Attractions in Nairobi County
25. Karen Country Club
The first nine holes at the Karen Country Club were laid out in 1933 and after ten years, in 1943, the second nine holes were designed, on parts of the former Karen Blixen coffee estate. “In those early days, golfers shared the course with baboons, zebra, eland and every so often lions would roam the golf course and interrupt both play and maintenance”. With the exception of the occasional lengthening of the golf course, not much has changed in the course layout at Karen. The original clubhouse was constructed in 1937 and in early 1977 a fire burnt down the building. A new clubhouse was built and ready for use in 1979. The Kenya Open was first held at Karen in 1968. At that time, M. Bambridge was the professional winner and Karen member David Farrar was the winner of the amateur silver salver. Karen Club hosted the Kenya Open again from 2004 to 2008, 2013 to 2016, and 2019. The entire course is impeccable, with a four-way mix of bent grass varieties, which is dark green in colour. It is, perhaps, the closing Hole 18 – 559 yards that get a hats-off: a challenging par-5 with a water hazard about 140 yards short of the pitching green. It is located off Karen Road.
26. Marula Studio
650 ms northwest of Karen Country Club, via Karen Road and Marula Lane, sits the fascinating Marula Studio. “Ocean Sole is an incredible Kenyan organisation that recycles flip-flops found on the beaches and in the waterways of Kenya and turns them into incredible works of art” displayed and sold at its Marula Studio. Since 2005, the company set out to turn flip-flop scraps to craft and functional products and promote cleaner healthier oceans. It is located along Marula Lane.
27. Purdy Arms Karen
850 ms past Marula Studio on Marula Lane sits Purdy Arms Karen, a popular family-oriented hangout. Centered on a 1950’s colonial-style refurbished house set on 22-acres, it offers a very attractive setting interspersed with large mature trees, open grounds, and vivifying outdoor activities for all ages. Activity here revolves around Podo Restaurant and the Bar and Terrace – one of the popular watering-hole in Karen. Likewise, they have gone an extra mile to reinvent the outdoors by bringing together soft adventure, as well as, numerous adrenaline-rushing sports to include two archery ranges, a box target range for beginners, and a ranky outdoor climbing tower. It is open daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
28. Nairobi Mamba Village
The approach to the city centre from Karen Shopping Centre can be made from many different routes, and the two most common ways are via Ngong Road or Langata Road, both heading east. Along the latter, passing Karen Hospital and Hillcrest International School, and just before Steadmark Gardens, one would be interested in making a left turn into Langata North Road to visit the Nairobi Mamba Village, home to more than 70 colossal Nile crocodiles. This is a great place to enjoy boat rides, view crocodiles, feed ostriches, and joy-ride camels or horses. It has two spacious restaurants to enjoy a tasty meal and refreshments.
29. Ngong Forest Sanctuary
The 1,224-hectares Ngong Forest Sanctuary, widely popular as the Ngong Road Forest, is administered by the Kenya Forest Service and the Ngong Road Forest Association as a community forest formed under the Forest Act of 2005. It is divided by Ngong Road into two main segments – the Miotoni Section to the northwest, and Ngong Racecourse and Kibera Section to the southeast. These two sections are in turn divided by the Southern Bypass. Ngong Forest has a range of recreational activities that include walking in the woodland concerts, touring its sacred trees, groves and shrines, monkey watching, and exploring the Miotoni Dams that have potential to be upgraded for sport fishing. Aiming to emulate the successful model of Karura Forest, the Forest – divided into five zones by the roads crossing the forest – is fast developing to cater to a whole range of recreational activities. It takes on average 2 hour on a casual pace to explore the forest. A guide can be organized. The main entrance to the forest is located nearby the Nairobi War Cemetery, and just 400 meters off Ngong Road.
30. Nairobi War Cemetery
Adjacent the entrance to Ngong Race Course and within the precincts of Ngong Forest Sanctuary, this is the largest war memorial in Kenya, containing 1,952 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 11 of which are unidentified. There are also 76 non-war burials and one French grave. Within the cemetery is the East African Memorial commemorating men of the land forces who lost their lives in the advance from the south into Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia and during the occupation of those territories, and who have no known grave. Along with them are honoured those who died during operations in Madagascar in 1942 and who have no known grave. Besides those who died in these efforts, many men who were lost in the sinking of the troopship ‘Khedive Ismail’ en route to Ceylon on 12 February 1944 are commemorated here; they include a great part of the 301st Field Regiment, East African Artillery. The cemetery also contains Nairobi Memorial commemorating 477 men of the United Kingdom, South African, and East African Forces who died in the non-operational zones of Kenya whilst in training, or on lines of communication or garrison duty, and whose graves could not be located or are so situated as to be unmaintainable. Besides the original burials, numerous graves were transferred to this cemetery from African civil cemeteries and temporary army burial grounds at Garissa, Gelib, Kinangop, Marsabit, Mega and other inaccessible places. During WW2, Nairobi was the center of the East African Force and the base for the conquest of Jubaland and Italian Somaliland, the liberation of British Somaliland and the sweep north-westwards to open Addis Ababa for the return of the Emperor. It was also a hospital centre; No.87 British General Hospital arrived in June 1943 and was still there in December 1945, while No.150 British General Hospital was there for a period in 1943. The war cemetery was opened in 1941 by the military authorities. Nairobi Cemetery is open daily, between 06:00 and 18:00.