Westlands is traditionally Nairobi’s social and entertainment centre for expatriates and wealthy Kenyans, a lively cluster of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs 3 km to the northwest of the central business district.
One of the city’s largest modern shopping plazas, the four-storey Sarit Centre, is here, competing with two smaller centres nearby. There are dozens of restaurants, three late-night western-style bars, two nightclubs and a casino. Westlands is a favourite with Nairobi’s large Indian/Asian community. The residential roads ringing the busy hub are popular with Kenyans and expatriates, young singles who live in 1980s/1990s apartment blocks, as well as families in older houses, all attracted by the choice of facilities.
The quieter, smarter streets spread into Spring Valley to the north, where the apartment blocks give way to bungalows and large, detached houses. Some streets here are gated, with security staff screening visitors. Peponi House, an international primary day school, is located here. Westlands’ southern edge borders the busy Waiyaki Way, a main route to Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, which saw some of the worst post-election violence in early 2008. The road is served by dozens of buses and matatus heading into the city centre. Alternatively, a taxi there will cost KSh400.
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Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya