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daniserralta Nairobi - A travel report by Dani
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Nairobi,  Kenya - flag Kenya -  Nairobi Area
8645 readers

daniserralta's travel reports

Nairobi. The business heart of East Africa.

  19 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Nairobi is busy, polluted, kind of modern for the African standards, alive during the day, adventurous at night, there's poverty between the big banks skyscrapers, shopping, malls, cinemas, ... all in one but without loosing their African soul.

Nairobi from Uhuru Park.
Nairobi from Uhuru Park.
Nairobi is usually the first stop for travellers to Africa. Wellcome to Africa! It was not in my case cause I was coming from Uganda by the way. for me, after a couple of months in Rwanda and Uganda, Nairobi was like an injection of first world in Africa. I found again cinemas showing hollywood movies, bakeries with sweet pastry, high buildings, big avenues, nice cars, cocacola AND pepsi, monuments, 4 stars hotels and parks wher you can seat and relax with not too much anoying people. Is a pleasure just come back to a place where you can go to shopping looking for the prefect safari hat after weeks of not-that-facilities travel. Relax, you are in Nairobi. There's a big bad reputation about robbery and thieves ... I wasn't robbed and it seemed safe to me. Maybe I was lucky? There are tons of histories about the dangerous Nairobi but at least the city center was very safe to me, even at night. Really in Nairobi you feel like in Africa but out of Africa at the same time. There's a lot to do in Nairobi and around, let me tell you ....

Favourite spots:
Jomo Kenyatta.
Jomo Kenyatta.
For me was really fun just walk around the city center. The streets, shops, parks, etc... were pleasant, I mean no too much hurry and quite nice and clean. (I repeat! the city center.) But the really great is around. 2 places are a must for me. If you don´t have the chance to see better national parks you can visit Nairobi national park. Is just at the end of the city. You can do a safari to see lions or elephants with the tall skyscrapers at the end. Is not the best safari that you can do but is quite strange. Really very much interesting is the Elephants and Rhino orphanage where an organzation try to reeducate young elephants and rhinos to start again in the wild national parks. They are young animals with sad stories about poachers, accidents, etc ... is an amazing visit just a few minutes out of the city and it worth the visit. Impresive good job with that animals with a great number of re-introductions to the park. Free of charge, just a donation to help them.

What's really great:
What did I like special after months in rural Africa? Taste again a great sweet creamy doonut. A part of it. Was very special be back to a big city. Be pushed on the street by busines men in a hurry cause they are late to job or just seat at the Uhuru park (Independence park) and don´t be anoyed with inquisitory questions about me and my past by a local man looking desperate for business or a 30 minuts chat with a white foreigner. Was special just be one more in the busy city. Do some shopping or see some hollywod movies at the cinema. That was great to me. In the real Africa I was looking for a very different things but in Nairobi I was for a little break and I did.

Masai Market.
Masai Market.
Nairobi is suppossed to have a great National Museum but when I was there it was closed and someone told me that it will take a long time for the re-opening. Who knows!
Just in front there's a Snake park to see all kind of sanakes, crocodriles, turtles or spiders in windowed jails.
Is not a must.
The Uhuru park is quite nice and relaxing, specially at weekends when is full of families and ocasionally some lovers.
There's a great view of the city center from the lake.
Some days there are religious bands singing. bffff!
Another option is just go to the Masai Market and try to upgrade your bargaining skills.
There's anything Masai that you can imagine and very cheap.

There are twoo clear areas for accomodation in Nairobi.
The city center is divided by Tom Mboya Street.
Before that street there are reasonably priced hotels in a very safe area even at night.
I recommend specially Down Town Hotel or the Terminal hotel for good acomodation.
But there some others there or around Jevanjee Gardens.
After Tom Mboya street there many other hotels and hostels.
Some are cheaper but the area is noisy, extremely polluted and not really safe.
You should see if is better spend 5 extra Euros for a safe and clean acomodation.
At this area I was at Hotel Greton, a big one but noisy at weekends because of a discotheque in front.
Africana or Danika are another options there but too noisy too cause of the buses and thousand matatus going everywhere.

