Hidden away in a secluded and sylvan setting in the quiet but fashionable Nairobi suburb of Karen, Ndege House is one of the most original and lovely private houses in the area.  It consists of a charming and interconnected series of cottages, courtyards, rondavels and verandas, all crowned with steeply pitched thatched roofs which bring to mind a small African village or homestead.

Paintings, good books, elegant decorations and greenery abound throughout – all put together by the house’s erudite and well-travelled owners.  Soaring ceilings, pale walls and wooden floors – together with touches of Zen – give the house a light and airy feeling, and the atmosphere of the whole property is civilised, tranquil and unstuffy.

The 1-bedroom Guest Cottage contains a spacious high-ceilinged bedroom with double bed, chaise longue and desk.  A separate mezzanine sleeping area above the ensuite bathroom (with roll-top bath and shower) contains a single bed – ideal for older children (or snoring spouses).  All the bedrooms have standing fans and mosquito nets.

The 2-bedroom Guest Wing contains two large double bedrooms – each with a fireplace and an additional raised sleeping platform with another single bed – again ideal for older children.  There is a sitting room with sofas and fireplace, kettle and fridge, and a separate and spacious bathroom with two walk-in showers and roll-top bath.

Guests are very welcome to make use of the communal areas of the owners’ house and gardens which adjoin the guest accommodation – and to relax in the huge and airy drawing room or on the comfortable and shady veranda.

Meals can be taken in the galleried dining area or at one of several outdoor tables around the gardens and courtyards.  While accommodation is generally on a bed and breakfast basis, the owners and staff are happy to organise additional meals as required.  Full board accommodation is also available – and beauty treatments and massages can be arranged.

Guests also have the run of the large wooded grounds which surround Ndege House and the various other guest cottages on the property.   A large swimming pool is also available for visitors’ use – along with sun loungers and terraces.

Ndege House sits in the heart of Karen with all the area’s cultural, retail, culinary and wildlife attractions close at hand.  The Karen Blixen House museum is nearby – as is Karen Country Club & Golf Course and the AFEW Giraffe Sanctuary, with the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Nairobi National Park just a short drive away.  Recommended places to eat such as The Talisman Restaurant and Hemingway’s Hotel are nearby – as are several boutique shopping centres and galleries.

Travel times to Wilson Airport are around 30 minutes and to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport around 50 minutes (traffic permitting) – with roads and communications improving all the time.

Summary

  • A charming private homestay in the heart of Karen
  • Close to the area’s cultural, retail, culinary and wildlife attractions
  • Large swimming pool and extensive grounds
  • Sleeps up to 8 in guest cottage and guest wing
  • From Ksh 15,000 per double room per night

Detailed Information

Accommodation and Facilities

  • Full board accommodation available
  • Massage and Beauty Treatments available
  • Yoga lessons available
  • Wifi Internet

Inside

  • Guest Cottage – sleeps 2+
  • Guest Wing – sleeps 4+
  • Courtyard garden with fountain
  • Shared living and dining areas and veranda

Outside

  • Leafy gardens
  • 5-acre plot
  • Swimming pool
  • Sun loungers
  • Outside dining areas

Nearby Attractions

  • Dining and shopping in Karen
  • Karen Blixen House Museum
  • Karen Country Club and Golf Course
  • AFEW Giraffe Centre
  • Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
  • Nairobi National Park

Location

Ngong Hills at Dusk - Karen

Ngong Hills at Dusk

The leafy and affluent suburb of Karen sits to the South West of Nairobi towards the foot of the Ngong Hills.  Karen still remains largely unspoilt by over-development or traffic jams and is an attractive and peaceful place to stay away from the city centre – which is easily accessed via ever-improving ring roads and bypasses.

Karen’s most famous resident is probably Karen Blixen, whose 6000-acre farm estate and coffee plantation covered much of the area, and whose Kenyan life is immortalised in the book and film Out of Africa.  Karen Blixen lived in Bogani House  on Karen Road between 1917 and 1931 – now owned by the National Museums of Kenya, it remains very much as it was during early colonial times and is open to visitors daily.

Karen Blixen House Museum - Karen

Karen Blixen House Museum

Ndege Road was originally a landing-strip for Denys Finch-Hatton, Karen Blixen’s lover. The nearby Karen Blixen Coffee Garden houses Swedo House, the original farm manager’s house from 1906, as well as the historic Grogan Macmillan House moved from downtown Nairobi in 2008 to save it from destruction.

AFEW Giraffe Centre - Karen

AFEW Giraffe Centre

The area’s wildlife and conservation attractions include the AFEW Giraffe Centre where feeding the several  resident Rothschild’s giraffes is a must.  The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant orphanage is situated just inside Nairobi National Park.  Watching the baby elephants receive their 11am feed is always very popular, and anyone who ‘adopts’ a baby elephant can also visit in the late afternoon to watch the orphans being given their supper and put to bed.

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage - Nairobi National Park

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Nairobi National Park covers an area of 117.21 square kilometres (28,963 acres) and is easily accessed from Karen via Magadi Road or Langata Road.   The park hosts a wide and diverse wildlife population – it is common to see Rhinoceros, Lion, and Buffalo as well as large numbers of plains game, and the park is home to up to 500 species of permanent and migratory birds.  One can also visit the Animal Orphanage and Safari Walk – both situated at the park’s main gate.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

There are numerous retail and culinary attractions in Karen – major shopping centres include Karen Crossroads, Galleria and a huge new mall The Hub on Dagoretti Road.  Boutique shopping centres for arts, crafts, clothes and souvenirs include Langata Link on Langata South Road, The Souk on Dagoretti Road and The Purdy Arms and Marula Studio on Marula lane – all of which also house nice places to eat and drink.  Favourite restaurants and bars in central Karen include The Talisman and J’s Fresh Bar on Ngong Road and Haru Sushi Bar on Karen Road.

Talisman Restaurant - Karen

Talisman Restaurant

How to get there

Ndege House is situated just off Ndege Road in the heart of Karen, close to Karen Country Club.  Access from Nairobi City Centre is via Ngong Road or Langata Road, and from the city’s two airports via Langata Road.

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Rates

From Ksh 15,000 per night per double room on a bed & breakfast basis.

Please contact us for full information on accommodation rates, including full-board options.