If you’re questioning what to talk over with if you’re happiest within the town for a little while, a Nairobi in Kenya strolling excursion is an excellent approach to benefit from the charming capital of Kenya Nairobi. Many of us merely go during the town, route to a safari, however, when you’ve got time to spend an evening, you must undoubtedly get out and discover.
I had 24 hours in Kenya Nairobi however left feeling I had made a reference to town. As Kenya’s capital, Nairobi has an enormous historical past, from being in the middle of human evolution to the colonial days and from being as soon as a poster kid for a hit post-colonial devolution, to the civil unrest that also bubbles underneath nowadays.
Through taking a Nairobi in Kenya strolling excursion with information, you gain the handiest view of the primary vacationer put in Nairobi, however, you’ll additionally pay attention to their retail outlets and the percentage of their enjoyment of existence within the town.
I was fortunate to satisfy Charles, my information whom I’m nonetheless involved with, who helped me now not only benefit from the town, but additionally really feel protected and benefit from my 24 hours in Nairobi.
Arriving Nairobi in Kenya
The plan was to fly into Nairobi, out of Johannesburg with plenty of journeys in between.
Taking a look again, as a primary solo go back and forth it was once one hell of a studying enjoy, in particular having misplaced my pockets, telephone, and Passport in Dubai airport, however, that’s some other tale.
Getting a visa at Nairobi Airport
Jomo Kenyatta Global Airport is unassuming, apply everybody off the aircraft to the visa table, pay $50 and go on through.
There are a number of choices for visas into Kenya, so make sure that you get the right kind one. I had an easy Kenyan vacationer visa, however, you’ll be able to additionally get a transit visa if you’re traveling immediately through and out of Kenya which I imagine is $30, or a couple of access visas for $70.
In case you plan to depart Kenya and re-enter, make sure that you get this one in a different way you’ll finally end up paying the total of $50 once more upon re-entry. Undergo this in thoughts if you’re visiting one of the crucial neighboring international locations equivalent to Kampala in Uganda or Rwanda earlier than coming again to Kenya.
All of those visas are to be had for UK electorate on the airport, even though different nationalities must almost definitely double-check earlier than flying. It’s also imaginable to steer clear of all this via getting an e-visa earlier than your talk over with.
Getting a taxi from Kenya Nairobi airport
After clearing immigration I accrued my bag and wandered out of the airport. Once I emerged I used to be accosted by plenty of other folks all crying “Taxi Taxi” – I discovered it fairly intimidating.
I learned so much about taxi scams and being cautious as you go through the bag space. The sophisticated hangover nonetheless lasting from my over-enthusiastic good-bye beverages in the United Kingdom made it appear dreamlike (or nightmare) as drivers attempted their toughest to clutch my baggage and take me with them.
Aggressive Taxi drivers
The primary guy to method me grabbed my arm and attempted to pull me to an automotive, he was once main me to the auto park, pointing at his automotive.
I didn’t wish to get within the first taxi I got here throughout as I sought after slightly of time to assemble my ideas and defined that I sought after to get some water. This didn’t deter him, he walked me to a café, and watched me purchase a bottle of water earlier than announcing “Let’s move now, let’s move”.
His automotive was once clear of the primary taxi space, which was once a priority, and appeared to be beautiful beat up so I selected to not accept as true with him and moved on. I stopped up having to get uncomfortably company with him and requested him to depart me by myself, Do not need a taxi . . . I didn’t even say please.
Instructed me to chill out as I sipped on my water, walking around on the lookout for any person who seemed to be devoted and had a professional decal on it on his taxi, however each and every different step there was once any person else short of me to get into their taxi.
It dawned on me later that I had no concept of what a professional decal must seem like however I suppose the theory was once there.
After all, after round quarter-hour, I picked up my taxi. Little did I know that the former man had been following me and I had just about brought about a battle between the primary man who took me to get water and my selected taxi motive force.
It sounds as if, when you lie and inform them you aren’t after a taxi to check out and lose them after which get in any person else’s, they take offence.
