The SpaceWe live in a two-bedroom ground floor flat in a "resort"-like apartment complex with a swimming pool, 24-hour security, and management-provided wifi in Kilimani, Nairobi. The management-provided wifi internet gets erratic at times. Good news is we've managed to boost the wifi signal in our apartment via an extender and (drum roll) the guest bedroom now has wifi too! (Thanks to our wonderful guest Josh who set it up).
Our place is ideal for those travelling from outside the continent here on business, as student interns, or as tourists. In our previous flat, we often welcomed INGO and humanitarian staff working elsewhere in Africa who travelled to Nairobi either on R&R or meetings and wanted to stay in a more home-like and affordable place.
Our current guest bedroom is spacious with a comfortable king-sized bed made even more comfortable by an orthopedic mattress, a huge duvet to snuggle in, and as many pillows as you want. :-)
Since it's king-sized, it fits a couple or a single guest very comfortably..
The bedroom faces north so, unless it's cloudy, it is blessed with lovely natural light during the day. There is a bedside table with drawers and a lamp. Across the room is a basic writing table and chair. The closet can be locked and you can use as many hangers as you want.
As with most flats in Nairobi, there are no screens on the windows so we encourage you to draw your curtains and close your bedroom door after 5 p.m. to discourage mosquitos from coming in. We do have a plug-in electric mosquito repeller should some mozzies manage to sneak their way into your room.
The bathroom is shared and we will provide you with towels, shampoo, and soap. There is also a toilet by the front hall.
We like to hang out in our living room (since the internet connection is strongest there) and you are perfectly welcome to join us should you feel some company. We don't have a TV/cable since we normally get all we need online. We also like to read and we have plenty of books, mostly fiction, that you may borrow during your stay with us. We also have an extensive movie and TV series selection! :-)
You will also enjoy using our kitchen - we have a 5-burner stove, sandwich griller, and all manner of kitchen accoutrements should you wish to cook. And cooking will be convenient - fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables can be had from the newly-opened Adlife Plaza a mere 4-minute walk away, Yaya Centre a mere six-minute walk away or Prestige Plaza a fifteen-minute walk tops.
The compound has a generator so power outages (very common in Nairobi) are hopefully brief. The compound also has its own borehole and the soft water is one of the best quality we've had in Nairobi. There is also a pool.
And oh, we became the humans of three (I know...) very lively (and impossibly cute) rescue kitties... SassCat the Calico Girl, Stoney Tangawizi the Ginger Boy, and Sena the Ebony Girl. They don't have access to the guest bedroom and we intend to keep it that way. Since these inquisitive cats know they are banned from the guest bedroom, they may try to sneak in. So if you don't want any feline bedroom inspectors, kindly keep the hall door leading to the bedrooms closed at all times. Guest AccessWe hope to make you comfortable and to feel at home. We try to make sure everything is in order for you.
Fiber optic wifi internet provided by the apartment complex service provider is available and accessible in most parts of the whole compound - you can sit by the pool with your laptop, if you wish. As of July 2015, there is now wifi signal in the guest bedroom, thanks to our wifi extender. (You may sometimes need to connect your laptop first in the living room and then the signal remains stable even when you've moved back to your room.)
Though our compound wifi is pretty reliable, there are times when it's slow or down, especially when the current service provider is upgrading/tweaking their service. (TIA! This is Africa!)
Sometimes, during power outages, there's a delay before the generator and wifi kicks in again. Should there be totally no power and internet (it happens when power company guys work on a nearby transmission line), there are several nearby restaurants with generators and good wifi connection you can go to should you really need to work online during the outage.
Alternatively, we can also lend you a broadband modem stick which you can top up and use anywhere.
Our bedroom, of course, is off-limits.. Interaction with GuestsWe both work (office and at home) and workdays can be a bit rushed but generally, evenings afford some relaxation and catching up. We're pretty laidback people and are always up for a good chat, or a quiet drink or even the occasional movie marathons at home. Wild party animals we're definitely not. :-) The NeighborhoodWe are so conveniently located in Kilimani! Adlife Plaza, Yaya Centre and Nakumatt Prestige Plaza are just 350, 500, and 900 meters away, respectively. The Greenhouse and Adam's Arcade are a couple of minutes further away. The iHub is approximately 1.1 kilometers away.
There are many restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood - from upscale to hole-in-the-wall - all within walking distance. You have a choice of Kenyan, Ethiopian, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American, Brazilian, Somali etc cuisines although some of the stand-alone restaurants may be closed on Sundays. But there's always a place in which to eat at Adlife Plaza, Yaya Centre or Prestige Plaza. If you want to go further afield, there's Lavington Green, The Junction, or even Westgate.
Chemists/drugstores/pharmacies, hair salons, bookshops, toy shops, sporting goods, an Apple Store, hardware, banks and ATMs, money exchange, courier and travel agencies, wines and spirits, greengrocers, butcheries, grocery and supermarkets, music learning centre, hospitals and clinics, (yup!), fitness centres, cybercafes, churches and mosques, and even the secondhand clothes/toys/household goods place that is Toi Market are within easy walking distance. Seriously! :-)
The Maasai Market selling all manner of curios, blankets, beads, baskets, ethnic jewelry, figurines, is on every Saturdays at Prestige Plaza and Sundays at Yaya Centre and that's always interesting for some souvenir hunting. Bargain well.
While Kilimani is said to be an upscale part of Nairobi, there is still a lack of good sidewalks (which can be muddy when it rains and dusty when it's sunny) much like in other parts of Nairobi. Drivers can also be a bit impatient so walk carefully. Getting AroundPublic transport is 500 meters away at Argwings Kodhek Road beside Yaya Centre while Ngong Road is 900 meters away beside Prestige Plaza. Buses and vans will take you downtown within 20 to 30 minutes where other buses and vans can take you elsewhere.
Downtown Nairobi is 5.8 kilometers away (let's use the Hilton Hotel as a landmark...) We are definitely very conveniently located.
And for those who want a less colorful commute, we have many taxi driver friends whom we have known for many many years. They will give you very competitive rates for trips around town or for safaris upcountry like Hell's Gate National Park, Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementaita, Lake Nakuru National Park, the Masai Mara, Lakes Baringo and Bogoria, Mt Kenya National Park and so on.
And of course, Uber taxis are just a phone call away too. Other Things to NoteWe would advise you to complete all your profile verifications, especially your passport, before making inquiries with us and other airbnb hosts. :-) You get extra points in our estimation for that.
What else. Our compound is a family-friendly neighborhood.
We have a nice and honest cleaning lady who comes twice or thrice a week to clean, do the laundry, and ironing. We will gladly do your laundry/ironing too for an additional fee.
Nairobi being Nairobi, there has been a recent spate of robberies, (Nairobbery, as the joke goes), violence, etc. The usual precaution needed in any big city in the world plus more (this is Nairobi after all) is advised, e.g., don't flash your money or electronics, don't ever walk alone after sundown, be aware of your surroundings in crowded places, resist the ubiquitous ladies of the night and the sweet-talking streetwise hustlers, keep a clear head and you will be fine and have a great time. :-) Welcome to Nairobi!