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Tandala

There’s nothing quite like finding an incredible house to take over with your friends or family for the weekend, someplace close to Nairobi, with that winning combination of peaceful privacy and oodles of beautifully designed spaces. Enter Kajiado, home to some of Kenya’s most beautiful Airnbs, and our pick for your next weekend getaway.

Getting there

Hosted by Stewart and Sandie, getting to the main gate was pretty straight forward following the directions on Google Maps…it’s only two hours away from Nairobi, and just a little past Il Bisil town. There are two routes to get there, either via Rongai, Kiserian and Isinya, or down Mombasa Road to Kitengela and on to Kajiado.

The House

There are two options for accommodation, Tandala House being the main, and suitable for families and larger groups. It has a room with glass windows through which you can see people swimming across in the adjacent pool, and a lovely roof deck for sundowners. There are seven beds and four baths here, one of which is tucked in an open green courtyard. There’s even a secret underground room which started out as a borehole in the property…see if you can find it during your stay.

 

Both offer a real sense of exclusivity and privacy. Being self-catering, we did all our shopping in Nairobi. We had been informed that there was no chef so we would need to do all our own cooking, although the staff would be there to assist with cleaning up. Driving in we encountered a tortoise hatchling and also spotted a dik-dik right before it skirted into the bushes on needle-thin legs. You may apparently also see the lesser kudu, impala, eland, bushbuck and more.

 

Little Tandala is impressive, and the outdoor pool which covers the front section of the property and overlooks the surrounding hillside is the ultimate indulgence. In the morning, pleasantly woken up by birds chirping in the nest on a nearby tree, I would get up from bed and take two steps right into the pool to swim its length, then gaze at the hills – how can a place be so beautiful?

The house has one double bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, and two en-suite twin rooms (whose beds can be pushed together to make a double). One of the bedrooms is actually in a separate cottage within the walled garden. The decor mixes curated items with the owner’s personal items, such as books and a gallery wall. Stewart, who I found to be very friendly and helpful, informed me that they actually started living in Little Tandala when it was still a grass house. When they moved to the big house, white ants started eating it. Impressive what they have since put up in its place!

The fully equipped kitchen opens up to the space making it perfect for entertaining. Seriously…this kitchen had everything from the expected fridge and gas cooker to all utensils I needed and a wooden spice rack from which hung a variety of dried herbs and spices. The sitting room has a fireplace in front of which we spent all our evenings. There is a little dining area by the pool perfect for breakfast, but the best part about the house is that both the bedrooms and living room open right into the pool. 

Note:

  • The property runs on a Solar System.
  • Fun fact: Tandala is also Swahili for Kudu. 
  • You can also visit Amboseli which is only 1.5 hours away. At the top of the ridge behind the house there is a WW1 historical ruin which was an old gun emplacement/signal post which may be of interest to some guests. 
  • No pets are allowed.

Accommodation starts at Ksh 28,000