How Kenyans Are Turning Upcountry Homes Into Booming Business [PHOTOS]

  • A home in Meru County among the country's popular online rental choices
    A home in Meru County among the country's popular online rental choices
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  • For many Kenyans, upcountry homes have always been a sense of pride and, in some cases, a status symbol.

    This is because of the stories behind them; often of people who left their rural homes for careers and education in cities and towns.

    Some construct the houses to have a place to stay when they are back home, others as they plan for retirement.

    These houses, along with family homes located upcountry, have become an important income stream for many Kenyans.

    Online short-term rental platforms, such as Airbnb, are primarily responsible for the growth in the sector.

    A home in Meru County among the country's popular online rental choices
    A home in Meru County among the country's popular online rental choices

    A quick search on platforms including Airbnb reveals that some of the most popular properties, particularly in affordable options, are upcountry homes.

    For prices ranging between $20 and $500 a night, one can experience homes tucked away in some of the country's upcountry locations.

    A quick search on Airbnb reveals that some of the most popular listings are in areas including Nairobi's outskirts of Kiambu and Ruiru, as well as Naivasha, Nyeri, Nanyuki, Kilifi and Kwale.

    Old, well-maintained houses are a favorite for many Kenyans looking for get-aways.

    Residents of cities and towns such as Nairobi and Mombasa are among clients of those renting out their upcountry homes online.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Joash Mwangi who runs a property agency based in Lang'ata, Nairobi noted the increased interest in renting out upcountry homes.

    He observed that many weren't just making a killing from homes located upcountry, but also those in urban centres.

    "It's all about the experience you offer. Many of the most popular Airbnb listings are in Nairobi and its outskirts.

    "The upcountry homes are gaining popularity because they offer a unique experience at an affordable price. Many of their clients consider wide open green spaces as a luxury," he observed.

    He further noted that specific declarations by home-ownersĀ on parties, noise and other issues were important to draw the clients one needed.

    A home in Laikipia County among the country's popular online rental choices
    A home in Laikipia County among the country's popular online rental choices
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    A home in Meru County among the country's popular online rental choices
    A home in Meru County among the country's popular online rental choices
    Twitter