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Hidden Comforts of Kenya
2021-02-02 12:49:17

Hidden Comforts of Kenya

Whether you’re new to Kenya or have been here for a while, you might not be aware of some of the creature comforts you can enjoy here which aren’t necessarily available elsewhere. For example, country clubs are not just for the very rich like in the US, on-demand cleaning is affordable and accessible, and having beautiful bunches of flowers decorating your home isn’t a luxury.

Cheap & delicious!
Fruit and vegetables are locally grown, so they’re delicious, organic and cheap. Seasonal, fresh produce is plentiful and widely available (mango season is up soon in November!), but look out, too for delivery services like Kalimoni Greens, Fresh Fruits delivery and Enric Farm Fresh. For breakfast, slice and serve passion fruit, mangoes, pineapples, bananas, pears and papaws, and after meals, serve up Kenya’s most popular dessert: fresh seasonal tropical fruit with ice cream.

Beautiful bouquets
Having beautiful bunches of flowers in your home is a pricey indulgence in many countries, but in Kenya, a variety of flowers are commercially grown for the local market and to export. Being able to buy scented flowers for home, or send pretty arrangements as gifts when you want to show love and appreciation is, therefore, a relatively inexpensive treat. Look out for fresh roses, lilies, carnations, and orchids, or order from one of the many same-day flower delivery services available.

Help on demand
On-demand home service offerings are growing in popularity, with
SweepSouth leading the charge in providing trustworthy and reliable home cleaning. This incredibly convenient service allows you to easily book home, office or guesthouse cleaning whenever you need it, with its SweepStars providing a high level of expertise. Having established themselves as a leader in home cleaning in South Africa, SweepSouth is now available in the majority of Nairobi suburbs.

Silicon Savannah
Kenya has some of the lowest internet costs in Africa and fastest mobile internet speeds in the world. With the country at the heart of Africa's start-up tech success story, Nairobi, in particular, has one the most developed tech scenes in East Africa, rivalling hubs like Cape Town, Lagos and Cairo. This burgeoning industry is attracting global talent from Africa, India and China, with young professionals loving Nairobi’s combination of work opportunities, fantastic weather and friendly people.

Country estates
Set apart for the elite in other parts of the world, country clubs are much more affordable in Kenya. With top-class facilities like golf courses, tennis and squash courts, pools and spas, country clubs are one of the best ways for locals, business professionals and expats to socialise, network, spend time with family and make new friends. Country clubs vary in their activity offerings, like golf (Kenya has over 42 courses, at least one-third of which have hosted major tournaments and are considered to be of international standard), cricket and horse racing, but the quirkiest has to be Kenya Railway Golf Club in Nairobi, which has a fully functioning railway line traversing its golf course, over which players must strike their golf balls during a round!

Fast-food fast!
Nairobi recently was named the leading city in Africa for ordering the most online food, followed by Casablanca (Morocco) and then Lagos (Nigeria). Good prices and fast delivery have boosted the sector, with a 30% increase in online consumers in Kenya during the pandemic period. The recently released Jumia report attributes this growth to the rapidly changing consumer behaviour toward online channels, and new shopping habits due to Covid-19. The report predicts that the trend of ordering food from platforms like Jumia Food, Uber Eats, Glovo and Yum will remain post Covid-19, partly because of convenience, but also because Kenya’s youthful tech-savvy population is boosting e-commerce adoption.

Buzzing social scene
Nairobi’s buzzing social scene is filled with restaurants, bars and champagne and cigar lounges. Take a break during the day and stop off at the quirky and bohemian Wasp & Sprout in Loresho for a cold-brew coffee on one of their colourful sofas. With a wonderful climate that’s almost always warm and sunny, sundowners are a way of life - after work, slide into a seat at one of the long tables in chic rooftop bar Brew Bistro and order a dawa cocktail or a frosty Tusker (did you know 700,000 hectolitres of Tusker are sold in Kenya a year!) and watch the famous African sunset. With a heady mix of locals, expats and visitors, the city has a thriving nightlife scene equal to any on the continent, and Nairobi nights are set alight at venues like The Alchemist, an open-air bar with live music.

Outdoor furniture workshops
If you’re looking for something outside of Nairobi’s many furniture stores, spend a day exploring the hundreds of vendors on Ngong Road, who custom-make beds, tables, night stands, TV stands, sunbeds, patio sets, swings, shoe racks and much more. Vendors are very flexible and can even build basic furniture from a picture.

World-class scenery
Kenya has some of the most stunning scenic beauty in all of Africa, from mountains and lakes to beaches and rainforests. Even those living in the city benefit from the country’s natural beauty. Nairobi, for example, is the only city in the world to have a national park within its bounds. Nairobi National Park is a 110 square kilometre area of wilderness on the city borders - the only protected area globally to sit that close to a nation’s capital.

Outdoor galore
Kenya has a plethora of activities on offer for locals and tourists alike. Going on safari is part of the Kenyan experience - the word ‘safari’ was coined in Kenya! - and
the grassy plains of the majestic Masai Mara are deserving of being voted the eighth wonder of the world in 2007. It’s easy to compile a bucket-list of activity must-do’s here: like kitesurfing and dolphin stand-up paddle boarding in Watamu, white-water rafting and kayaking on Tana River, zip-lining at the foot of Ngong Hills, and cycling through the gnarly lava-carved landscape of Hell’s Gate National Park. For less strenuous activities, soak up the sea, sun and sand at Diani Beach, take a trip back in time as you explore the warren of streets in Mombasa’s Old Town, or simply sit back and relax as you take in the serene sunset views from the shores of the great Lake Victoria.


Liz Madowo


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