On the other hand, now safely in my cab, I used to be on my approach to downtown Kenya Nairobi.
The experience from the airport grew to become out to be ok. The taxi motive force was once a pleasant man, We chatted as we sat in site visitors, making an attempt our highest to stick cool.
As we sat in site visitors I realized the minibus at the back of us had had sufficient. In poor health of the queue, the driving force prompted it onto the footpath, honking like loopy as pedestrians dove to get out of the way in which and rancid it went, into the space.
Happily, one was once harmed because the bus sped out of sight leaving the taxi motive force and I, nonetheless desk-bound within the gridlocked site visitors, chewing at the dusty air pollution and questioning if it is higher to place the window up and bake in an automotive and not using air con or proceed to steadily shorten our existence expectancy, during the onslaught of carbon fumes.
24 Hours Nairobi in Kenya
Arriving at my resort
As my taxi dropped me off at my resort, I used to be very shocked to see a guard brandishing an AK-47 standing at the door to welcome me. I later went on to understand that is common, however, the first time I noticed it, I had rather a large number of questions operating through my thoughts about my selection of resort!
The New Oakwood Lodge is the place I might be spending the evening earlier than keeping off to Mombassa the next night. It was once fundamental and inexpensive, however proper within the middle of town. Sadly, the TV handiest had one operating channel taking part in some terrible tune. I exploit the time period tune very liberally
A night walk
That night I went for a stroll. My purpose was once to seek out the Nairobi education station and purchase a price tag for my onward education from Nairobi to Mombasa, however, I was given misplaced.
As I walked I felt very uncomfortable, I realized temporarily that I used to be in no way in a vacationer space and I realized that my resort wasn’t particular, nearly each and every store had guards brandishing an AK-47 or a shotgun outdoors.
Coming from the United Kingdom a place there extremely strict gun regulations even the police don’t usually lift a weapon, seeing armed guards with guns that seem like they must belong to the unhealthy guys in a James Bond film, didn’t make me relaxed.
Because of the solar set, I began to really feel very frightened, I believe this was once traditional surprise surroundings, and it was once so much scarier than I anticipated.
I determined it’d be best to go again to the protection of the resort because it dawned on me, that I didn’t, in reality, know the rest about Nairobi, and didn’t wish to be out by myself after darkish.
I spent the remainder of the night in my resort, playing a meal within the resort eating place and the primary of many Tusker beers, a fairly great Kenyan brew, whilst having a look forward to a recent get started within the morning and search for issues to do in Nairobi with simply sooner or later.
My Guided Nairobi strolling excursion
The following morning, I nonetheless wanted to shop for my educated price tag and idea it could be an excellent alternative to find what to do in Nairobi and primary vacationer points of interest, however I didn’t know the place I used to be.
I requested the receptionist within the resort if they had a map, which they didn’t, however he instructed me of a vacationer knowledge position simply across the nook the place I may just get a map of the town, so off I trotted.
Discovering a map of Nairobi is tougher than you think
Something I realized about Nairobi is that everybody desires to “be offering” you one thing, be it a whistle to get your consideration adopted via calls of “taxi taxi” or only a fast chat after which ask for cash.
My vacation spot was once 400 metres and as I walked I counted 3 separate other folks providing me taxi earlier than a man got here as much as me, proper outdoor the vacationer place of job, and asked me what I used to be after.
Getting temporarily pissed off by all of the approaches, I sharply instructed him that I simply sought after a map and walked immediately previous him into the vacationer place of job.
As soon as in there, the woman instructed me they’d no maps however instructed me elsewhere that will and pointed to the fellow whom I fairly rapidly neglected outdoors, as any person who may just display me the place.
Where to go
I believed it ordinary that a spot promoting vacationer knowledge had no maps, however, for the reason that the resort I stayed in pointed me this fashion I depended on where and wandered off with the fellow from outdoors, his title was once Charles.
We engage in communication as we wandered off in combination to visit his tourism place of job. As soon as there I gained my map however was once additionally introduced to more than a few safaris and day journeys. After explaining I simply sought after a map so I may just get to the educate station and ebook my price tag to Mombasa for later that night, he duly obliged.
