Metropolis in Eastern Africa
Nairobi is well-known for its wide range of safaris catering to tourists from all over the world. The Kenyan capital has much more to offer though, from beautiful natural scenery to cultural activities, shopping and dining.
Best time for Kenya and Nairobi
The ideal periods to travel to Nairobi are between mid-December and February, and from mid-June to late September. A variety of events are held during the year, including national holidays such as Madaraka Day (Independence Day) on 1st June, or Mashujaa Day (Heroes' Day) on 20th October, both of which include parades, and Jamhuri Day (Republic Day) on 12th December. The Nairobi Marathon happens in October, while Kenya Music Week is organised in December.
Important information about Nairobi
A visa is required and can be obtained at the airport, at the Kenya High Commission in London or online. It costs about £30. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months and have at least 2 blank pages left. Cholera, malaria and dengue fever are present in Kenya, and anti-malarial medication (prophylaxis) should be taken by travellers heading outside of Nairobi. Otherwise, routine vaccines need to be up-to-date and inoculations against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, yellow fever, rabies and meningitis are recommended. Tourists should always be on alert and avoid areas such as Eastleigh and Pangani, slums, and the inner city at night. Smoking is forbidden in public spaces in the inner city area. Visitors should drink bottled water and always peel or cook fruit and vegetables. To avoid mosquito bites, always apply repellent, wear long clothing and sleep under a net. The cost of living is much lower than in the UK: restaurant meals cost around 500 KES, beer around 200 KES, and soft drinks and bottled water around 100 KES.
Nairobi transport and accommodation
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is about 15 km from the business district. Visitors can take a taxi to the city centre, for around 1,500 KES. The price must be agreed upon before boarding. Otherwise, bus 34 goes to the Ambassador Hotel and costs approx. 50 KES. Hostel rooms are about 800 KES, and luxury accommodation costs around 10,000 KES. Nairobi is renowned for its heavy traffic, especially between 7-9am and 4.30-6.30pm. Public transportation includes taxis and matatus (minibuses), which travel to the suburbs. It is often easier and quicker to walk though.