Are you single? Here are the hottest spots to get like-minded mates

Group of party people with cocktails in a bar or club having fun, one woman is looking into the camera. Shutterstock
Where you are likely to find singles in Kenya

What you need to know:

  • By use of data and social research here are the hottest places to find the one.
  • Tudor, located in Mvita a mere 3kms from the CBD, is one of the most diverse, culturally vibrant, and progressive communities in Mombasa.
  • Kisumu has remained an attractive city for reasons that include a vibrant social scene, accessibility to Lake Victoria, and low cost of living.

Last year, an unforeseen break-up and a looming quarter-life crisis prompted a strung-out Luanne Wairimu into seeking major transition. At 24, the sales promoter felt it was time to bite the bullet and move out of her parents' home. The hunt was on.

When it came to navigating Nairobi and penetrating its fringes, she knew the ropes; an agent, a wish list, a budget, some furniture and boom, child's play. Her dream was realised several moons after she keyed in her details on a popular home site.

"I moved into a cozy little apartment complex in Wangige and I genuinely loved it at first because it fit my ideal aesthetic. It had a moderate general weather, green leafy surroundings, still environs, not to mention my home had a beautiful open-concept. Until I realised I made a big mistake."

While the apartment fit the bigger bill, Luanne said she was a severely disgruntled tenant by the end of the first month. "Carousing on weekends is a nightmare as most online cabs don't drive that far into the outskirts at night. I was a single lady living in a building complex full of young families and though the space is fantastic, I did not appreciate lying awake in the night due to wailing infants." What tipped the jar, however, was how increasingly lonely she grew seeing as there were no friends or romantic prospects to meet and entertain; "Single people like leafy green suburbs much less than I thought. Also, an Uber of shame is worse when you're on the road for forty-five minutes!" Three months later she moved out.


Rental property search engines opened a window into the city's mobility dreams. However, as singles browse for new homes in far-flung neighbourhoods, many discover that their needs are unique all too late.

In 1956, findings by psychologists Festinger Et Al revealed that attraction and relationships were determined in large part by physical and functional distance, leading to a common phenomenon known as the 'Proximity or Propinquity Effect'. You are more likely to fall in love with somebody you are physically close to, he concluded.

Even in this era of online dating studies show, potential partners are likely to choose those that are within distance.

Neighbourhoods, where dating happens naturally, can be difficult to find, and statistics may, like a pickup line, mislead. So we utilized both data (KNBS 2019 Census on Marital Status) and our social research. 'Single' here means those never married, divorced, and widowed between the ages of 20-50 years.

Here is an assembly of single-friendly areas to suit all varieties of 'available'.

1. Ruaka town, Kiambu County

In 2013, the launch of the Northern Bypass road opened Ruaka's gates to exponential commercial growth and development, transforming it from a lowly settlement area to absolute prime acreage. Currently priced at a whopping Sh89.5 million per acre (the second most expensive piece of land in the country), the small but buzzing town 20 minutes away from the CBD has since then been luring professionals and young pioneers alike from all over the country.

"Moving to Ruaka was the best decision I ever made," says Richie Waruguru, a 27-year-old Interior decorator. "Some people say that the most beautiful ladies in Nairobi live in Ruaka and I can attest to that, I've dated a good number of them," says the single freelance designer.

"Having the largest mall in East Africa did us wonders." Richie has lived in the Joyland area for a year and has no plans of relocating the township any time soon. "I find Ruaka to be the best place to live as a single man in Nairobi. A surprising mass of the people living here are single. We have plenty of social amenities, affordable housing, adequate transport, and plenty of clubs for great nightlife," he says.

Not everyone agrees. "I moved there to find great (male) company from advice from some taken friends," says Debbie Karungo.

With a full plate and little time to socialise, the 32-year-old bachelorette relied on location-based dating service Tinder to search for love in the buzzing locale. "After going on dates with what seemed like every single guy from the location, I realised the men who lived in Ruaka qualified as playboys." The bachelorette explains, "Yes, there are singles there, but certainly not the type that a woman looking to meet a quality man to settle down with wants.

