Nairobi is one of the largest cities in Africa and is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. The mix of old and new buildings can be quite a stunning contrast. As one of the main flight entry points to East Africa, it’s worth considering a few days in the city to visit some of the attractions and experience Nairobi’s culture. However, it’s important to note that Nairobi is significantly more expensive than other East African cities.
There are a range of hotels available and it’s smart to check out a few before deciding when possible as the quality can vary greatly within the same price range.
Transport options are limited to local buses (called matatus), taxis or car hires. Matatus are overcrowded and have some of the worst safety ratings in the world. Many embassies in the city advise their people to avoid them at all costs. If you do decide to use matatus, keep your belongings on your lap or you will likely be missing some items quite quickly. Taxis don’t have meters so be sure to arrange the cost before beginning your trip. Many hotels will arrange a “reliable” taxi for you, but guaranteed, the price they give you will be higher than if you find your own taxi on the street. Traffic within Nairobi can be atrocious at certain times of day so be sure to give yourself lots of time to travel between destinations.
Nairobi has every conceivable food option available. With a large Ethiopian population, some of the tastiest and cheapest eats you can get are Ethiopian in origin. There are also many street stalls, small restaurants and bars that will serve up local dishes for reasonable prices. Most won’t have menus so just ask what they are serving today.
Safety must be considered in Nairobi. Don’t walk or take public buses after dusk. Don’t flash your valuables in plain sight. And don’t fall for the scam artists standing on street corners who offer you a city tour for an extremely low price. As long as you practice normal safety measures, you should be able to enjoy all that Nairobi has to offer.