Karen is a suburb of Nairobi in Kenya, lying south-west of Nairobi central business district. The suburb of Karen borders the Ngong Forest and is home to the Ngong Racecourse. It is also known for its large European population. Karen and Langata jointly form a somewhat isolated area of mid to high-income residents.
Karen was previously within Ngong County. After Nairobi received city status in 1950 the counties were redefined. In 1963 Karen was placed under the Nairobi City Council’s administration.
It is generally considered that the suburb is named after Karen Blixen, the Danish author of the colonial memoir Out of Africa; her farm occupied the land where the suburb now stands. Blixen declared this in her later writings that “the residential district of Karen” was “named after me,” although it has never been formally recognised.
Blixen’s home has since become a museum and is still standing and is a local tourist attraction, other tourist attractions are the giraffe center, the exclusive giraffe manor and the ololua nature trails.
Karen is a vibrant residential suburb characterized by big mansions, many trees, tranquil atmosphere, and plush gardens this is due to the areas minimum acreage requirement for all homeowners. Karen is also a center for many upscale restaurants and hotels in the city, offering cuisines from around the country and the world. There is a branch of the Red Cross in Karen.
The Karengata Association manages Karen and Langata. It was organized in 1940 and by 2010 it had begun to manage the area’s infrastructure.
Karen is mainly populated by the wealthier demographic of Kenyans, as well as American, British, German, Japanese, and Scandinavian immigrants who work in Kenya. Other residents include white Kenyans of European colonial ancestry. Until 1980 the residents of Karen were chiefly British nationals.
The West Nairobi School is located in Karen. The current campus opened in 2000.
The Nairobi Japanese School is located in the Lang’ata area, in proximity to Karen.