Kasarani refers to both a neighborhood/constituency and ward. The constituency includes Roysambu. The neighborhood was named after a river but this is a story for another day. It is located along Thika Superhighway to the North East of town. Kasarani is relatively close to the CBD and an abundance of housing at an affordable rate. The area is also close to the main campuses of some of the biggest universities and colleges in Kenya like USIU, KCA and Utalii among others. This neighborhood is therefore popular for both students and the working battalion.
For the most part, this area has flats and apartments buildings. There are of course some of those ‘own compound’ houses in some area but they are rare in comparison to the alternative. To navigate the neighborhood while house hunting you might need the services of an agent or someone who is otherwise plugged in. The real estate agency in Kasarani is cut throat but that means that it is also fairly priced which is a good thing for you. You can pay as low as five hundred shillings for help finding a house. It is advisable to keep away from houses that are right beside the main road. Otherwise you will have debilitating dust to contend with. You should also know people, the caretaker is a good person to know.
Another great thing about housing in Kasarani is that housing can be very affordable. You could find a bedsitter for as low as 5,000 shillings. You could even find a three bedroom apartment for 35,000 shillings or less. Another great thing is that water is not always a problem. If you look carefully enough you can find a place with good water security. Whatever you do, do not rent a house if your gut is not on board.
It will take you about twenty minutes to get to town from the house. It might take up to an hour if there is heavy traffic. Traffic is not usually heavy unless there is some work being done on the road or rain. For some reason the rain makes everyone crazy in Nairobi and makes the roads insanely clogged up. To get home from town there are a few stages you can get a matatu from. You could go to the former Tuskys Bebabeba area or you could walk a few metres ahead. There are also matatus outside World Business Centre. There are also buses on Ronald Ngala Street. Kasarani was found to be overpopulated by 200,000 people in 2015 but at least there are enough public service vehicles to ferry everyone home.
Fare varies between 30 shillings and 100 shillings depending on the kind of mood Nairobi is in at the time. She is a moody one this our city. A taxi should set you back about 600 shillings, that is if the driver does not decide to take you on an unsolicited tour of the city backroads. This always ends up doubling the fare.
You can definitely count on getting potatoes and cabbages at a good price with Thika Road being the unofficial passage for these items. The market at Githurai is very affordable and close to Kasarani. You will need to take a matatu for 20 shillings but you will not be sorry to make the trip. Not to mention things like chicken skins and all sorts of delicious street food. One thing you can be sure about the neighborhood is that whatever you may need or want to eat for the day will be very accessible and affordable.
This actually sort of depends on the area you settle on. Some areas are very dangerous after 2200 hours, in others you could walk around after midnight and remain safe. You should do your research about the security of the area. Also check out the security measures of the building you choose to live in. Something as simple as a constant padlock on the gate is much more than nothing. You should also look into the safety mechanism on the unit doors.
Here are some extra pointers, if you hear a commotion outside the building stay put. Do not let curiosity walk you out into whatever chaos might be taking place beyond the gate. If you hear gunshots, keep your door locked and possibly the lights off. If you are out after hours, try to get a motorbike to drop you off at the gate as opposed to walking from the stage to the house.
So many options to choose from. If you are a single person who likes the party scene then you will surely enjoy the clubs and bars that adorn this area. Drinks are affordable and there is rarely ever a cover charge. If you are looking for a low key nyama afternoon then you can enjoy some at Carwash among other establishments. You also have activities for your kids at the Thika Road Mall, Garden City a kilometre or so away among other places. You might be inkling for a different sort of low key time like a movie, TRM has a 7D movie theatre. You could even join a book club. There really are unlimited options for fun in Kasarani.
Second hand hub
One thing you will without a doubt enjoy is the easy availability of second hand clothes. Even before Think Twice pitched tent in Roysambu, there was always a buzzling mtumba culture. Apart from this, Kasarani has a very diverse population. From experience and several personal testimonies, if you network enough you will have access to numerous kinds of second shifts. A second shift is a second job or side hustle. Everyone needs a second shift in Nairobi.
Not enough good things can be said about renting in Kasarani. Sure it has its calluses but it is still a wonderful neighborhood. It makes for a great start up rental hood. The longer you stay, the more hacks you will discover to living in Kasarani. Everyone needs hacks. Happy living!