Nairobi is one of the best cities in Africa to live in. It has beautiful estates, numerous entertainment joints, all the amenities you need and a subtropical climate that is wonderful throughout the year. Nairobi’s food and culture are also incredible and you will have a blast experiencing the art, music, restaurants and nightlife. Making a friend in Nairobi is also pretty easy since Nairobians are very friendly. All these positives make choosing a place to live hard. Since most of the high-end estates in Nairobi offer every amenity and service you could ever wish for. And because prices in the Nairobi property market are high, you can’t afford to make the wrong decision. So, I’ve created a Top 10 Places to live in Nairobi list to help you out with your decision.
1. Karen Estate
Located 20 Kilometers south of the city this is the most expensive estate in Kenya. It is home to Kenyan political leaders including the President, Deputy President, and Leader of the opposition among others. Its location next to Ngong Forest ensures this estate has a constant supply of fresh air, and wild animals often wander into the estate. Karen also has the largest number of bird species in Nairobi (Nairobi is the city with the largest number of bird species in the world), and residents here get to be woken up by the sounds of birds chirping every morning.
The estate has numerous amenities including two malls (one containing an artificial lake), an 18-hole golf course, some of the most expensive international schools in Africa, Africa’s first Aquapark, museums, galleries, an elephant sanctuary, a giraffe sanctuary and race tracks among many other things. This is also the home of Giraffe Manor, the world’s most Instagrammed property.
As expected such a high-profile estate is extremely safe, with police officers and private security constantly patrolling the estate. This estate is populated by huge mansions sitting on large ranches with houses here costing an average of KSh200,000,000. Living in Karen, you will never miss something interesting to do, and you and your kids will never need to leave the estate to access world-class amenities. This is why it ranks at the top of my Top 10 Places to live in Nairobi.
Located along Kiambu Road, 15 Kilometers from the Nairobi CBD, this estate was built to house diplomats and employees of the United Nations. RUNDA is an abbreviation for Reserved United Nations Development Area, and it is the largest gated community and most secure Estate in East Africa.
Nairobi is one of only four cities in the world that were chosen by the UN general assembly to host the United Nations Headquarters, making this estate very important in International geopolitics. Although UN offices and most embassies are not in Runda, a lot of diplomats and Kenyan politicians live here, so there is a huge concentration of power in this small area and a lot of decisions affecting international geopolitics are made at parties in this estate. This concentration of power has in turn pulled in more powerful people such as African business leaders and politicians from across Africa.
Notable amenities in Runda include Africa’s largest mall – The Two Rivers Mall, Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club among other amenities to be expected in a billionaires’ estate. Runda is located next to Karura Forest, the largest natural forest located within a city, thus ensuring the estate has a constant supply of fresh air. Houses here cost an average of KSh150,000,000.
3. Muthaiga Estate
Muthaiga Estate, is located just 7 Kilometers from the Nairobi CBD. This is one of the oldest and most expensive estates in Nairobi. It is commonly referred to as Nairobi’s Beverly Hills. Since, it is where old money and inheritors of generational wealth and power reside. This is where President Kibaki lived and is the residence of numerous Ambassadors.
Muthaiga is one of the most accessible estates in Nairobi. From here you can easily access the Thika Superhighway, RUNDA, Westlands, Nairobi CBD, Gigiri, Lavington and the Nairobi Expressway. This makes it one of the most convenient places to live in.
Some of the notable amenities in Muthaiga are the Muthaiga Golf Club, one of the best and toughest 18-hole golf courses in Africa, Windsor Golf Club, Karura Forest and The Village Market. All other amenities you would expect in billionaires’ estates are also found here. The location of Muthaiga next to a natural forest ensures there is a constant supply of fresh air in the estate. This is why it makes it into my Top 10 Places to live in Nairobi. House prices in Muthaiga average KSh180,000,000.
4. Gigiri Estate
Known as the heart of Nairobi’s Diplomatic and International Communities this suburb plays host to UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), UN-Habitat, UNESCO and 22 other United Nations headquarters. It also plays host to over 100 embassies including the United States embassy. Nairobi is one of only four cities in the world that was selected by the UN General Assembly to host the United Nations Headquarters, and all these headquarters are located in Gigiri. This makes Gigiri one of the most important estates in international geopolitics. Due to its international importance security here is extremely tight. Some of the amenities here are a wide variety of 5-star hotels, 18-hole golf courses, modern malls, and Karura forest among many other things. Houses here cost an average of KSh150,000,000 with some being sold at KSh500,000,000.
5. Rosslyn Estate
Located in the middle of the most expensive estates in Nairobi (that is Runda, Gigiri, Kitisuru and Nyari) is Rosslyn Estate. This new development arose as a result of the need for high-end housing from the surrounding estates. There was simply too much money and not enough housing in the market. The estate is in the vicinity of the UN Complex housing all the UN headquarters and numerous embassies. Some of the estate’s amenities include the most expensive school in Africa – the International School of Kenya, Rosslyn Academy, one of the most expensive malls in Africa – The Village Market Mall, and a couple of 18-hole golf courses and hotels. The advantage of being in the middle of 4 high-end estates is Rosslyn gets to share in their amenities too. The average price of houses here is KSh180,000,000.
6. Nyari Estate
Located right next to Gigiri, this estate is popular with diplomats working in the embassies in Gigiri. It’s a secure estate with access to the estate being highly controlled by private security and the police. The estate’s proximity to Gigiri ensure it has access to all the amenities it would need. The average price of houses here is KSh250,000,000.
Located right next to Westlands, Kitisuru’s location makes it one of the most convenient estates to live in. Its proximity to businesses, malls, offices and the Nairobi CBD makes it an ideal location for people who work and do business within Nairobi. The estate’s proximity to Westlands ensures easy access to any amenities you would need, ranging from malls, schools, hospitals and entertainment joints. This estate also has some of the best roads in Nairobi. Houses here average a price of KSh 140,000,000. However, cheaper houses can be found in different zones of the estate.
Westlands is one of the richest areas in Nairobi, simply based on its GDP. If you want to start a business then Westlands is one of the best places in Africa to set it up. Other than estates Westlands plays host to hundreds of multinationals making it one of the most convenient places to live for employees. The estate arguably has the best nightlife in Africa too, with clubs and casinos dotting its streets. Westlands has everything from Luxury car dealerships such as Porsche, to huge malls and hotels. If you live in Westlands you will never need to leave the estate. Apartments here are extremely expensive with average prices being KSh100,000,000. Villas are also really pricey here if you are lucky enough to find one that’s on the market.
9. Lavington Estate
Located within Westlands, this is one of the oldest estates in Nairobi. The greenery and fresh air make it one of the most peaceful estates to live in. Monkeys and birds often roam freely within the estate. If you enjoy a peaceful environment that is close to the city’s nightlife, there is no better place than Lavington. Lavington has a lot of really good international schools making it perfect for raising a family. Houses here are however really expensive and can cost up to KSh500,000,000.
10. Kileleshwa Estate
With some of the best roads, apartments, schools and essential infrastructure in Nairobi, properties in this estate have recently experienced a rise in value. This estate is popular with middle-class millennials who are just starting to make money. The estate’s proximity to the best nightlife locations makes it popular with young people. If you are young and making money this is the best place to start your life.
This closes out my “Top 10 Places to live in Nairobi”. What is your favourite estate in Nairobi? Comment down below.