Nairobi Strolling Excursion: What to do with 24 Hours in Nairobi

In case you are questioning what to talk over with if you’re best within the town for a short while, a Nairobi strolling excursion is a superb approach to benefit from the charming capital of Kenya. Many of us merely go in the course of the town, en-route to a safari, however you probably have time to spend an evening, you must surely get out and discover.

I best had 24 hours in Nairobi however left feeling I had made a reference to town. As Kenya’s capital, Nairobi has an enormous historical past, from being on the center of human evolution to the colonial days and from being as soon as a poster kid for a a success post-colonial devolution, to the civil unrest that also bubbles underneath nowadays.

By way of taking a Nairobi strolling excursion with a information, you gained’t best see the primary vacationer puts in Nairobi, however you’re going to additionally listen their shops and percentage their enjoy of existence within the town.

I used to be fortunate sufficient to satisfy Charles, my information who I’m nonetheless involved with, who helped me now not best benefit from the town, but in addition really feel protected and benefit from my 24 hours in Nairobi.

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A skyline view of Nairobi Kenya

Arriving in Nairobi

The plan used to be to fly into Nairobi, out of Johannesburg with a lot of journey in between.

Taking a look again, as a primary solo go back and forth it used to be one hell of a finding out enjoy, in particular having misplaced my pockets, telephone and Passport in Dubai airport, however that’s any other tale.

Getting a visa at Nairobi Airport

Jomo Kenyatta World Airport is discreet, simply observe everybody off the aircraft to the visa table, pay $50 and go on via.

There are a number of choices on visas into Kenya, so make sure you get the proper one. I had a easy Kenyan vacationer visa, however you’ll be able to additionally get a transit visa if you’re travelling directly via and out of Kenya which I consider is $30 or a more than one access visa for $70.

In the event you plan to go away Kenya and re-enter, make sure you get this one in a different way you’re going to finally end up paying the overall $50 once more upon re-entry. Endure this in thoughts if you’re visiting probably the most neighboring nations akin to Kampala in Uganda or Rwanda prior to coming again to Kenya.

All of those visas are to be had for UK electorate on the airport, despite the fact that different nationalities must almost certainly double-check prior to flying. It is usually imaginable to steer clear of all this via getting an e-visa prior to your talk over with.

Nairobi traffic

Getting a taxi from Nairobi airport

After clearing immigration I amassed my bag and wandered out of the airport. Once I emerged I used to be accosted via a lot of other other people all crying “Taxi Taxi” – I discovered it relatively intimidating.

I had learn so much about taxi scams and being cautious as you go via from the bags space. The delicate 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 seize my baggage and take me with them.

The primary guy to manner me grabbed my arm and attempted to tug me to a automobile, he used to be main me to the automobile park, pointing at his automobile.

I didn’t wish to get within the first taxi I got here throughout as I sought after a little bit of time to collect my ideas and defined that I sought after to get some water. This didn’t deter him, he walked me to a café, watched me purchase a bottle of water prior to pronouncing “Let’s cross now, let’s cross”.

His automobile used to be clear of the primary taxi space, which used to be a priority, and looked to be beautiful beat up so I selected to not believe him and moved on. I stopped up having to get uncomfortably company with him and requested him to go away me by myself, I don’t need a taxi . . . I didn’t even say please.

I instructed myself to calm down as I sipped on my water, walking round in search of any individual who seems devoted and had an authentic decal on it on his taxi, however each different step there used to be any individual else short of me to get into their taxi.

It dawned on me later that I had no thought what an authentic decal must seem like however I suppose the theory used to be there.

In the end, after round quarter-hour I picked my taxi. Little did I do know that the former man were following me and I just about brought about a struggle between the primary man who took me to get water and my selected taxi driving force.

It seems that, should you lie and inform them you don’t seem to be after a taxi to check out and lose them after which get in any individual else’s, they take offence.

Then again, now safely in my cab, I used to be on my approach to downtown Nairobi.

The journey from the airport grew to become out to be k. The taxi driving force used to be a pleasant man, we chatted as we sat in visitors, making an attempt our perfect to stick cool.

As we sat in visitors I realized the minibus at the back of us had had sufficient. Unwell of the queue the motive force instructed 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.

Thankfully no-one used to be harm because the bus sped out of sight leaving the taxi driving force and I, nonetheless desk bound within the gridlocked visitors, chewing at the dusty air pollution and questioning if it is higher to position the window up and bake in a automobile and not using a air-con or proceed to steadily shorten our existence expectancy, in the course of the onslaught of carbon fumes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjVddvsMytc

24 Hours in Nairobi

Arriving at my resort

As my taxi dropped me off at my resort, I used to be very shocked to look a guard brandishing an AK-47 stood on the door to welcome me. I later went on to understand that is common, however the first time I noticed it, I had fairly a large number of questions working via my thoughts about my collection of resort!

The New Oakwood Resort is the place I’d be spending the evening prior to warding off to Mombassa the next night time. It used to be fundamental and inexpensive, however proper within the center of town. Sadly, the TV best had one operating channel enjoying some terrible song. I exploit the time period song very liberally

A night walk

That night time I went for a stroll. My goal used to be to seek out the Nairobi teach station and purchase a price tag for my onward teach from Nairobi to Mombasa, however I were given misplaced.