2. Westlands, Kileleshwa, Kilimani and Lavington environs

Following a three-year-long battle with online-bound philanderers, Debbie then decided to scout elsewhere. "I discovered most of my friends with rich dating lives lived in the Westlands area of town and waste makes haste doesn't it?"

Better known as Westie, Westlands is a colourful, vibrant sector known to combine the efficacy and organisation of the CBD with the passions of the city. Acknowledged by a growing pile of headlines as Nairobi's top tourism and hospitality hotbed, it just may take the collection's crown. "I've lived in Westlands for the past four years and it has an impressively diverse bunch of individuals, so I would understand why singles flock here," says George Mahuro, a 36-year-old marketing consultant and dad-of-one. "As a bachelor, I chose to be as logistically close as possible to places where I will meet stunning women, take them on dates, and bring them back home with as little friction as possible."

Sharing the same leafy-suburb profile is Kileleshwa, Kilimani, and Lavington estates. But there is a catch. Commitment here is in short supply here.

"Not unless you want to get stuck at the 'dating-but-unmarried' rut for years and eventually getting dumped for the newest fresher catch," George shares.

Here, the dating life is cut-throat. "It is very fast-paced, and many people I know prefer adventure to settling down. Such is 'love' in a metro area, very few are at home on weekends and in truth, how many go to raves looking for a future wife or husband? We're out to have a blast," George divulges.

George's case is simply a barometer of geography and economics and their impacts on shifting cultural norms. A study by the Royal Society titled Social Class and Wise Reasoning about Interpersonal Conflicts across Regions, Persons and Situations suggests that people in higher social classes "are associated with a lower propensity of reasoning wisely in interpersonal relationships."

In other words, research reveals that rich people are less likely to exhibit traits required for the navigation of a successful relationship such as compassion, flexibility, and empathy. Besides, 'rich love' commonly accompanies a sense of entitlement owing to privilege, more communication problems, and a 'more money more options' mentality.

3. Thika Road Area

Every year, thousands of optimistic sophomores and young hires move to Thika Road, lease rental units, and commence realising their dreams. A 50km-long stretch from Nairobi to Thika, Thika Road is a host to numerous estates, all known to house both the ultra-rich and the young and clamorous alike. Tony Ndungu reveals, "I've lived here for a year and a half. While I had a hectic academic life that called for undivided attention pre-COVID-19, I was still on the search for a serious relationship. Up until the pandemic, my love life was jam-packed, in an unruly way."

For Tony, the juxtaposition of broke youngins and millionaires allows for places that serve both groups, so cheap recreation is in abundance for broke college students. "It helps us relieve stress and anxiety and we are delighted to meet other singles."

4. Parklands Area

Imani Wanjohi a 46-year-old business owner, found the Parklands area ideal to enjoy life as an older divorced mom of two. "I love it here. The crowd is very mature and tranquilized." According to the senior bachelorette, Parklands, a semi-affluent neighbourhood recognised for family-owned townhomes save for the odd brand new high-rise apartment, providing warmth.

"To my surprise, many builds were not as racially oblique as I was led to believe, and the zone turned out to be much larger than I imagined when I first started apartment hunting. The new homes are quite pricey, but that's how I meet fellow accomplished age mates around to relate to." Imani continues, "If you are a mature, successful person seeking a unique dating experience with the convenience of plazas, farmers' markets, medical centers, and relaxing spots you should try this place."

5. Kiambu Road

Rita Mang'oa, 28, has lived in many estates around the city, but she never felt like she fitted in as a single woman. Then a friend suggested she tries Thindigua estate, a hamlet situated in Kiambu road 15 minutes from the CBD. "I had to take my time with my decision lest I mess up again," the lawyer in the city says.

Two months after taking up residence in one bedroomed flat in Thindigua, Rita is brimming with joy. "Everything, from the take-your-breath-away views, near-perfect weather, well-decorated chill joints, and shopping centers amounted to a top-shelf living for me at an exceedingly bargained price," she beams. In 2018, thanks to the Northern Bypass road, Thindigua experienced a boom in the development of residential investment properties. Clusters of new builds now occupy the area, and hordes of taxpayers are still flocking in.

