The African Heritage House In Kenya | Africa’s Most Photographed House

The African Heritage House is a striking building sitting on a hill overlooking the Nairobi National park – the only national park in the world to be found within a city.  The African Heritage House is a national monument in Kenya, classified and gazetted under the National Museums and Heritage Act in 2016.

The African Heritage House is a picturesque house design and built in a combination of mud architectures from across Africa that houses over 6,000 rare and precious items collected over half a century.

The African Heritage House is a striking and picturesque building sitting on 7.7 acres of land on the edge of Nairobi national park, the house is owned and was designed by Alan Donovan. The African Heritage House was built to preserve forgotten architectural designs of the Africa house, the house was built the years 1989 and 1994 and was modeled by Alan Donovan who is also the owner with inspiration drawn from the mud architecture of the Great Mosque of Djenneé in Mali, the mud palaces of Morrocco, Swahili architecture of East African Coast, Zanzibar and Lamu and the traditional houses of Ghana and Burkina Faso.

The interior of the African Heritage House is a typical African presentation, with the doors being obtained from Lamu, an interior courtyard derived from Moroccan Culture and fabric that showcases the detailed and artistic African eye among others. What sets this house a part is the collection of artifacts collected from all around Africa, these artifacts are so diverse and valuable that they have turned the house into a national monument.

The African Heritage House In Kenya
The African Heritage House In Kenya

The African Heritage House houses thousands pieces of objects, collection of artworks, artifacts, antique, ceremonial costumes, weaponry, jewellery, textiles, brassware and traditional pottery thus The African Heritage House In Kenya.


In 1970, Alan Donovan arrived in Kenya and spent most of his time with the amazing Turkana people of Northern Kenya, as a young man in company of other explorers, he originally wanted to experience Kenya and not settle down, however visiting the Turkana changed everything, he saw a place of rich culture thus collecting some artifacts in the process which gave birth to the Africa Heritage House.

With collections of art and material culture of the nomadic Turkana tribe, he held his first exhibition in Nairobi in October 1970. One of the people who attended the exhibition were Joseph Murumbi and his wife Sheila, Mr Murumbi was the first Kenyan foreign minister and also served as the second vice president of Kenya. He was an art connoisseur and one of the greatest art collectors of African art and promoted Africa Culture, thus the African heritage was formed in 1972 by Aln Donovan and Joseph Murumbi.

 A gallery were African artists could sell and showcase their works was established, this would help to preserve, promote and protect African art and culture. African Heritage also established a cultural outreach program known as Kenya’s African Heritage Festival with a troupe of models, dances, musicians, acrobats and others who travelled around the world promoting Kenya’s tourism and African culture showing a collection of authentic African costumes and fashions created from the hand-woven and hand – printed textiles of Africa.

The African Heritage House In Kenya
The African Heritage House In Kenya


It is referred to as Africa’s most photographed house, the house was the first house in Africa to be featured in the prestigious US Architectural Digest in November 1996.  Over the years, Africa Heritage House has appeared on the cover of Marie Claire and hosted a photo shoot for the St. John Collection for Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.

 Rooms in the house are decorated in a wide range of styles, all representative of different African cultures, these room include The Ashanti Suite, the Lamu Suite, The Moroccan Suite and the Bakuba Suite. All of these guest rooms, depict the culture of these disparate regions.

The house features Kente curtains, artworks by several African artists hunging on the walls giving visitors of the house the feel of traveling through Africa.

The pool house at The African Heritage House exhibits African design with sculptures by African Artists, the nature surrounding the pool house enhances the beauty of this wondrous place and is bond to have a soothing effect on your body, mind and soul.

The restaurant at The Africa Heritage House serves food characterized of African dishes ranging from Swahili coconut rice to groundnut stew from Ghana. While visiting the house, get ready to tantalize your taste buds with authentic divine cuisine which will make you fall in love with the house.

From the balcony of the house, you will be able to see plenty of animals such as Zebras, giraffes and gazelles from a distance as you sip your morning cup of coffee. Be prepared to catach occasional sight of ostriches dashing across the field or the long necks of giraffes all seen from the sanctuary of the house.

The African Heritage House is an ideal site to visit for travelers seeking for adventure.

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