If you look at a map of Karen, its hard to miss the massive splodge of green in the middle of it. This splodge is the Karen Country Club, to be more specific most of it is its gorgeous 18 hole golf course, which was the first grassed golf course in Kenya and I’m told a damn fine course to play.
Karen Country Club isn’t all about 18 holes, though you are certainly encouraged to play and in the minority if you don’t. It is also home to a tennis courts, squash courts, a gym, a gorgeous heated swimming pool with outside bar. You can walk your dogs around the outer part of the golf course, sip cocktails by the side of the pool or take one of the high intensity classes within the gym. I know I sound like I’ve been paid to rave on about it, but I haven’t, I promise. Anyway, the purpose of todays article is to give an answer to the many people who, when they ask me about Kenya inevitably say “should I join the Country Club, I’ve been told I should”.
If were to shoot from the hip I’d say if the steep joining fee doesn’t put you off then go for it, as long as your join for the sport and not the social aspect. Hubby and I are at the club most days for exercise or to take the kids for a swim after school but not one of the friends that I have met in Nairobi have I met through the club. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a social aspect; hubby plays golf and squash with a big group of guys most days of the week, I spent some time chatting to a mum from school in the gym this morning and there are always parties, balls and events its just that I have never met a single person who attends those balls or found a friend through the club.
This is perhaps because our kids are school age, the Karen Country Club isn’t hugely geared towards children, with the exception the pool / bar area and a keenness to get young golfers/athletes. Socially I’ve never been asked to meet down the club; I don’t know anyone that goes there for lunch or a drink in the evening, even though they have several lovely restaurants and a cocktail bar with gorgeous views of the Ngong Hills.
To me it’s not the meeting place/hubbub of mums and colleagues that I’d
hoped for envisioned. I’m not entirely sure why as its unfathomably beautiful and the prices are some of the most reasonable in Karen, in many ways it is as it appears on the map, a little oasis in Karen, just an oasis frequented by lots of people who I don’t know.
In conclusion, if you are keen on golf, tennis, squash, bowls, looking for a gym, or don’t have a pool at home and want somewhere to take the kids swimming after school, then join. But if you are picturing it as Karens central meeting point/ piss up venue and have little interest in the sports and activities then pass it on. (and head to Purdys with kids or Talisman without).
- 18 hole championship golf course, driving range and practice facilities
- Casual & Formal dining outlets – very reasonably priced
- Meeting & conference rooms
- Unique event grounds – Wetlands, The Mulwa Dam
- Wellness spa – great cheap massages and nail bar
- Swimming pool – lush with a playground and a bar/cafe
- State of the art fitness center
- Bowling green
- Squash courts
- Tennis courts
- The Residences – beautiful accommodation for visitors