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Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen museum excursion

It was built in 1912; Karen Blixen Museum was home to Danish Author, Poet, and Artist- Karen Blixen. Made famous by the Oscar Award-winning film ‘Out of Africa’, based on Karen’s autobiography by the same title, the then farmhouse was established as a museum in 1986 by the National Museums of Kenya.

The museum continues to captivate visitors inspired by Karen’s life story and the best way start safari in Kenya.

The Karen Blixen Museum is open to the public every day (9.30 am to 6 pm) including weekends and public holidays. Visitors are encouraged to be at the Museum by 5.30.  Guided tours are offered continuously.  A museum shop offers handicrafts, posters and postcards, the Movie ‘Out of Africa’, books, and other Kenyan souvenirs.  The grounds may be rented for wedding receptions, corporate functions, and other events.

History

The Karen Blixen house meets three of the customary criteria for historical significance. First, it is associated with the broad historical pattern of European settlement and cultivation of East Africa. Second, it is associated with the life of a person significant to our past as the home of Baroness Karen Blixen from 1917 -1931. As such, it served as the setting and basis of her well-known book Out of Africa, written under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen and as a gathering place for other well-known personalities of the period. Third, the building embodies the distinctive characteristics of its type, period, and method of construction.

The house’s architecture is typical of late 19th-century bungalow architecture, including the spacious rooms, horizontal layout verandas, tile roof, and stone construction typical of scores of residences built throughout European suburbs of Nairobi in early decades.

The chronology of the house begins with its construction in 1912 by the wealthy Swedish civil engineer, later honorary Swedish consul to Kenya, Ake Sjogren. It served as the main residence on his Swedo-African coffee company, an estate of over 6,000 acres.

The house was soon visited while on safari by the Danish count Mojen Frijs, who upon his return to Denmark persuaded his cousin to seek their fortune in Kenya. Baron Blixen acquired part of the estate in 1913 and the remainder in 1916. Karen Blixen called the house “Bogani” or “Mbogani” meaning a house in the woods and occupied it until 1931.

By1985, with renewed interest in Karen Blixen, occasioned by the film production of Out of Africa, an agreement 

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    TRA License No. 023985

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