The grand and lavish lifestyle that diplomats in Kenya enjoy
10 months ago, 2 Jan 10:43
In 2013, the Daily Mail carried a highly sensational story about Britain’s Consul-General to Hong Kong at the time, Caroline Wilson, who had taken up residence in one of the world’s most expensive pieces of real estate – the Opus, a new 12-storey block where a flat sells for £35 million (Sh5 billion). Wilson had taken an entire floor measuring 4,600 square feet for which the taxpayer was forking out £60,000 (Sh8.65 million) per month. Apart from stunning views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, the apartment boasts a marble dining table and pieces of art from around the world. All over the world, diplomats and other high level expatriates have been known to occupy the best homes in the best locations in their host countrys. The trend is the same in Kenya where envoys and other expatriates reside in upmarket suburbs like Muthaiga, Karen, Runda, Nyari, Gigiri and Kilimani. “Workers in Kenya were put up in the plush Yaya Towers, which boasts an Olympic-size swimming pool and tennis courts. A one-bedroom flat there costs £580 (Sh83,675) a week to rent,” said the Daily Mail. Recently, Home and Away accompanied a city property agent and his client, a middle-aged woman, who is the wife of an incoming ambassador, to scout for a new residence. Our first stop was Lavington at an opulent five-bedroom home off James Gichuru Road. The property has a well-manicured garden, all ensuite bedrooms and two swimming pools with a servant quarter. These alluring features notwithstanding, the client did not like the property because it had six carparks as opposed to the 12 she wanted. The other problem was that the master bedroom was overlooking a four-storey apartment. “The high-end property market is very sensitive so are the clients, many of whom often want a home that matches their lifestyle,” said the agent. He added that a client rejecting a property in this market segment was common as many already know what they want. “I have had clients who wanted a house with the master bedroom facing particular features like a mountain, water fountains, a garden or the sunset,” he said. Our next stop was in the plush Nyari estate. We viewed a six-bedroom house on half an acre, with a splendid man-made lake and a view of the hills. The client seemed happy. Armed with an Apple iPhone 5, she captured the expansive garden and vinyl rectangular gazebo as the agent whispered: “From the look of things, she is interested in the property.” Expensive homes Homes in this estate are among the most expensive in the city, with some going for over Sh500milion. The Nyari ambassadorial home was 14,000 square feet, with an expansive living room that had double ceiling. The house was also fitted with a gym, extensive balconies, an inside and an outside Jaccuzzi, and had two staff quarters. The property also had a garage for 12 cars and was surrounded by two pools, which were used as moats. The house could accommodate 200 guests. She ...
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