When queried on her dating life, Rita is confident of her prospects. "I have made so many new friends and attended several get-togethers since I arrived. I even hosted a house-warming party!" She coyly adds, "If you must know, I have been in a relationship for a week now, we are very happy but the partnership is still young."

6. Lang'ata Area

For James Musyoka, moving to Lang'ata, a bustling middle-class suburb located in the southwest division 20 minutes from the CBD, was the revelation he needed. "I relocated to Langata from my maternal home in Nakuru as a young Event Planner and the experience opened my eyes. Chance meetings quickly became a 'thing' for me, and that was how I met my future wife in a matter of weeks!" The 29-year-old wistfully explains "As a freelancer in an unfamiliar environment, I was open to any experience. Sure enough, while aimlessly expediting, I met a great woman. Our courtship was a whirlwind.

With the first date spent meandering hand-in-hand around the iconic Giraffe Manor, followed by dinner at The Carnivore where conversation flowed as easily as the drinks." According to James, he was hooked. "She showed me Langata's rich and edgy culture and I never looked back." The charming attractions, affordable housing, and bulk of leisure facilities (in other words, a concoction ideal for the spark of a captivating conversation with a stranger) the region is outstanding for those single and ready to mingle.

Other singles' hotspots in other towns around Kenya

Eldoret Town- Kapsoya

Little over fifteen years ago, Eldoret struggled to find its identity but has since become one of the most desirable cities in Kenya, attracting immigrants from all around the country. Located in the eastern margin of Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County, Kapsoya is considered the perfect area for singles who love living in popular but affordable locations.

With restaurants, hotels, and newly built shopping malls, Kapsoya is well known to keep its inhabitants happy and well entertained. It also has a police station for ample security. Kapsoya has a population of 40,000 constituents, most of them young tenants, and rental properties range from Sh15, 000 for two-bedroomed homes.

- Matching spots- Pioneer and Action.

Nakuru City- Kiamunyi

The former capital of the Rift Valley Province, Nakuru regards itself as a large city with a small-town spirit. Although once a big-time colonial home ground, Nakuru is now an agricultural and transport metropolis, giving its residents the economic opportunities and cultural amenities of the big city minus the property costs and violent crime rates. For anyone looking to delight in rich dating life, the top area to consider is Kiamunyi. A well-run contemporary area nestled 8kms from the CBD, Kiamunyi ranks highest in its desirability and its ability to draw the city's young working-class professionals.

Perhaps what is even more striking about Kiamunyi is that given its 'posh' reputation, you would expect it to be undoubtedly expensive, but a paycheck goes a long way here. Throw in a booming cultural and restaurant scene and Kiamunyi, a locale with an attractive median two-bedroom rent value of Sh15, 000 easily puts a winning case.

- Matching spots- Racecourse Estate, Langa Langa, and Satelite.

Kisumu City- Polyview

Kisumu has remained an attractive city for reasons that include a vibrant social scene, accessibility to Lake Victoria, and low cost of living.

Polyview. The name may not elicit images of a place worthy of a top entry on a list of over 50, but names count for little in Kisumu. Located 2km from Kisumu's CBD, Polyview prides itself as a great place to caper and very much lives up to the tag. It is an incredibly quirky area and new single residents are sure to warm up to their new surroundings within no time considering the great camaraderie the community is keen to offer.

- Matching spots- Lolwe, Migosi, Mamboleo, and Bandani.

Mombasa City- Mvita

There are a few places in Kenya that are as stereotyped as much as Mombasa. Even a mention of the name evokes a certain image to mind. Bongo music. Loose-fitting outfits. A certain distinctive twang and drawl. Holiday. Well, county 001 is all that and much more, and if a single is looking to move here, chances are they will be interested in more than just stereotypes.

Tudor, located in Mvita a mere 3kms from the CBD, is one of the most diverse, culturally vibrant, and progressive communities in Mombasa. The majority of workers are either entrepreneurs, artistic creatives, or work in the service industry.

There is a thriving art and culture scene, with festivals happening every year and the CBD's amenities are close, not to mention it borders Tudor's creek. Generally, Tudor is considered exceptionally livable for the bold singles on a budget.

- Matching spots-Ganjoni, Bamburi, and Changamwe.