At this level, I used to be nonetheless skeptical of Charles however I used to be instructed he would feel free to stroll me all the way down to the station so I agreed. I preferred the steerage and the corporate as we walked and mentioned Kenya, dwelling in Kenya, and what it was once like rising up right here.
The stroll took about 20 minutes however I scarcely spotted the time passing as he walked with me all of the approach to the price tag place of job.
Passing the insanity of Nairobi bus station
Many of the paths were once easy and sufficient however about 200m clear of the educate station you need to go to the bus station.
I had by no means observed the rest adore it. There should be about 100 buses all in an area, almost definitely in regards to the dimension of a soccer pitch, competing for passengers, screaming and calling out their highest offers, it was once the whole pandemonium.
Each and every bus had a person outdoors simply shouting noise. I may just handiest think he was once telling you the place the bus was once going, it should have made sense to the locals but it surely seemed to be madness to me.
The buses themselves were tiny, similar to VW camper trucks, no larger, it astonished me what number of people may just get inside of, it should be like Dr Who’s Tardis inside of, however, I had no actual want to find out!
Purchasing an education price tag from Nairobi to Mombasa
Charles walked me into the station and identified the price tag counter as the suitable place I controlled to shop for my price tag.
There are 3 other probabilities in purchasing an educated price tag in Nairobi, first, 2nd, or 3rd elegance.
The 3rd elegance is just a seat, 2nd elegance will get you a mattress in a sleeper cabin shared with 5 other folks and primary get you a sleeper shared with only one different, bedding and food.
The difference in value between 2nd and primary is handiest about £5 and because it approaches your percentage of your cabin with one different individual versus 5, I reckoned it was once £5 neatly spent (3rd was once by no means in reality a possibility for my first in a single day educate go back and forth).
A strolling excursion of Nairobi
After reserving the education price tag to Mombasa, Charles walked me again after which requested what else I had deliberate for the day to which I truthfully spoke back not anything.
He introduced me the similar journeys as the opposite guy within the vacationer place of job, together with a Nairobi town excursion the place you force around seeing stuff.
Having been in a taxi the day gone by and experiencing the Nairobi site visitors firsthand, I didn’t fancy this so I requested if let’s do a guided Nairobi town excursion on foot, to which Charles agreed and transformed my non-public excursion information.
We walked . . . so much . . . and talked, it was once interesting.
Nairobi Nationwide Museum
Charles and I began by visiting the Nairobi Nationwide Museum the place where there have been unbelievable reveals. I learned so much about the Kenyan historical past, how they received independence from the British in 1963, the Mau Mau rebellion that resulted in it, and in regards to the fierce prevention in 1992 as the folks struggled for truthful and open two-party elections.
I additionally learned so much in regards to the evolution of humanity, lots of the most important fossils in the human historical past have been discovered in this space of Africa, so on the subject of the Rift Valley, and are on show right here, together with the glorious Lucy.
A visit to the museum is extremely suggested as some of the highest puts to talk over in Nairobi if you are interested in the historical past and tradition. It has no frills or fancy bits however provides a fantastic studying setting and is a good way to flee the solar for a couple of hours.
Nairobi Nationwide Museum Snake Park
Simply throughout from the museum is the snake park; a mini snake zoo.
By itself, it’s in reality now not that particular, even though I used to be hypnotized for some time gazing at two mating tortoises, they’re sluggish at the whole thing it seems.
I had bought an access as a mixed price tag with the museum and as a facet appeal, it’s rather attention-grabbing, however unquestionably now not price a solo go back and forth.
I got here head to head with vipers, spitting cobras, and black mambas, neatly, head to head with a sheet of glass in between.
Whilst I used to be within the museum Charles waited for me outdoors, simply chilling. When I used to be completed we left and walked again in opposition to the town center once more.
Satan’s Nook Nairobi in Kenya
As we walked we handed a place that was once identified in the neighborhood as Satan’s Nook, The web page was given its title after being the web page of many killings right through the battle for independence within the 60s and it’s stated the streets ran pink with blood.
