Some ten kilometres outside the centre of Nairobi, the Karen Blixen Museum is located in a century old farmhouse on 4,500 acres of Land at the foot of Kenya Ngong Hills. The farm was once owned by the swedish Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke and his wife, Baroness Karen Blixen, who gained significant prominence for her 1937 memoir, "out of Africa."
The museum belongs to a different time period in the history of Kenya. The farm house gained international fame with the release of the movie 'out of Africa' an oscar winning film based on Karen's life and an autobiography based on the same title. It is a place that has made it a movie in its own.
The museum was built in 1912 by a Swedish engineer Eke Sjogren. The Karen Blixen house meets three of the customary criteria for historical significance. First it is associated with the broad historical pattern of European settlement and cultivation of East Africa. Second it is associated with the life of a person significant to Kenya's past on cultural basis. As such, it is served as the setting of the African lifestyle.
The Museum's architecture is a typical late 19th century mansion, including the spacious rooms, tile roofs and stone construction typical of scores residences built up through European surbabs of Nairobi in early decades. It is a blend of the state of the art building and vintage style.
"Bogani" being its other name, meaning a house in the woods, gives it a taste of nature in it's best.
The museum house remains a serene environment that seems to belong to the past, surrounded by a tranquil garden and individual forest, with a splendid view of Karen's beloved Ngong Hills. The museum embodies the distinctive characteristics of its type, period and method of construction. It was given as independence gift to Kenya as before the museum was sporadically occupied until purchased in 1964 by the Swedish government.
Step back in time to view artifacts of Blixen's world of colonial elegance and her legendary romance with her lover. Here you will see personal objects that are part of the original décor that belonged to Karen and her lover who was Finch Hatton, including a lantern that Karen hung on the veranda to let her lover know that she was home, waiting for him, a free standing safe, a table in the dining room that has been set with beatiful cutlery where Karen Blixen twice entertained the Prince of Wales, some of the tools and machinery used in the coffee farm among other decors that are part of the original furniture. Visiting the museum is a spot for soap opera fans, as they get to enjoy the romantic stories about Karen Blixen.
Guided tourists will introduce you to the house, the gardens and the life that Blixen shared with her husband Baron Bror and later with her lover Finch Hatton. You will come to learn that the husband died on a plane crash on his way to Tsavo, thou he had already divorced Blixen. In short the museum gives an atmosphere of real stories which shaped some of the museum historical artefacts.
Karen Blixen museum admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently costs USD 72, while a popular guided tour starts around USD 15 per person. You can buy tickets in advance on TripAdvisor. If you book on TripAdvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. With a personal car, one can visit the museum within half an hour. Travel agencies offer transport too, if you make prior online booking. The museum is open to the public everyday(9:30am to 6:00pm) including weekends.
The museum is located in a beautiful and serene environment and is a lovely location to hold an outdoor wedding. Enjoy the beautiful Nairobi city as you visit Museum which was once a Manor in itself.
In the museum composed ambiance, it's easy to be carried into another era with its pleasing views of the cultivated grounds, the surrounding forests and the nearby Ngong Hills so meaningful to the Museum. It is a must visit for art enthusiasts and lovers of history.