There are some very lavish and affluent neighborhoods where people live vastly different lives from the rest of Nairobi. In these neighborhoods rent is high and most of the dwellings on offer are luxurious units or houses. The amenities offered in such neighborhoods are also quite a far cry from the mere water and power in Zimmerman. These are the neighborhoods where most aspire to. If you look at one house in one of these hoods you are a risk of falling down a rabbit hoe of fantasy.
The cost of living is also quite hefty in these areas. Due to market segmentation even standardized products go for a higher price. A good example is a bar of chocolate that goes for less than one hundred shillings at Naivas Moi Avenue. The same bar will cost almost double at Village Market. You might have to go through property managers or real estate companies to get a vacant unit in one of these neighborhoods. As a testament to the class of people living in these paces, even matatus that ply most of these routes park at the very edge of the CBD at Koja and Railways. Below are some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Nairobi.
This is one of the oldest expensive neighborhoods in Nairobi. Most of the houses in this hood are therefore quite old albeit well maintained. The rich do not settle for haphazard. A one bedroom apartment could go for around 70,000 shillings a month. This is exclusive of any extra expenses like security among others. Lavington is very close to the CBD. The only thing that seems somewhat regular in terms of pricing is the amount of public transport fare. You will pay about 70 shillings at peak time and as little as 30 shillings at off-peak. The neighborhood is however becoming quite infested with commercial properties. There are various NGOs and other corporate offices tucked inside the hood.
This is one of the areas near the blue zone and is therefore teeming with expatriates. Many rental options are furnished for this reason. You will find rent that goes as high as half a million shillings for a four bedroom house. The rent for one bedroom apartments is at par with Lavington. Most unit rent rates range between 100,000 and 250,000 shillings. Public transport service is quite poor in Runda. If you would like to go to Rosslyn for example, you would have to get a matatu that is meant for Ruaka. You would alight somewhere and walk the rest of the way. There is quite an incline there too.
This is like the place where new money with a craving for lots of space goes to congregate. Most of the properties in Karen are enclosed in very large compounds. Rumor has it that this hood was named after a woman who used to host orgies. It also seems that rent in Karen is cheaper than most of the expensive neighborhoods. It is possible to get a one bedroom apartment in Karen for less than 50,000 shillings. In most cases, the DSQs will be rented out for about 30,000 shillings. Public transport to Karen is quite tricky. While the hood is well covered from either side (Langata Road and Ngong Raod) the roads that lead there are synonymous with heavy traffic.
The public transport service to this neighborhood is practically non-existent. It is very well tucked. It is so poor that to get to Getrudes Muthaiga, you would have to take the hospital shuttle. Matatus do not come close to the hospital. Here you will find a three bedroom house going for 300,000 shillings a month. A one bedroom goes for about 80,000 shillings per month. The neighborhood is mostly old moneyed families.
It is very difficult to find smaller units in this hood. Most of the properties are aimed at executive living and are therefore either furnished or multiple bedrooms at an exorbitant amount. You could however be lucky and score a DSQ in one of the humongous houses for about 35,000 shillings. However, in the nearby Loresho, it is easier to find a one bedroom apartment for less than 40,000 shillings a month. Kitisuru is tucked behind Westlands and is virtually impossible to reach by public transport.
This neighborhood is mostly offices. However there are houses in this hood. It is very close to the CBD and is perched on a slope thus offers great ambience and atmosphere. The rent for a three bedroom unfurnished apartment may range between 90,000 and 200,000 shillings a month depending on the location and amenities offered on the property. Public transport tends to only cover the commercial areas of Upperhill. In most cases, if you use a matatu you would have to alight at the closest stage like say Equity then walk. If the building is closer to the railway line, it might be easier to walk up from Madaraka or Nyayo Stadium.
Unlike the above neighborhoods, there are many apartment buildings in Kilimani. Even the furnished apartments are cheaper here. It is not easy to find a one bedroom apartment. However, you can get a three bedroom for about 70,000 shillings per month. Of course these are the serviced types of apartments with gyms and swimming pools in the compound. This area is very popular with Kenyan celebrities. It is also quite accessible by matatu and at a reasonable fare too.
All of these areas always seem to be attached to a somewhat cheaper replica of the same hood. An example is Langata or Rongai to Karen, Loresho to Kitisuru, Ruaka to Runda and Madaraka to Runda. If you aspire to Karen but lack Karen type of bank account then you can settle for Karen View for the moment. Nairobi has an affluent side. One without trash and paved walkways. It is important to know how the other half lives. Welcome to Privilege!