Runda, an elite neighbourhood in Nairobi, bordering Limuru Road to the West and East of Kiambu Road is home to Nairobi’s affluent society. Diplomats and ambassadors choose to stay in Runda due to the close proximity of the office. The neighbourhood houses top government officials, politicians, and the local community.
Another close by neighbourhood is Gigiri, separated from Nairobi by Karura Forest and woody hills. Both places are highly secure to live in because of the high diplomats in the area. Over the years, different phases have been constructed in Runda which include Evergreen, Runda Mimosa, Old and New Runda.
During the Mid 90’s, Gigiri was a normal estate with scattered houses and bare land. Even though still an upmarket area, the transformation began when the United Nations decided to build its headquarters in 1996. The American Embassy also decided to relocate its offices from the CBD to Gigiri after the bomb blast attack. Today, Gigiri is known as the Blue Diplomatic Zone thanks to all the diplomats and high-level officials that reside there.
The properties in this neighbourhood are to die for. Visit the area and you will see lavish mansions and villas with beautiful gardens and long driveways. It also has gorgeous townhouses, high-end bungalows, and guesthouses. Although rare to find major apartments in the area, there are cottages and hotels such as the Tribe
The neighbourhood keeps growing thanks to the close proximity to local amenities such as shopping malls, hospitals, religious centres, schools, and the Central Business District.
You will enjoy driving around this neighbourhood thanks to the well-tarmacked road network in Runda, Gigiri, and Muthaiga. The footpaths are great for taking an evening stroll to enjoy some fresh air. Did we forget to mention how green the area is because of the leafy streets? Perfect for a jog.
Typical rent prices for houses range from Ksh 200,000 onwards depending on what size you are looking for.
The area is popularly known to house diplomats and humanitarian workers whose offices are in this neighbourhood. Most people who reside in this neighbourhoods own most of the houses they live in, apart from the expatriates who rent property in Runda based on their work contracts.
Good neighbourhoods rarely lack good schools. Gigiri and Runda have some upmarket schools which include Rosslyn Academy, Potterhouse School, Brookhouse School, German School, International School of Kenya, St Marys Girls School, Cheleta Primary School, SABIS International School, and Gigiri Montessori House.
Embassies and Consulates
Gigiri has quickly risen to not only be a residential area but also a commercial hub buzzing with lots of activities to cater to the workers in the area Some of the embassies in Gigiri include the Embassy of Qatar, Brazilian Embassy, Swedish Embassy, Malaysian Consulate, Romanian Embassy, Serbia and Montenegro, and the American Embassy. The presence of all these embassies plays a key role in how safe and secure Gigiri is.
There are not many big hospitals in Runda or Gigiri. However, there is the Nairobi Hospital located at the Warwick Centre which offers different services ranging from pharmaceutical, radiology, diagnostics and many more. You can also find other pharmacies in the Village Market Shopping Center.
There is nothing like enjoying a meal with friends and family. What better way to do it than to check out some of the restaurants in Runda/Gigiri area.
Transport yourself to Italy by visiting this restaurant. The restaurant is in a beautiful secluded garden tucked away in Gigiri. Looking to enjoy a sumptuous Italian meal, visit Mediterraneo.
After a nice jog, you’ll need to gain back your energy. Exotic birds, lily pond, all day brunch, and weekly specials are just but a few of the things you will enjoy at the River Cafe in Karura Forest.
With the many companies located in the UN, this is the perfect place to have a business meeting while sipping on the brewed coffee and tasty meals Java House provides. You’ll find one in Gigiri and another one in Rosslyn Riviera.
Habesha has won the hearts of many with its authentic Ethiopian cuisine. When you are at the restaurant, it feels like home thanks to Habesha’s homely atmosphere.
Everyone knows big square has some finger-licking BBQ ribs. Located at the Kenol petrol station at Gigiri right before you get to the UN Avenue, visit Big Square to eat, relax and even work.
There is no better cuisine that brings out the flavour in food like Pan Asian food. Pan Asian Yao prepares meals that will leave you asking for more with the burst of flavours in your taste buds.
Serving Korean, Thai and Japanese foods, visit this restaurant for a variety of vegetable, fish, chicken, and mutton curries. Sample their malai, chicken tikka, seekh kebab and fish tikka salads.
This is a perfect spot for a romantic dinner with your partner. Hidden in the leafy Runda suburb, enjoy mouth-watering gourmet meals as you enjoy sundowner cocktails.
Along Limuru Road is Village Market which has a beautiful architectural design. It has cascading waterfalls, over 100 retail stores, and open-air restaurants right in the middle. With a bowling alley, swimming pool, water slides, art galleries, jewellery shops, grocery stores, fast food areas, and a mini-golf course, you won’t run out of things to do. It is one of the major shopping malls with a 5-star hotel in it known as the Tribe.
Warwick Center is a commercial and residential complex located opposite the United Nations Headquarters in Gigiri adjacent to the US Embassy. It has a travel agent, a beauty clinic, forex bureau, banks, restaurants, and a pharmacy.
Most people that live in Runda own cars. However, those that don’t can get public transportation from Khoja bus station in the CBD. Matatu no.s 11B, 106 and 107 will pass through Limuru Road while no. 100 will pass through Kiambu Road. Taxi from Gigiri to the CBD costs around Kshs 600.
There are no specific matatus to take you to Runda estate, therefore you will need to catch a motorbike or arrange for private means.
Things to Do
The Muthaiga Golf Club and Muthaiga Country Club, both private member clubs, provide social platforms for the residents in this area.
The Tribe Hotel inside the Village market has made Gigiri a safe haven for tourists who frequently visit to discover the many fascinating places in Kenya.
The forest is a good spot to hang with friends and enjoy the calmness and serenity. You can also go for a walk or jog to enjoy the green leafy atmosphere.