This striking building, known as the African Heritage House, sits on a hill overlooking the Nairobi National Park. It was built between the years 1989 and 1994 by Alan Donovan, who modeled it with inspiration drawn from the mud architecture of the Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali. The interior is a typical African presentation, with the doors being obtained from Lamu, an interior courtyard derived from Moroccan culture and fabric that showcases the detailed and artistic African eye among others. What sets this house apart is the collection of artifacts from all around Africa, so diverse and valuable that it has turned the house into a national monument.
The rooms have been decorated in a wide range of styles, all representative of different African cultures. The Ashanti suite, the Lamu suite, the Moroccan suite and the Bakuba suite, all of which are the guest rooms, depict the culture of these disparate regions. Down from the Kente curtains to the artworks by African artists hung on the walls, it will feel like you’re traveling through Africa.
In a similar manner, the pool house exhibits African design with sculptures by African artists. The nature that surrounds and enhances the beauty of this wondrous place is bound to have a soothing effect on your body and mind.
For a complete well-rounded experience, the food served is characteristic of African dishes, ranging from Swahili coconut rice to groundnut stew from Ghana. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with authentic divine cuisine guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.
With wildlife being a part of African culture, you will get a chance to see plenty of animals such as zebras, giraffes and gazelles in the distance going about their daily lives as you sip your morning cup of tea. Be prepared for the occasional sight of ostriches dashing across the field or the giraffes’ long necks all seen from the sanctuary of the house – or from a close view of the park, for those adventure seekers.
Just imagine waking up to the chirping of birds instead of your alarm, opening your eyes to the sight of the sun rising from the horizon, the quiet serene feeling you’ll experience, the fresh breath of life you’ll take in.
The house is ideal for just about anyone, whether on vacation, on a work break or even an architecture student who would love to know more about African architecture.
So the next time you decide to take a break from that monotonous nine-to-five, don’t think of Paris or The Maldives – come to the African Heritage House in Kenya for the ultimate cultural experience.