You could spend most of your time in Westlands and never feel like you’re missing out. It’s a busy upperclass neighborhood with plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, and coworking spaces. You’ll mostly find apartments here, with a good mix of locals and expats, and while costs can be high, its location at the center of everything makes it worth it. A lot of places are within the same driving radius too, so transport costs won’t be high. It’s one of the best neighborhoods in the city for partying, and even has accommodation options for backpackers. The main malls here are Sarit Center, Westgate and ABC Place. Nairobi is not the most bike-friendly city, but just outside Westlands is an urban forest, Karura Forest, which has a waterfall and beautiful trails where you can go walking, biking, or have a picnic.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when picking a coworking space since Westlands has more options than anywhere else in the city. Ikigai is spread across five green acres overlooking a dam. It is dog-friendly and offers free yoga and meditation sessions to members. Jenga Leo, named after the board game, has the same ethos of community building, and its vibrant space houses a restaurant and gym. The Foundry Africa has an adjacent quaint cafe, Cafe Kaya, while being plied with pizza; stay until evening for the cocktails. At Indigo, you’ll feel like you’re working in a cool concrete treehouse filled with local art and sculptures, and where even the signage is in Nairobi slang called sheng’.
Book a private pod for the day to work at The Library Restaurant. Across from here, get a table at any of the eleven restaurants and bars at the trendy Nairobi Street Kitchen, and try global cuisine. A little after Westlands, Wasp & Sprout run by husband and wife duo Chris and Angela Neale offers cozy artsy interiors and the best southern fried chicken and waffles in town. Browse through the art at Noir Gallery before getting a quiet table in the well-manicured garden to hit those deadlines. Stick around till happy hour when music events take place on rotation. For Indian food, head to The Mayura at Kenrail Towers; the portions are huge and they make some of the best curries and flatbreads around.
Wendy Watta is travel writer based in Nairobi, and being a digital nomad, is always splitting her time between different cities in Africa or South Australia.
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