The Story of Tea Room: Kenya's Most Searched Location on Google

  • File Photo of Nairobi Tea Room bus terminal
    File Photo of Nairobi Tea Room bus terminal
    File
  • Tea Room has emerged among the most searched locations in the country according to a report released by Google Street View on Tuesday, May 24.

    Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides interactive panoramas from positions along many streets worldwide.

    According to the data compiled by Google Street View for its 15th anniversary, Nairobi's Tea Room, a 24-hour bus terminal for travelers heading to Rift Valley, Western, Central, and Coastal Kenya regions attracted the highest number of views.

    Tea Room is a major business hub hosting businesses selling assorted wares including footwear, uniforms, water pumps, vehicle spare parts, motorised and electrical tools among others.

    Junction between Tea Room and River Road in Nairobi
    Junction between Tea Room and River Road in Nairobi
    File

    The popular spot has been on a steady rise for the past few years owing to the number of businesses cropping up in the downtown area.

    The popular one-stop joint for travelers earned its name from the passengers acts of wait for public service vehicles while enjoying a cup of tea and snacks.

    Tea Room hotel has been in operation for over two and a half decades, and the Tea Room bus stop has retained its name up to date.

    Kenneth Matiba's mercurial business acumen is attributed to the growth of this popular spot. Various real estate holdings around the area are credited to his name. 

    A vital nerve in the city's transport system, Tea Room resonates with first time memories of most Nairobi residents. It's famous for an unapologetic bitter-sweet reception for most city first timers.

    The Tea Room terminus extends from Tom Mboya Street to River Road.

    With its high volume activities, a sense of insecurity from petty thieves and pickpockets is always on the rise calling for attentiveness from travelers.

    With its rich history, it has topped Google's most searched locations in the country.

    Tea Room was closely followed by Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service, situated along Moi Avenue next to Ambassadeur Hotel. National Archives is a popular landmark that holds 40,000 volumes of historical information and houses the Murumbi Gallery, which contains African artifacts collected in the 19th century.

    Imenti House and Star shopping malls also made up the list of the most searched locations in third and fourth positions respectively. Fifth on the list is Kimathi Chambers that houses Equity Bank. 

    Total Energies Front View Service Station, the first petrol station one encounters as you drive into Mombasa from Nairobi, emerged sixth in the list, followed by United Snacks and Hotel, Bihi Towers, RNG Plaza in the seventh, eighth and ninth positions respectively. Nyayo House, located at the corner of Uhuru Highway and Kenyatta Avenue, closed the top ten list and was mostly sought for immigration and naturalisation services.

    According to Google Street View, most people sought to familiarise themselves with Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Eldoret.

    "There was also a spike on Street View for users looking for information and images on the National Archives Moi Avenue, Fort Jesus Museum, National Museums of Kenya, Aberdare, Karen Blixen Museum and Kitale Museum," Google report stated.

    Top museums searched on Street View between April 2021 to April 2022 are Kenya National Museum Society, National Archives Moi Avenue, Fort Jesus Museum, National Museums of Kenya, Aberdare, Karen Blixen Museum and Kitale Museum.

    In that same one-year period, cities and administrative areas that received most visitors on Street View include Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Eldoret.

    "The data was released to commemorate Street View’s 15th anniversary and to showcase the various places that hold significance to Kenyans," Google stated.

    Medics conducting random screening at National Archives, Nairobi on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
    Medics conducting random screening at National Archives, Nairobi on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
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