Africa Overland Travel Advice
Is Milimani the best guesthouse in Nairobi?
Having spent two years as an Africa Overland Tour Leader, I have had the pleasure of staying in many hotels, guesthouses and hostels in Nairobi in particular. I am also familiar with how it can feel a little daunting to arrive in the Kenyan capital for the first time and thus, the importance of choosing the best place to stay in Nairobi.
Travelling alone to Nairobi
On my return to Kenya this week, I was hoping to stay somewhere different for a change although I still wanted this to be in Karen, which is by far the best area to stay in Nairobi. At this point I checked online and found Milimani Backpackers (which I had never heard of). Nestled on a quiet street in the suburbs of Nairobi, this is not your average backpackers. In fact, I would go as far to say that this place is a step beyond what you might consider a backpackers and offers a “Home from home” experience while still hanging on to a reputation for meeting other travellers and sharing stories.
Looking for a safe place to stay in Nairobi?
It bothers me when people ask “is it safe to travel to Africa?” or “Is Nairobi Dangerous?”, but to be fair on my first trip to Africa back in 2008, I was asking the very same questions. Let me just say you should not worry for your safety here, yes it can be daunting the first time, but after a few days you will realize just how friendly are the people and how secure are the hostels in Nairobi.
Milimani Backpackers provide an airport pick up and the hostel is located on St Helen’s Road. This street is only accessed by a gate which is guarded 24/7 and as you can see from the photographs, Milimani Backpackers will make you feel extremely secure and is no doubt what one might consider a safe place to stay in Nairobi.
Facilities in this wonderful Nairobi guesthouse
The dormitory is clean and bright with mosquito nets covering the comfortable beds, while if you can afford the private rooms such as the one below (Twiga) – there is a private balcony, lots of space an a large bathroom with a bathtub.
However, one of my favourite parts of staying at Milimani Backpackers, was waking up each morning and walking out onto the second floor terrace which faces down the driveway. With birds singing in the trees and monkeys swinging in between, I was not expecting something like this in Nairobi, but it exists and I pulled up a seat to enjoy a morning coffee in peaceful surroundings.
The communal area is large with lots of seating areas, a plasma television with cable for watching movies, a nice seating area for meals and an outdoor patio on the ground floor. Food is all home cooked by a chef onsite and there are also two desktop computers and a very fast Wi-Fi connection.
Situated halfway between Karen Crossroads and Nakumatt Galleria, there are many shopping areas with restaurants etc close by and easily reached with a local matatu (just a few minute bus ride for $0.20). Milimani is also perfectly located for visiting the Giraffe Sanctuary or the Karen Blixen Museum. As mentioned before, the surrounding area is very safe and secure so location wise – it’s perfect.
Is Milimani Backpackers the best guesthouse in Nairobi?
Not only is it the best guesthouse in Nairobi, it is also an amazing hostel. Located away from the busy city and in the serene suburb of Karen, Milimani is the perfect place to stay before your safari and surrounded by some of the best things to do in Nairobi. And then I haven’t even mentioned the staff, because in Milimani I found the most genuinely friendly locals who will go to any length to keep you informed while ensuring you know exactly where to stay in Nairobi when you return.