Milimani Backpackers & Safari Centre Ltd




The Review

Milimani Backpackers & Safari Centre Ltd is a home away from home in busy Nairobi -- a green oasis where you can relax, away from the hustle and bustle. This is a converted house with a large garden filled with birds and -- if you're lucky -- vervet monkeys. It is gated and there is a security guard on duty at night.

The Location

Milimani Backpackers is situated in Karen suburb, about fifteen kilometers from the city centre. It's down a quiet lane off Langata Road and is not more than five kilometers away from most of the tourist sites (Nairobi National Park, Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre, David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, and Ngong Hills). It's a little difficult to find, as Milimani Backpackers is no longer in Milimani district (it moved two years ago), so make sure your taxi driver heads for the Karen Hospital, which is four hundred meters east of St. Hellens Lane. There is no sign out front of the hostel, but it is signed "No8" and "MBP."

It's accessible by matatu, but the Nairobi traffic means that this could take two hours from the centre!! Head for Bomas from the centre, then change at the Galleria Shopping Center for another matatu going past Hillcrest School (some matatus turn off before then), which is about five hundred meters before St. Hellens Lane on your right.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are plain, as you'd expect at the price, but spotlessly clean (as are the toilets and instant showers). Mosquito nets are on all beds. Twin cabins are being built in the garden at the time of review. There are two dorms (one male and one female, each with six beds), and most rooms share common bathrooms. There is, however, a very large family room upstairs (one double and one single bed) with its own balcony and bath!

Common Spaces

The first view is of the sitting room as you check in. Sofas are arranged around the flat-screen TV and there is a computer for guest use with very fast Wi-Fi. This is a very nice area to relax and chat with other guests. There is a book exchange as well. The kitchen provides snacks and main meals at very reasonable prices, and the free breakfast is ok. There is a large garden with chairs and tables. It's also an area for camping. All is kept very clean and the owner is there most days to oversee guests' comfort.


All in all, this is a real find. We can't remember the last time we found something this comfortable and welcoming in a big city and at such a low price. It's superb!
by Londonroad Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Milimani garden
Scooby the dog
Common sitting room
Family room
Twin room


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Milimani Backpackers & Safari Centre Ltd" at Karen Suburbs: St. Helens Lane, Off Langata Road.)


Karen Suburbs: St. Helens Lane, Off Langata Road, Nairobi, Kenya
-1.336239, 36.729896 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+254 (0) 20-2343920
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How is Milimani Backpackers & Safari Centre Ltd rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
(49 ratings)
(15 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
(3 ratings)
89% Guest Reviews

Fantastic Home From Home
Wow! This is such a friendly and comfortable place! Just what I was looking for after nearly one year of traveling from Egypt. A place to feel welcome and to be able to relax and take stock of the trip so far. Cheap and very clean and with DSTV and fast wifi, I was able to catch up on all my emails, post my photos and research and make plans for the trip ahead. Comfy mattresses and a lovely monkey-filled garden make you want to stay and stay! Milimani Backpackers is quite a way outside central Nairobi, in the posh suburb of Karen, but right in the heart of the tourist area. The Giraffe Centre, Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi National Park, Ngong Hills, Karen Blixen Museum all within a half hour minibus ride. As a gentle introduction to East Africa or as a place to chill out and regroup, this is the place to stay.
i can say this was one of the worst hostels i stayed in in Africa. the owner is a very selfish lady who is basically just intent on getting as much money from guests as possible. when i was there one of the dogs they keep bit someone and they had to go to the hospital. they had to fight hard to get any compensation. i got a bad feeling from the moment i arrived.
Ken Shaw
Bad Experience
I would like to warn people about Milimani Backpackers. It's in the guidebook. As a hostel it is fine enough but I had a really negative experience with them. They have an area in the back corner next to the wall where people can camp. One evening I was lying down in my tent when a big thunderstorm came. The thunder was really close so I got out and went inside the hostel. Less than five minutes later I came back to check if water was getting in and I found my tent was covered in bricks. The wall had fallen on it. If I had been inside I would have died or been very seriously hurt. My tent was destroyed and when I checked my new video camera I found the screen had been cracked. I found out later this was the 3rd time the wall had fallen and once before it had hit a tent but they still let people camp there. I assumed Patricia, the owner, would replace or fix my tent and camera without any problem, just happy I was alive. But to my surprise she refused to pay a cent. After a heated argument they finally agreed to look for estimates. That was the beginning of a long fight to get some compensation. The played all kinds of games with me. They lied, they didn't return my calls/messages/emails and they stalled me hoping I would give up. For awhile I stayed at the backpacker waiting for them and they refused to let me stay for free. In the end I finally got some cash four months later but only because I was so persistent. As for my tent they reluctantly gave me the cheapest old tent they had. It was useless against rain. For this I would have to say do not stay at Milimani Backpackers.

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