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Hints For Kenya?

Tue May 31, 2005 4:08 pm

I will be travelling to Kenya soon to see a friend. Main base is Nairobi, we might do a safari.

I have never been in East Africa and would be thankful for any hints about Kenya. How is Nairobi, what are the musts to see, what else do you recommend in Kenya?

How is life? Easy going? How is security (any no-go-zones in Nairobi and beyond? - cash and carrying camera OK or better hidden? - I have travellers cheques, ATM situation OK?)? AFAIK the US State Dept. advises US citizens not to go, however, I don't follow the advices of the State Department normally, as I am not really convinced about their accuracy. Wneh I went to Cameroon, I could not confirm any of the concerns, rather did I have the impression that it was particularly safe there.. I might pass as a local in Kenya, being of Indian origin.

And.. does anyone have hints for good literature? Not only travel books or country information, but some good novels, that might inspire my trip a little more?

I am grateful for any information that you consider as useful!

And, creating a relation to aviation: How is NBO airport?
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Tue May 31, 2005 11:35 pm

They call Nairobi, "Nairobbery," for a reason. I have never been to Kenya, but my father has been to Nairobi a few times for business. He says that going out at night in the city is not a very particularly bright idea unless you're extremely careful to stay in the area surrounding the Hilton. There is also a park or a district near a park, I forgot which one he was talking about, but he said that the employees in Nairobi said to avoid it all costs. He once went on a three-day safari and he felt safe in the backcountry. I've asked him about the airport before, but he isn't an aviation geek like me, so his response was something like, "It's an airport."

My thoughts: Although Kenya is a relatively stable country as compared to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa it still has very significant crime problems, in other words, I wouldn't be carrying a Nikon around my neck walking or flaunting cash around Nairobi. I'd guess that the ATM situation is okay in the major cities of Kenya.
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Tue May 31, 2005 11:45 pm

I hear Lamu Island, on the Indian Ocean, up in the north of Kenya, is lovely, but I haven't been myself. Kind of like Zanzibar without the Italians  Smile
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:21 am


Nairobi is perfectly safe at any time of day or long as you wear only a swimming suit... or nothing at all.

Unless you have hired a good number of bodyguards, refrain from leaving the hotel property. If in a car, lock the doors.

Countryside is generally ok, and enjoy the great food (wildebeast filet on the bbq is a marvel).

For the rest, your friend will tell you.
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:03 am

JCS and Iakobos are correct, Nairobi must be a real dangerous place. I just looked on the Kenia Information Page of the German foreign ministry, there I found the following:

Die Innenstädte Nairobis und Mombasas sollten nachts generell, bestimmte Gegenden des Stadtinnern Nairobis (dazu gehören River Road, Tom Mboya Street, Machakos Bus Terminal) möglichst auch bei Tag gemieden werden. Touristen sollten keine Wertsachen sichtbar mit sich tragen. Bei Spaziergängen an Stränden nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit und außerhalb der Hotelanlagen besteht eine erhöhte Gefahr, überfallen zu werden.

Nairobi and Mombasa downtown should be avoided in general at night, certain areas of Nairobi (River Road, Tom Mboya Street, Machakos Bus Terminal) also during the day. Tourists should not carry any valuables. You risk to get mugged when you are walking at the beaches outside of your hotel area at night.

Take care and have a safe trip!

NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:28 am

By the way, by "night", one should understand immediately after sunset, which under those latitudes falls very early.

As long as you wear very casual clothing (t-shirt/shorts), no "jewels" (neckchain, bracelet, rings) and your pockets look very empty (no pockets is even preferable) you will not be designated as a target.
If you have to carry some bank notes, roll them tight and put them under your unremovable jewels.

Those life preserving precautions apart, a very nice and enjoyable country.

If you have seen "Out of Africa" (w/Meryl Streep), Karen Blixen's actual house is 10' from Nairobi.
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:16 am

Thanks guys! So, I shall be careful in NBO (maybe I dress a little shabby as our Indian Patels and Shahs do - for non-Indian a.netters: many people from Gujarat live since ages in Kenya, the Brit connex - and pass as a local Big grin )

Luckily, I am visiting someone from UNEP with 'appropriate arrangements' - guess we will depart for the country soon.. anyways, thx again.. what, regardless of all, is worth seeing in NBO?
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:05 am

Good question: .....ummmh, let me see.....well, keep us posted when you come back, who knows, they might have done something nice recently.
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RE: Hints For Kenya?

Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:52 am

Go to the island of Lamu. My uncle is from there and from his accounts and the pictures, it is a very nice place to spend a vacation.


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