
Up until 1960, Kilimani was occupied by white people before it started getting people of different nationalities. The old houses and bungalows are coming down to give way to apartments and tall buildings. Kilimani has become more populated thanks to the rise in commercial property, retail space and residential houses. On BuyRentKenya, we see a 6% increase on demand and supply over the past year only.
Kilimani is an affluent neighbourhood with a distinctive character. It has a high degree of walkability, which helps you to enjoy the peaceful and serene environment which still taking in the nature. You can also sample a wide variety of foods from different restaurants, visit clubs at night with friends or go shopping with your family.
Kilimani attracts middle to upper-class people, young families and expatriates. People looking for short-term stay due to the nature of their jobs prefer to live in Kilimani because of the proximity to the airport, the town and social amenities. Ethiopians also reside in Kilimani and have 2 Orthodox Ethiopian churches in the neighbourhood.
From the restaurants, gyms, nature trails, nightclubs and malls, Kilimani is boosting with a number of activities to do.
Kilimani has some of the best schools in Nairobi ranging from International schools like French School, private and public schools.
If you want your child to study in a private school, Light Academy Girls Secondary School, Play Street Kindergarten, Appleton Montessori Kindergarten, Kiota School and Cavina School are some of the available options.
Public schools in Kilimani include Kilimani Primary, Milimani Primary, and Nairobi Primary Schools. Closer to the president’s house is State House Primary and State House Girls High School.
The startup scene in Nairobi is booming. If you are an entrepreneur and you don’t want to work from home, work with like-minded people in co-working spaces such as the iHub, Nailab, Axlr8, Pawa254, The Crews and The Kijiji.
To find the best medical centres for you and your family, visit The Nairobi Hospital (private) which has a with a specialist centre for cancer patients. The Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Adams Arcade and Hurlingham (private), and Menelik Hospital are also good private hospitals. These medical facilities and pharmacies are easily accessible in case of an emergency.
Where to Eat
Restaurants in Kilimani will leave you feeling like you have travelled to another country for the dining experience. Some of the best restaurants in Nairobi are located in Kilimani area. Because it is a diverse neighbourhood with people from different cultures, there are a variety of restaurants offering different foods.
If you are looking for the Kenyan experience, a not-to-miss restaurant is Mama Oliech. It has a reputation for offering the best fish in town. Mama Oliech is popular among the working class who frequent it during their lunch break. Order the whole deep-fried fish with a side of ugali and kachumbari.
Ethiopian food in Kilimani? Why not. Habesha will give you a culinary experience with its spongy injera and tasty accompaniments which you eat with your hand like the locals. Yedil restaurant is a hidden gem for Ethiopian food.
Osteria has delicious seafood, pizza, homemade pasta, gelato and other Italian delicacies.
Craving some Chinese food? Yue Hai, China Plate and For You should be at the top of your list. With the variety of chicken meals, great service and relaxing ambience, you are guaranteed to have a good time in any of these places.
Looking for Middle Eastern food, Cedars Restaurant will have you feeling guilty about eating at any other restaurant. The food is sumptuous and has the right portion sizes.
Do you wonder where the cool kids hang out in Kilimani? Look no further. Kilimani comes alive at night while you spend your time waiting to get in of a club and leave in the wee hours of the morning. Because when you are in Kilimani, it’s an experience in itself.
Kilimani has a good road network which makes it easy to access different places fast. The traffic is heavy during rush hour but eases up due to the adjacent roads.
Grab a 46 matatu from town at Kencom Stage opposite the Hilton Hotel in the CBD. Prices will vary depending on what time you board. If it is rush hour, prices will be slightly higher. When you board, be careful of your belongings because of pickpockets in the mats.
You will enjoy driving around Kilimani because it doesn’t experience heavy traffic except for the main road, Argwings Kodhek. With the number of residential homes, there are different roads to use to avoid traffic.
The convenience of having shopping malls, healthcare facilities and offices near each other makes it easy to move around using cabs. Grab a cab using any of these taxi-hailing services: Uber, Taxify, Little Cab and Mondo Ride.
Things to Do
If you are an outdoorsy person looking for fun things to do in Kilimani, check out Shifteye Studio. It has an art gallery, photography studio and space to hold events. The space is open to creatives who want to showcase their work ranging from musicians, fashionistas, creatives and people who want to hold cocktail parties.
Another great place to admire and shop for art is the Kuona Artists Collective. They support local artists looking to showcase their talent.
Or maybe you want to get in your workout; the Colosseum Fitness Centre, Ultra Fitness Centre, and the gym at Silver Spring Hotel are all places you should consider.
People enjoy running and jogging morning or evening hours thanks to the many trees in the area.
Kilimani comes alive at night but during the day, most people are visiting the malls with their families. Malls like Yaya Centre, Adlife Plaza and Prestige Plaza will cater to all your shopping needs.
Where to Get Money
Because of the high number of tourists who visit Kilimani, and people of high social status, there is no shortage of banking services. When you get caught in an emergency and want to withdraw cash, there are various banks and banking services available in Kilimani like; Family bank, Barclays Bank, KCB, NIC, Chase Bank. Sidian Bank, I&M Bank, Standard Chartered, CFC, Equity Bank. Most of these services are at the Yaya Centre Mall.
Kilimani is bursting with life because of its diverse culture. There are elegant and classy hotels around Kilimani area. You will find hotels with high-end prices and facilities like swimming pools, restaurants and spas. If you want a mid-range priced hotel, you will still be able to find some.
Some hotels to stay in include Four Points Sheraton, Royal Tulip Canaan, Silver Springs Hotel, Eastland Hotel, Swiss Lenana Mount and The Heron Portico. Other hotels are Waridi Paradise Hotel and Suites, Wuduria Hotel, The Monarch Hotel and Ngong Hills Hotel.
Most people looking for short-term People who visit Nairobi and want short-term housing will opt to live in Kilimani due to its close proximity to the CBD.
To learn more about Nairobi, read more in our Neighbourhood Guides