Zimmerman in 2024: Affordable Houses, Business Ideas & What to Expect When You Relocate

Zimmerman, Nairobi

This is a guide to rental houses in Zimmerman. It covers the area between KPLC Substation and Base Road.

Here’s what I mean.

Zimmerman upto Base Road illustrated

I will show you where to find affordable single rooms, bedsitters, 1 (one) and 2 (two) bedroom houses in Zimmerman.

I’ll also tell you what businesses are thriving here.

Say, for example, you want a Ksh. 8,000 bedsitter. Use this guide to identify the places that have a bedsitter going for Ksh. 8,000 or less, then go there and see if one is vacant. Or send a friend to check for you.

Please note that all prices are in Kenya Shillings (Ksh.) per month.


I’ll show you where to find:

          •Single rooms 5,000

          •Bedsitters 7,500 

          •1 bedroom 9,000 

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Is Zimmerman a good place to live?

So now, let’s take a closer look at Zimmerman.

How is life in Zimmerman?

The rent you’ll pay is one piece of the puzzle.

Daily fare, time spent commuting, food prices, water availability, and even security of the area are other factors you should consider.

So what is it like living there? This is what to expect when you relocate to Zimmerman.

Where is Zimmerman in Nairobi?

Zimmerman is sandwiched between Thika Road and Kamiti Road. It stretches from TRM (Thika Road Mall), all the way to Githurai.

How far is Zimmerman from Nairobi?

The distance from Imenti House to Zimmerman is 13.7 Km.

Where do I board matatu to Zimmerman?

The Zimmerman stage in Nairobi is located at Imenti House along Tom Mboya Street.

You can also board the buses along Ronald Ngara Street. FYI, these are the cheapest options for getting to Zimmerman.

Fare from Nairobi Town to Zimmerman

Ksh. 20-50 during off-peak hours. Yes, 20 bob.

Ksh. 70 during rush hour.

Let’s do the math. If you commute daily to town in the morning and get back in the evening, this is what your budget will look like:

(70×2) x 5 days = 700

700 x 4 weeks = 2,800

In addition to rent, you’ll spend approximately Ksh. 2,800 in fares per month if you decide to live in Zimmerman.

Traffic jam pain points

The main traffic pain points are Muthaiga/Pangani area, and Globe roundabout if you’re heading to the CBD.

Then from Allsops to Garden City Mall in the evening and along Kamiti Road after TRM.

Other Fares

Fare from Zimmerman to Kahawa West

Ksh. 50

Remember, this guide covers the area between KPLC substation and Base Road.

Water availability

Water availability in Zimmerman has improved. Note that I haven’t said there is no water challenge. It’s just better compared to previous years.

8 out of the 10 people I talked to on the upper side of Base Road said they have no water problem.

They have water almost throughout. The only days they don’t have water are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

One thing, though, is some buildings don’t have a water pump. People who stay on the upper floors suffer because the ordinary water pressure is not strong enough to reach them.

They have to fetch water on the ground floor. And when it cuts out, it suddenly leaves them high and dry.

And most of the older buildings don’t have storage tanks. Buy a 210-litre tank in case you find yourself in such a building.

Market food prices in Zimmerman

8 of the 10 people I talked to said that food prices in Zimmerman are average. 

2 felt they were high.

However, they all agreed that it’s cheaper to shop at the nearby Githurai market.

Is Zimmerman safe?

What about unreported cases?

For the unreported cases, I talked to the residents.

9 of the 10 people I talked to said the upper side of Zimmerman is safe. That’s the area around Cooperative and the immediate surrounding area.

They said security is not good as you go downtown. Residents have witnessed a few cases of muggings.

What residents love about Zimmerman

“Affordable life.”

“Cheap fares.”

“Accommodates both middle and lower class.”

“Good affordable schools.”

“High population is good for business.”

“For young people, it’s the best place to start an independent life.”

What residents don’t like about Zimmerman

“Bad drainage system.”

“Flooding when it rains.”

“Bad inner roads.”

“Frequent power blackouts.”

Business ideas

If you’re thinking about setting up a business in Zimmerman, think of one of the following:

Grocery store (kibanda). This big, big population gotta eat.

Salon or barber shop

Pub, wines and spirits.

Clothes shop

Retail shop on the ground floors of apartments.

Alright! Let’s dive in. 

Places in Zimmerman you’ll find affordable rental houses

Rental houses near Co-operative Bank/Khetia’s

Enter the street between Co-operative Bank and Khetia’s along Kamiti Road.

It splits into two. There is the upper side, and the lower side.

Affordable rental houses near Co-op Zimmerman

Let’s start with the upper side (A). Here you’ll find :

     •1 bedroom 15,000

Advantages: It’s quiet and not crowded.

On the lower side (B), you will find:

     •1 bedroom 13,500 ; 18,000

Advantages: It’s cabro-paved all the way to Base Road.

Rental houses behind KPLC Substation

After the Roysambu footbridge along Thika Road, take a let turn to join a cabro-paved lane behind the KPLC Substation.

It will get you to this place.

Affordable rental houses behind KPLC Zimmerman

It goes down to Deliverance Church. Here you will find:

     •Bedsitters 9,000 ; 10,000

Rental houses at Zebra

Rental houses in Zimmerman at Zebra

One other area I want to feature is Zebra, a long stretch of road off Thika Road that joins Base Road on the other end.

I found good, affordable houses near PAG Church.

Rental houses in Zimmerman at Zebra near PAG Church

Follow the road up to almost the end, take a right turn to PAG Church, then a left turn (See insert).

Around this area you will find:

     •Single rooms 5,000

     •Bedsitters 7,500 (8,000 with balcony)

     •1 Bedroom 9,000 ; 11,000

Disadvantages: power blackouts. Not frequent, but they can be irritating when they happen.

About the author

Lenny Kamwara Pic

Lenny is a content producer based in Nairobi, Kenya. A TV Production graduate from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, KIMC.