Thika Road Description
Thika Road running northeast out of the city centre supports a number of very different estates over a large area. Mathare North, some 8 km out of town, is an all-African zone inhabited by manual workers and daily labourers employed in the Ruaraka industrial area to the north; accommodation is mostly in single rooms and bedsits in unsafe-looking concrete blocks and roads are poor.
To the southwest, between Mathare North and the city centre, are the sprawling Mathare slums. Further out, past Moi International Sports Complex, is Kasarani, a new, up-and-coming residential area inhabited mostly by civil servants and young professionals. Away from the main roads, infrastructure is poor. There is a good selection of local shops and there are regular jam sessions at the nearby Sportsview Hotel. Between Kasarani and Mathare North lies Ngumba Estate, a lower-middle class area inhabited by private-sector office workers and business people. The accommodation is a mix of 1990s bungalows and more recent low-rise apartment blocks. Security is good here due to the proximity of the heavily guarded Kenya Breweries, which produce the immensely popular Tusker lager. On the north side of Thika Road opposite the brewery is Garden Estate, a quiet, leafy residential area offering attractive bungalows and large houses on their own plots of land. Rent is much higher here than in other parts of this area. Shopping is at dukas along Garden Estate Road or at the Nakumatt supermarket at the junction with Thika Road. There are buses and matatus along Thika Road but traffic can be extremely heavy, especially at rush hour, and the road is poor. A taxi to the city centre costs up to Ksh900.