Nightlife in Nairobi is not really great. Is safe to go out in the city center but not untill too late and with your eyes well opened.
It seems that there are 2 locals targeting the real nightlife in Nairobi, the Zanze Bar (South of Moi Ave.) and Ibiza bar (Kimathi St.).
Out of the city and not too far is the Simba Saloon where there's usually alive music and concerts with local bands. Is an open courtyard next to the Carnivore restaurant, and the only way to go or come back is by taxi.

For a nice historical visit also related to a nice movie and a good book you can take a taxi or a matatu and go to Karen Blixen House to see the real house of the writer of "Out of Africa".
You can visit the house and walk around by the gardens to see the colorful flowers and trees till the hidden old coffee burner machine.
All the coffee plantations disapeared to create there a rich houses area.
There also a Giraffe center near to see young giraffes and where you can feed them. Quite interesting.

There are several restaurants into Nairobi. You can find all kind of cuissines from the local african to Chinese and , of course, italian pizza.
Also fast food and take aways all over the city center.
Thousands of chicken restaurants are sprayed all over the city too. Chicken is the king food there.
Maybe the most strange option for the foreigner is the Carnivore restaurant.
Vegetarians are not wellcome!
After many safaries I was wondering if I could eat a Zebra, yeah! like a lion does!!
At the Carnivore you can eat some different meats like camel, zebra, cocodrile, giraffe, etc ....
Is not an amazing idea but is quite interesting for one time in your life.
Is out of the city so you need a taxi and the price is reasonable.

Other recommendations:
The train station is at the end of Moi Avenue. Is small and nice but the best is that you can take the train to Mombasa.
It takes all the night arriving next morning and is very nice experience.
Was not really expensive and enough comfortable in a cabin with twoo beds to share.
It leaves 3 alternate days per week. Same from Mombasa.
The buses depart and arrive to/from the streets around Latema Road. Is a very noisy, dirty and polluted area ... not a great first view of Nairobi.
The Matatus for short distances also depart from Latema Road and Accra Road making this area hurtingly noisy and stressful.
Matatus or shared minivans are the best option to Mount Kenya and similar distances cause are faster.
Jomo Kenyatta airport is about 14 kilometers out of the city.
Internet is fast and reasonably priced and can be found anywhere in the city.
There are several banks with ATM's for Visa Cards. Barcklays bank, Standard Chartered bank or Kenya bank are the most reliable.

Published on Friday July 14th, 2006

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Wed, Aug 09 2006 - 03:03 AM rating by gloriajames

great report with lots of info tho lacking in pics (";) nevertheless well done!

Fri, Jul 21 2006 - 11:15 PM rating by mamielle

Interesting report

Mon, Jul 17 2006 - 05:37 AM rating by marianne

Good information but i wished for some more photos as this is a place not often visited

Sun, Jul 16 2006 - 07:44 AM rating by frenchfrog


Sat, Jul 15 2006 - 01:37 PM rating by mistybleu

Dani, a wonderful report, it contains so much information.


Sat, Jul 15 2006 - 07:28 AM rating by bootlegga

An interesting report! Thank you for some good insights into life in Africa.

Sat, Jul 15 2006 - 07:24 AM rating by rangutan

Exellent and nice to read so many postive remarks about the city, I know that some visitors just cann't bare things outside the hotel room!

Sat, Jul 15 2006 - 01:48 AM rating by davidx

Very informative report on an un-African sounding city.

Fri, Jul 14 2006 - 11:30 PM rating by st.vincent

An interesting view of an interesting city, and great information for anyone planning to visit

Fri, Jul 14 2006 - 12:40 PM rating by barcelona

Wonderful report and very helpful for the travelers

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