Saturday, October 19, 2019

Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa

This house.  The ACTUAL house!

This is the beautiful farmhouse where Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, lived between 1914 and 1931, until she left Kenya after a series of personal tragedies. I haven't seen the movie in 30 years. I need a repeat. This was fascinating - The house contains many pieces of her original furniture and our tour guide was fabulous in setting the scene for us as to what really happened here.

The grounds are lovely and I wish we could have spent more time.

the downside?  No photos were allowed inside.  But it was truly wonderful.  Not a huge house, only 2 bedrooms and one bath – but the remarkable lives that were spent here.

Karen was truly a phenomenal woman!

Our lovely guide -

So knowledgeable and helpful with information on everything both inside and outside the house.  Thanks to her, I WILL be treating myself to a good Out of Africa binge soon!

Karen, from a poster by the door.

Karen’s parlor.

As I mentioned, much of the original furniture is still in the house, and the room was arranged just like this thanks to the help of this photo.  Her life really is fascinating. And I don’t want to rewrite it here, so along with seeing the movie, played by Meryl Streep opposite Robert Redford (what’s not to love?!) You can find the real facts HERE.

Playing with my new camera – Loving it!

Isn’t this orange just intense?

Farm machinery from Karen’s coffee plantation.

Life sure wasn’t easy!

Coffee blossoms.

Love the clock in the dormer window.

My group, listening to more of Karen’s story. on the front veranda.

Goodness – Did I mention how much I love this camera?

Such gorgeous color in these hibiscus!

Bougainvillea over the covered walkway that once went to the school.

What can I say? No photos allowed in the house means I was shooting photos of everything else!

Such a beautiful color combo!

Here the coffee beans were dried and made ready to ship.

Coffee was as big of an industry then as it is now, even with no Starbucks.  The roasting didn’t happen here – that happened in England.  It was rustic – I don’t know how she did it.  But she did. No thanks to that dolt of an ex-husband.  Watch the movie, read the book – seriously.

House from another angle.

Beautiful side yard.

Our guide told us that this is a sought after location for weddings, receptions and events.  I can guess why!

Okay. I Googled!

Karen’s bedroom.

Check out the herringbone pattern in the floor!

As I write this we have moved from Nairobi to Sweetwaters Serena Camp.  What a fascinating drive we had up here – so much to see and take in.  And we’ve had our first safari!  If you are interested in some of the things we saw, check out my facebook and/or instagram feeds.

SO many photos. So many to edit, upload or even delete off the memory card on my camera as those burst shots take a lot of space while trying to catch action.

This morning our safari LEAVES the gate at 6 am, so posts may be shorter to get word out as time allows.  Be prepared for LOADS of animal stuff.

I am over the moon!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Gorgeous African textiles found in Nairobi on Friday.

This is not an escape from my life. This IS my life. And I am so grateful.

What would you like to see happen with the life to be lived in front of you?


  1. I have to admit I had no desire to go on the Kenya trip but after seeing Karen's house, I have reconsidered the possibility of joining in someday. Have a lovely trip, enjoy the animals.

  2. Great job with that new camera Bonnie!! I'm having so much fun tagging along on this amazing trip from a distance :)) The Bougainvillea photos are so pretty.

  3. I enjoyed reading this. Excellent story of your adventures.
    Keep having fun

  4. Out of Africa is on my list of All Time Favorite Movies. Karen Blixen was a strong woman, a woman of True Grit. Enjoy your time there and keep sending the gorgeous photos!

  5. thank you -- love your tales and thanks for including the Bio of Karen Blixen, fascinating! That's a great camera!! Beautiful colors! almost a good as being there! Cats in Carlsbad, CA

  6. I'm so enjoying your trip. Colors are so beautiful. I've never read Karen's book but now think I must, then see the movie.

  7. I'm so enjoying your trip. I haven't read Karen's book but now think I must. Then see the movie. And those fabrics are so beautiful.

  8. My very favorite movie......

  9. What is this new camera? You say how wonderful it is but I don't see that you say what it is. My phone is not as good as those gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing your trip.

  10. Wow Bonnie- Great pictures! You say not a large house, but it looks large to me for those days. It is a plantation house, and the architecture of the house the machinery, must really have been fine a hundred years ago. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where it has been cloudy and rainy today, and that is the forecast most of the coming week.

  11. We watched Out of Africa about a month ago. Nice to see the actual house

  12. Me gusta tu blog porque veo cosas de otros lugares.
    Felicidades y buena suerte.

  13. Out of Africa is one of my most favorite movies. I had no idea the house still existed. The trip sounds fabulous.

  14. You are doing an awesome job with the new camera. The color is so vivid. I catch myself trying to figure out how you are going to interpret these shapes and colors into your next quilt! It's a mystery to me. (She says with a smile) But my very favorite thing you wrote was at the very last. This IS your life. What a blessing you are to share it with so many. Thanks.

  15. Lots of beautiful photos with so many colors - I see inspiration for next year's mystery quilt.

  16. wonderful photos! I read the book, but I still here Meryl Streep at the opening of the movie "I had a house in Africa." How exciting to have visited her home!

  17. One of my favorite movies.....and I am fortunate to have visited the house in Kenya with my family several years ago. We love Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, but parts of our hearts are in Zambia, where we participate in the Zambia Medical Mission. Have a great trip and thanks for sharing!!


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