As soon as independence was awarded, the brand new executive donated that space of land to faith and Satan’s Nook is now the web page of 3 massive church buildings and a synagogue, not anything like development at Satan’s personal land, I like the theory.
Next, we visited Uhuru (Freedom) Park, which offers an excellent view of Kenya Nairobi. This is where high-ranking officials like Ministers and Presidents take their oath in a public ceremony. In the past, these oaths were taken in private, so nobody knew what they were promising to do. Pope John Paul II also held a mass here in 1980 during his visit to Kenya. Charles, who is a Christian, felt proud to have been there. Our conversation turned to religion, which naturally took up a considerable amount of time and led us to lunch.
A standard Kenyan lunch
I requested Charles to take me someplace very conventional for lunch and I wasn’t upset.
Subsequent to the Library, there was once a big, open-plan eaterie the place where you order and pick out your meals earlier than taking a seat on the communal tables. In each and every of the corners, there have been basins so that you can wash your fingers earlier than consuming however something I realized was once lacking . . . knives and forks.
Charles had fish, while I opted for oyster soup. Both dishes were served with ugali, a maize-based dough. Although it was once considered “a-maize-ing” (pardon the pun), eating soup without utensils or napkins proved to be a messy challenge. However, it was also quite fun. As a polite gesture, I waited for Charles to begin eating, secretly hoping to observe and learn from him. The ugali was essentially a lump of edible play-dough, with a similar taste as well. Despite its texture, it was malleable enough to be shaped and molded.
So, the right way to do it is to rip off some ugali, mold it into a coarse spoon form, dip it in your soup, and stick the entire thing in your mouth, Interesting and superior, I might feel free to devour each and every meal like that.
The one problem with my lunch was once the very thin rooster. I struggled to seek out the beef at the bone. This additionally set the seeds for my later evolved idea that you’ll be able to inform the entire wealth of a rustic via the plumpness in their chickens.
Because the afternoon got here to an finish I had to return to my resort to pack and get to the education station for my in a single day educate to Mombasa. As we went through our separate techniques Charles introduced to satisfy me once more later to lend a hand me get to the educate station, an offer I gratefully permitted.
True to his phrase, he met me later at my resort at 5 p.m. and walked with me to the education station, even serving with my baggage. As soon as there we stated our goodbyes and I was given the education to Mombasa.
Leaving Nairobi in Kenya via educate
There was once a bit of confusion on the station as in the United Kingdom while you purchase your price tag that’s your price tag, you don’t want the rest. Right here this is a little ordinary.
Even though I had bought my price tag, as I attempted to go through to the platform, the guard wouldn’t permit me and pointed me again to the price tag place of job.
Slightly perplexed I headed again in there, anticipating I’d come what may been scammed. Happily no, it seems when you’ve got pre-bought a price tag, you need to trade that for a boarding go earlier than you’ll be able to get admission to the education.
It’s price understanding this in case you need to go away for some additional time for it, however, don’t be concerned an excessive amount about that more or less factor, that is Africa and as the whole thing is at all times past due, you’ll have numerous time to paintings stuff out.
Get your Nairobi in Kenya town excursion itinerary
If you’re searching for a trustworthy tour guide in Nairobi in Kenya, I highly recommend Charles for his expertise and genuine kindness. He was the perfect companion for exploring the city, and I feel it’s important to share his contact information.
In our day in combination, we visited the Kenyan Nationwide Museum and Snake Park, Satan’s Nook, and Uhuru Park and loved A standard Kenyan Lunch.
If you are considering a trip to Kenya Nairobi, I highly recommend getting in touch with a certified tour guide who offers journeys throughout the country and even into Uganda. Some of the most popular trips include tours of the Masai Mara, opportunities to meet local tribes, and witnessing the incredible migration. I can provide recommendations for reputable guides if you would like.
The most important thing about Charles is that he is easy to work with, and he can completely customize a tour to your needs.
For buying tickets to Nairobi in Kenya try our ticket search engine.