Karen estate needs no introduction, but do you know where the name originated from? I bet not. Apparently, Karen was named after a Danish Author Karen Blixen who wrote the book Out Of Africa. Word has it that she was the likely winner of the nobel peace prize in Literature in 1962, but unfortunately she died in September the same year at age 77.
The house she was living in has since become a national monument and houses the Karen Blixen Museum. The Swedo house dates back to around 1906 when wealthy Swedish civil engineer, who later became a Consul, Aake Sjogren, built it. Today, it serves as a lounge for guests with a bar as well as the administrative offices for the hotel. While over the years Karen’s coffee farm was split up to form today’s Karen Estate, her farm house and the manager’s residence have been preserved.
This is where it gets interesting, Business daily reports that the gardens, which were the main setting of the oscar award winning movie out of africa, is on sale and it will cost you a whooping Ksh 80o million! That translates to nearly $ 10 million, so if you have that kind of money lying somewhere you know what to do.
However, the museum, which sits on 12.5 acres, is the property of the National Museums of Kenya and has no relation to the gardens other than a common history and similar names.
“This is the museums’ property. Where the house sits was her house, the rest falls on the gardens side,” said Karen Blixen Museum’s curator Damaris Rotich. Karen called the house ‘Bongani’ meaning house in the woods. So the buyer gets the gardens minus the museum.
The 4.8 acre commercial property located along Karen Road, boasts a nine-cottage hotel, shops and a restaurant, all sitting on beautiful ground. Owned by Dr Bonnie Dunbar, a 66-year-old American, the historic piece of land has been in the market since start of the year.