If you are looking for some good rhumba joints and/or live bands playing in Nairobi today, check out:
- Pots & Palms on Riverside Drive, which has a rhumba night on Thursdays and Saturdays featuring a live band.
- Dolce Club Nairobi on Koinange Street, one of my favorite nightclubs in Nairobi, which has live country music with Sir Elvis every Friday from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Club Vibro in Nairobi West always plays rhumba, sometimes featuring a live band and at other times a DJ.
- Dream Village Club in South B has live rhumba bands on most days of the week including Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (cover charge is usually Ksh. 300). On Sundays, specifically, they feature Lesasa Jocker with Bilenge Musica International Original from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Entrance on Sunday is free.
- Pitstop Grill Bar & Lounge on Langata Road plays strictly rhumba. Every Sunday starting at 3 p.m. until late they host Qlassic Band, who play Afrian music and zilizopendwa.
- Tamambo Karen Blixen features live rhumba with The Calabash Band every Friday starting at 7 p.m.
- Airport Lounge, located at Wilson Airport, features the TBM Band every Saturday between 2 p.m and 9 p.m.
- Summers Bar & Grill, at Langata Mall, features Baino Band every Wednesday from 4-9 p.m. for Rhumba Wednesdays. It also features, Qlassic Band, every Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m.
Other Places in Nairobi Where Live Bands Play Today
- K1 Klubhouse, Ojijo Road Parklands: The Untamed Band plays every Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Alfajiri Kilimani Grill, off Dennis Pritt Road in Kilimani: Weavers Band plays every Thursday from 2 p.m to 8 p.m. (free entry)
- The Tunnel, Pili Trade Center on Mombasa Road, different bands play on Wednesdays.
A Note About Live Bands in Nairobi Today
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, live bands in Nairobi begin and end performing much earlier than usual in order to adhere to the night time curfew of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Do You Know of Other Good Live Bands Playing Regularly in Nairobi Today?
If so, please let me know in a comment below so I can add it to this lists. Thanks in advance!
Now on to my original post:
An African Music Club in Nairobi
At the beginning of this year (or at the end of last year – I no longer remember which), friends who know how much of an ‘African woman’ I am started to call me and tell me that they had been to a nightclub that they knew I’d love.
I would get excited every time they would tell me about Club Afrique. Somehow, I’d never get round to going there though.
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A Chance to Go to Club Afrique Presents Itself
A few months ago, on a first date with someone who’s since become a permanent fixture in my life, the subject of Club Afrique came up.
This person told me how much he liked the place and offered to take me there on a subsequent date.
Not one to let an opportunity pass, I agreed to be taken to Club Afrique on the following Friday.
I asked a few friends to come along, and as a group, off we went to Club Afrique.
Discovering Club Afrique, One of the Best Rhumba Clubs in Nairobi
I can still remember what it felt like walking through Club Afrique for the first time.
The décor was grand and it seemed like a nightclub into which a lot of thought had been put.
There was a lot to take in.
First, we walked through a typical club bar area with people sitting on stools and ‘salons’ not far off.
We then went upstairs to find an area that had a bit of a restaurant-in-a-nightclub feel. It had tables that were very suggestive of a formal sit-down meal.
The VIP Lounge at Club Afrique
We stopped at the VIP lounge, one of my favorite “pretty spots” at Club Afrique.
This lounge, which is fully enclosed, is brightly lit with a bar of its own.
It has a great atmosphere that doesn’t feel like a nightclub at all but rather like a cocktail gathering.
It has seats, to the best of my recollection, though these seats always seem to be occupied.
We had a drink at the VIP lounge, but because of the lack of seating, decided to go to another upstairs section that until very recently was my favorite place to hang out at Club Afrique (the upstairs section on the left side of the dance floor).
This section also had its own bar and comfortable seats that were reminiscent of a sitting room or seats that you would find in a personal library – seats you can really get comfortable in and sink into.
Because it’s usually not crowded, this area is extremely private. Nonetheless, it still feels very much a part of the club since it overlooks the dance floor downstairs.
I called this area my favorite place to hang out at Club Afrique until very recently. What could have overtaken it?
Why the dance floor of course!
The last time I was at Club Afrique, I was there with a female friend out on a night on the town. We wanted to be as close to the dance floor as possible and so sat in the salon area downstairs.
We were there well into the wee hours of the morning.
The Dance Floor at Club Afrique, One of the Best Rhumba Clubs in Nairobi
On the dance floor, we could feel the music best because of the throng of people who were also as enthralled by the music as we were.
We ended up dancing with people who really felt and understood the music. For you rhumba lovers, you know what that means. These people knew exactly where every major break in the song fell and what dance style to dance to every part of each song.
I danced as though I was 18 again!
The entrance fee at Cub Afrique is Ksh. 300, but well worth it for anyone who likes African music.
Also, when I say they play African music, I don’t mean that they play just ‘Rhumba’ (as we call it here in East Africa). Club Afrique also plays Tanzanian music, Ivorian music, Cameroonian music, and of course our very own authentic Kenyan music.
If you have not been to Club Afrique and you are a fan of African music, you are definitely missing out.
Club Afrique, one of the best rhumba clubs in Nairobi, is located in the same complex as the casino on Museum Hill, along with Galileo and Toona Tree.
Whenever you make your way down there, please let me know what you think. I had a ball and I am sure you will too.
Until the next time,
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