Out of Africa

Lion cubs

Lion cubs

“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.”

~~ Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen), “Out of Africa”


On the outskirts of Nairobi is Karen Blixen’s home, the author of “Out of Africa.”


She lived here from 1917 to 1931.  Under pseudonym Isak Dinesen, she later wrote the autobiographical story of her adventures while living and farming in Kenya.  Published in 1937, it was later made into an award-winning film.


Karen Blixen Museum 05.JPG

Karen Blixen Museum, courtesy Wikipedia.

Now a museum, I visited the house on my way out to the African bush.  It is modest, of bungalow architecture, with many verandas and surrounded by gardens.


Museum info here and here.


Here Karen Blixen and her husband owned and managed a 4,500 acre farm, including a 600 acre coffee plantation.  After they separated, she ran it on her own.  More about Karen Blixen here.


Reticulated Giraffe, Kenya

Reticulated Giraffe, Kenya

The novel is a series of ongoing true stories about living in the African savanna; learning and adapting to the culture of tribes people; and the ups and downs of running the farm.


More about the book here.


Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen Museum, courtesy Museums.or.ke

Sparks of her remarkable character show through even a century later.  A single white woman (Danish) running a plantation in Kenya, living among people of a completely different culture.


She embraced the local tribes people, encouraged them, set up a school for them and their children.  Kenya was under British rule then, and this kind of harmonious spirit of cooperation was not the norm.


Giraffe and Zebra, Africa

Giraffe and Zebra, Africa

A century later her farm is gone, and the house is no longer a lengthy horse ride into town.  Instead it is in a suburb of sprawling Nairobi, named Karen, after her.


But as you drive out into the wilderness, finding grazing giraffe and stalking lions, you get an easy sense of her courage and spirit.


“When you have caught the rhythm of Africa” she wrote, “you find out that it is the same in all her music.”

Hippopotamus, Africa

Hippopotamus, Africa


Karen Blixen Museum, photo by Karl Ragnar Gjertsen, Wikipedia

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander (unless otherwise noted)

Baroness Karen Blixen

Karen Blixen. Courtesy museums.or.k, Nat’l Museums of Kenya



49 thoughts on “Out of Africa

  1. Oooh, I loooove Karen Blixen!! I remember, I was just a little girl when I watched “out of Africa” with Meryl Streep. 😊😊. Later in my teens I read the book 😊

  2. loved the movie but have not read the book.
    oh thank you so much for this post, Jet! reminds me of wonderful trips and experiences in Nairobi when i was based in Khartoum, Sudan. 🙂 the giraffes are very elegant. 🙂

  3. Out of Africa…one of my all time favourite films…and Karen Blixen one of those women who I see as a role model to living a life well lived. As for the lions and other fabulous wildlife and scenery……another place on this earth that I hope to visit. Thank you Jet for another fabulous blog…Janet:)

    • Such a pleasure it is, Janet, to share the beauties of Africa and Karen Blixen with you. Thank you for your comment and visit, and have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Very special people, firm, bold and adventurous. They are “doers” people. It’s to be admired. Thanks Jet, great post! 🙂

    • It’s a great book for giving the reader a good idea of life in Africa, I think you will enjoy it, Amy. Thanks for your visit, it’s always a pleasure to “see” you.

  5. Loved the photographs today, particularly the lion cubs and the hippopotamus – beautiful (yes, the hippo too!)
    I vaguely remember the movie and enjoying the scenery, but not much stuck with me. However, you have motivated me to get hold of the book – maybe even this weekend, as it is a holiday weekend here, and set to be wet and rainy…
    Thanks, Jet!

    • I think Karen Blixen’s an excellent writer and does a good job of expressing the intricacies of culture and the beauties of Africa. Good book for a rainy weekend. Good thing you went on that awesome hike last weekend. Have a wonderful weekend, pc~~

  6. I loved the film and so admire her….I know the book is much better, so will have to read it! As always, Athena has done a wonderful job with the photos…love your blog!!!

    • What a wonderful and kind comment, Kirt. Thanks so much. The film was great, espec. for the scenery, and you’ll like her book too. I’m happy you enjoyed Athena’s photos and today’s post.

  7. A film you never forget,it was breathtakingly shot on location and with most emotive aspects.I have not read the book,it must be equally compelling.Wonderful your photos,dear Jet,and all your references to the author.Thank you for bringing it out again,such works are timeless.Happy weekend,my friend 🙂 * ^ *

    • It was indeed an unforgettable film, and the book is really lovely too. You’re right, it is a timeless work. I am hoping you are enjoying a pleasant weekend, dear Doda, and am grateful, as always, for your wonderful visit here today. (‘]’)

  8. So, you’ve inspired me to read the book. How lovely it must have been to visit there. Looks like I’ll have to check out BF. It also sounds fascinating and gets closer to my roots and Eric’s, too.

    • I am a total foodie, so Babette’s Feast is one of those movies I have watched over and over and over. My love for Karen Blixen’s writings came after I watched the movie (BF), so I was thrilled when I learned she had written it. So glad you enjoyed today’s post, Gunta — thanks so very much. And have a fun weekend~~

  9. Enjoyed hearing about her! Didn’t realize she wrote BF, as well. Such diversity, talent, spirit. Thank you, once again.

  10. Thanks for this fascinating view and narrative about this remarkable woman. I’ve never read the book, and though I’d heard of the movie, I never saw that either. No you’ve inspired me to look up her writings.

    • Your wildlife enthusiasm will no doubt draw you into the creatures of Out of Africa, BJ — and Karen Blixen’s writing is an extra joy. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Fascinating post, Jet, wow, Karen had such courage and obvious determination to give to the people of Kenya her love and spirit through her work and writing. What a journey she lived!

  12. This is beautiful, not visited Nairobi coz I am studying in Cairo, but I plan to do in the nearest future if dues permit. But I think you ll need visit Nigeria too, there are lots you ll see on the streets before the zoo. Villages to visit, you are going to see amazing things. Villages will make your day than the cities. Whenever you are going, just lemme know. Lol. A blog I must open everyday. U got my 20 stars.

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