Karen Blixen Museum
Karen Blixen Museum Nairobi Reviews
Karen Blixen Museum Mar 21, 2011
Karen Blixen museum is a stone farm house in the middle of a farm.to put it simply the movie “out of Africa”is based on an autobiography written by the owner of the house Karen Blixen.i personally haven’t watched the movie so I cant tell you much about it but here’s a bit about Karen
Karen was born in Denmark and came to Kenya in 1914 during the colonial times,to marry her half cousin and become a diary farmer which didn’t happen because her husband wanted to farm coffee instead.He got his wish but the coffee farm didn’t do well.They got divorced and Karen(the poor woman)was left to run the financially ruined farm all by herself.In that generation and time it must have been really hard for a woman to run a farm all by yourself Plus the soil and altitude was all wrong for growing coffee.So Karen the fell in love with an Englishman called Denis Finch Hatton who was a hunter,dangerous profession he died in Tsavo (probably eaten by a lion).So,having been robbed of her lover and in financial ruin Karen packed her belongings and went back to Denmark where she turned to writing as a career.
My visit to the Karen Blixen museum was quite by accident,how did I come to find myself there?well,my aunt insisted(more like bullied us) that we have to attend a wedding of a supposed cousin I had never met before.So,my sister and I headed to Karen (they named the sorrounding areas after her)its now part of the nairobi surburbs where the rich guys live.its 10km away from Nairobi and the farmhouse is located at the foot of the smoky blue ngong hills.
The wedding reception was being held at the museums gardens which you can hire for weddings,corporate events and functions.very beautiful gardens, lawns and lots of clean fresh air.
We got to the museum at around 1:30pm and since the reception hadn’t started my sister and I went exploring.The museum is open everyday from 9:30am to 6pm including public holidays and weekends.They have a gift shop where you can buy handicrafts,posters and postcards,you can also buy a copy of the movie out of Africa and other Kenyan souveneirs.
The museums gardens have a park of palms, Norfolk pines and columnar cypress.The most Intresting plant plant is a ghostly-gray giant cactus”candelabria euphorbia”apparently its 82 years old. We have many of them in Kenya.also on one of the lawns they have some old machines that were apparently used in the coffee mill which got burned down.
Inside the house:
There is a replica of the RCA Victor gramophone on which Karen Blixen and Finch-Hatton played Mozart concertos.
Floor-to-ceiling library shelves hold copies of Denys' books, each marked with a small brass plaque.
Blixen's square corner bedroom, its white wooden bed swagged with mosquito netting(a gift from universal studio’s), is at the end of a narrow hall.A pair of leather riding boots stands near a chair,they belong to Merly Streep,she played the role of Karen in “Out of Africa”
Most of Karen’s other possessions are in her museum in Copenhagen. All I can say is that Karen Blixen museum is a beautiful place worth visiting and after a visit to the museum you can go to the karen blixen coffee garden restaurant for some kenyan tea(chai)or coffee.its around 200 meters from the museum.
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