With its lush green trees lined on the road and huge garden compounds surrounded by mansions and beautiful apartments, Karen gives a feeling of peace and calmness. It is an isolated neighbourhood with middle to high-level income earners.
If you want to shop, get a breather at an urban coffee house, or you’re eager to explore cosy hideaways that are only privy to the locals, there are a myriad of activities in Karen to enjoy with your friends. Karen has an affluent feeling which gives it a feeling of prestige and privacy to the people who live in this neighbourhood.
Nature triggers happiness which improves emotional health and relaxation. And everyone can do with more greenery in their life. The breathtaking view of Ngong Hills is a sight to marvel. You can also rekindle your relationship with nature and kickstart a healthy habit by going for runs on the well-tarmacked roads.
Map of Karen
Karen is named after Karen Blixen, the Danish author who wrote the book Out of Africa: a book on her life in the coffee plantation in Kenya. It is a tribute to the people who touched her life in a positive way.
Karen currently sits on the land where the coffee plantation used to be. Remy Martin, a developer who bought the land in 1931 converted it to a residential area which has grown to what it is now. Beautiful houses with long driveways leading the house entrance. To this day, people visit Blixen’s house as a tourist attraction.
Karen is one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods to live in and visit. It is home to top government officials, diplomats and expatriates. With international schools, country clubs, golf courses, shopping malls and posh properties, you can never run short of something to do in Karen.
They say that you can tell the character of a neighbourhood judging from the animal droppings. In Karen, it not uncommon to see horse manure while you are casually taking a stroll. People will ride horses as a form of leisure.
An experience is more elevated when it’s shared by family and friends. We all know that things are better when there is togetherness. Karen has a mix of cultures ranging from Africans, Japanese, Germans, Americans, Europeans and many more.
Where To Study
Children are dropped in school with big cars ranging from Ferrari’s, Range Rovers, and Landcruisers. What’s even more interesting are the ones who arrive in helicopters. There are a number of prestigious schools in Karen such as Brookhouse School, International School, Light International School, Banda School, Gems Cambridge International, Nairobi Academy and Hillcrest International School.
If you have young children, you can take them to any of these primary schools: St. Hannah’s Primary School, St. Elizabeth Academy, Karen C Primary School, Serare School, Nairobi Waldorf, and La Salle Catholic Primary School.
St. Elizabeth, Serare School and St. Hannah’s High School offer good learning opportunities for teenagers.
Karen is home to many universities offering different courses: Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT), Kenya School of Law, Marist International University College, Cooperative University College, Tangaza University College and many more.
The biggest private hospital is Karen Hospital which not only provides medical services but also has a medical training college for educating health professionals.
For the Foodies
With its multicultural cuisines, you’ll get to experience Karen through your stomach with cuisines which vary in taste and budget.
Indulge in a garden dining experience in the foodie paradise that is Tamambo Karen Blixen Coffee Garden. Located at the heart of Karen, you get to enjoy your lunch or dinner from 5 different areas.
Grab a meal of Afghan cuisine at the popular Afghan House and satisfy your palate with a variety of foods ranging from dumplings, curries and baklava. Next, enjoy dessert from Art Caffe with a cup of coffee.
Parents can enjoy their time at these restaurants at the Hub without worrying about their kids being destructive – there are play areas and children caretakers who watch over them when you are eating.
Fast food doesn’t have to be bad. Subway, Big Square, KFC, Burger King will all leave you coming back for more.
Bars in Karen
The best part about travel is the people you meet along the way. Explore new ways of life and immerse yourself in foreign lands by exploring new footpaths, hands-on activities, and a multitude of sightseeing adventures.
Where to Shop
The affluent suburb can’t lack shopping malls. The Hub, Galleria and Karen Shopping Centre are all big malls with a selection of stores offering different services such as entertainment spots, fitness centres, cinemas, supermarkets and food courts.
Hotels in Karen
Located at the heart of Karen, Hemingsways Nairobi, a 5-star luxury hotel is the place to be. The hotel features stunning floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the breathtaking view of the Ngong Hills. Other hotels to consider are Karen Gables, Shade Hotel, Karen Camp Hotel, Purdy Arms, House of Two Birds, and Acacia Tree Lodge.
Take a trip down memory lane and explore Karen Blixen’s House. To truly an amazing experience, leave your houses and hotel rooms and step into the Karen world. Cycle your way through Karen to see the town in a new light thanks to the clear paths and less human traffic.
Top tourist attraction sites include the Giraffe Centre, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that keeps orphaned elephants and takes care of them before they go back to the wild. The Nairobi Enjoy a safari walk at the National Park and see different wildlife like lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and many more.
With the presence of 2 police stations: Karen and Hardy, Karen sure does feel like a safe neighbourhood to be in.