South B is in Makadara Division. It is right along Mombasa road behind Capital Centre. It is a very popular neighborhood due to its proximity to the CBD and relative affordability. It is also one of the few neighborhoods where people from all walks of life reside. It is a very vibrant neighborhood. There are numerous entertainments spots, schools, hospitals and even a mall. You could live your whole life in South B without ever living and miss nothing at all. It would be a full life too except for the part about ignoring the world beyond Mater Hospital and opposite side of Mombasa Road. Below are a few pointers on renting in South B.
So many options to choose from on this front. You can get a bedsitter for 8,000 shillings in Riverbank Estate or you could go for a 10,000 shillings bedsitter in Plainsview or Golden Gate. The amount of rent charged depends on which part of South B you choose. The kind of housing too, actually. The area closer to the shopping center has more stand alone houses like mansionettes. There are apartments of course but not as concentrated as the area around Hazina Estate. Even the amount of space you get will vary from one area to another. For example the four bedroom houses in Golden Gate and its environs have bigger rooms and relatively larger compounds. The four bedrooms in Riverbank have comparatively smaller rooms and even smaller compounds.
Finding a house in South B does not quite necessitate an agent. Most buildings will post their vacancies at the gate. This makes house hunting easier and cheaper. If you need to find something in one of the estates cozy up to the security guys at the main gates. They always have the scoop but will ask for a bit of something. However, do not give the little something before seeing what they can get you first.
Feeding yourself can be expensive in South B, if you do not look in the right place. You can get a single apple for about 38 shillings near the Catholic Church. However, you can get the same kind of apple for 25 shillings near the Mosque. Again it is really about the area you choose to get your food from. The apple story also applies to vegetables and other fruits.
South B is also a hub of round the clock eateries and boasts active participation in the ‘kibandaski’ culture. There is a particular place near South B hospital with sumptuous pilau (pilaff) and fluffy chapati for a steal. Then there is a stand towards the miraa kiosks where you a get a piece of grilled chicken for 90 shillings. Of course, not to be forgotten, the ‘mutura’ is the nth wonder of South B. This abundant availability of food makes renting in South B quite affordable as the cost of living does not have to sky rocket.
Getting to and from home
South B is actually very close to town. You can walk to the CBD in an hour or less. However, if you are not into that kind of a cardio workout or are in a hurry then you can take a matatu. With traffic, it will take about a half hour from the South B shopping center to town. Without traffic you can nip into town within ten minutes or less. From town, you get the number 11 matatus at the bus station behind Afya Centre. If you are in a certain type of mood then sermon an uber or whatever other taxi service you like. Good news is that there will almost always be one near you with South B being so close to Mombasa Road and town.
Fare at peak hours should be around 50 shillings. There are obvious some instances when Nairobi traffic or rain just makes Nairobi a terrible place to be. During those times, fare might hike up to 80 shillings. However, again because South B is so close to town this is not common. A taxi fare calculator estimates that taxi fare would be around 300 shillings.
Entertainment and Fun
There is obviously your run of the mill local bar with your neighbors and maybe some pool. South B also homes some great clubs as well as restaurants. This would not be complete without a mention of Nerkwo which is the perfect balance between local, nyama place, meet up place among others. They have great food, everything is affordable and there is secure parking.
If you are into a different kind of fun you could nip down to the GoDown Arts Centre for an experience in Kenyan arts. They often run shows and will always have an exhibit of some sort. You could also walk over to Capital Centre on Wednesdays for a Maasai Market experience. Pick up jewelry and unique house pieces at a good price.
For some good family fun consider going to Panari for ice skating or for one of their special kids events. Capital Centre also houses a Kiddie World establishment. Basically, there is a lot to choose from in South in terms of entertainment without venturing far at all.
- Buy things from the lower part of the shopping center. That is, along the road that leads to Riverbank Estate (Aoko Road).
- The cheapest houses are also along Aoko Road or towards the tip of it. This is the area around Railway Training Institute. However, if you choose to live in Riverbank Estate choose a house that is on the upper side as the lower side floods.
- The buses almost never veer off the prescribed route regardless of amount of traffic. Weigh your options carefully between the buses and the vans.
- Befriend the security guards at the main gate as they will be helpful when you need a handy man or mama fua.
Renting in South B is a wonderful experience. Rarely do you ever live in a neighborhood with access to everything, vibrant but still affordable on so many different levels. Plus, you may run into a celebrity or two without their make up on. South B is the perfect ‘fake it till you make it’ hood. Enjoy!