As I walked I felt very uncomfortable, I realised briefly that I used to be by no means in a vacationer space and I realized that my resort wasn’t particular, virtually each store had guards brandishing an AK-47 or a shotgun out of doors.

Coming from the United Kingdom the place there extremely strict gun regulations or even the police don’t often raise a weapon, seeing armed guards with guns that seem like they must belong to the dangerous guys in a James Bond film, didn’t put me relaxed.

Because the solar set, I began to really feel very apprehensive, I feel this used to be tradition surprise surroundings in, and it used to be so much scarier than I anticipated.

I made up our minds it’d be perfect to go again to the security of the resort because it dawned on me, I didn’t in point of fact know the rest about Nairobi, and didn’t wish to be out by myself after darkish.

I spent the remainder of the night time in my resort, taking part in a meal within the resort eating place and the primary of many Tusker beers, a relatively 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 at some point.

Nairobi National Museum

My Guided Nairobi strolling excursion

The following morning, I nonetheless wanted to shop for my teach price tag and concept it might be a really perfect alternative to find what to do in Nairobi and major vacationer sights, however I didn’t know the place I used to be.

I requested the receptionist within the resort if that they had a map, which they didn’t, however he instructed me of a vacationer data position simply across the nook the place I may get a map of town, so off I trotted.

Discovering a map of Nairobi is tougher than you assume

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 used to be inside 400 metres and as I used to be walked I counted 3 separate other people providing me taxi prior to a man got here as much as me, proper out of doors the vacationer workplace, and requested me what I used to be after.

Nairobi National Museum

Getting briefly annoyed via all of the approaches, I sharply instructed him that I simply sought after a map and walked directly previous him into the vacationer workplace.

As soon as in there, the woman instructed me that they had no maps however instructed me somewhere else that will and pointed to the fellow who I relatively hastily disregarded out of doors, as any individual who may display me the place.

I believed it bizarre that a spot promoting vacationer data had no maps, however for the reason that the resort I stayed in pointed me this manner I depended on where and wandered off with the fellow from out of doors, his identify used to be Charles.

We engaged in small communicate as we wandered off in combination to visit his tourism workplace. As soon as there I gained my map however used to be additionally introduced quite a lot of safaris and day journeys. After explaining I simply sought after a map so I may get to the teach station and e book my price tag to Mombasa for later that night time, he duly obliged.

At this level, I used to be nonetheless sceptical 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 liked the steerage and the corporate as we walked and mentioned Kenya, residing in Kenya and what it used to be like rising up right here.

The stroll took about 20 mins however I scarcely spotted the time passing as he walked with me all of the approach to the price tag workplace.

Passing the insanity of Nairobi bus station

Lots of the path used to be easy sufficient however about 200m clear of the teach station you must go in the course of the bus station.

I had by no means noticed the rest adore it. There should had been about 100 buses all in an area, almost certainly concerning the dimension of a soccer pitch, competing for passengers, screaming and calling out their perfect offers, it used to be whole pandemonium.

Each and every bus had a person out of doors simply shouting noise. I may best think he used to be telling you the place the bus used to be going, it should have made sense to the locals nevertheless it gave the impression to be madness to me.

The buses themselves have been tiny, similar to VW camper vehicles, no larger, it astonished me what number of people may get inside of, it should be like Dr Who’s Tardis inside of, however I had no actual wish to to find out!

Purchasing a teach price tag from Nairobi to Mombasa

Charles walked me into the station and identified the price tag counter to the correct the place I controlled to shop for my price tag.

There are 3 other probabilities in purchasing a teach price tag in Nairobi, first, 2d or 3rd elegance.

The 3rd elegance is solely a seat, 2d elegance will get you a mattress in a sleeper cabin shared with 5 folks and primary get you a sleeper shared with only one different, bedding and foods.

Nairobi train Station

The difference in value between 2d and primary is best about £5 and because it method you percentage your cabin with one different particular person versus 5, I reckoned it used to be £5 neatly spent (3rd used to be by no means in point of fact an choice for my first in a single day teach go back and forth).

A strolling excursion of Nairobi

After reserving the teach price tag to Mombasa, Charles walked me again after which requested what else I had deliberate for the day to which I truthfully responded not anything.

He introduced me the similar journeys as the opposite guy within the vacationer workplace, together with a Nairobi town excursion the place you force round seeing stuff.

Having been in a taxi the day gone by and experiencing the Nairobi visitors first hand, I didn’t fancy this so I requested if lets do a guided Nairobi town excursion on foot, to which Charles agreed and transform my non-public excursion information.

We walked . . . so much . . . and talked, it used to be interesting.

Visiting Nairobi National Museum

Nairobi Nationwide Museum

Charles and I began via visiting the Nairobi Nationwide Museum the place there have been implausible shows. I learnt so much about Kenyan historical past, how they bought independence from the British in 1963, the Mau Mau rebellion that ended in it and concerning the fierce combating in 1992 as the folk struggled for truthful and open two-party elections.

Kenya First elections

I additionally learnt so much concerning the evolution of humanity, most of the most important fossils in human historical past have been discovered on this space of Africa, so with reference to the Rift Valley, and are on show right here, together with the fantastic Lucy.

I extremely counsel the museum as one of the most perfect puts to talk over with in Nairobi if you are interested within the historical past and tradition. It has no frills or fancy bits however gives a phenomenal finding out atmosphere and is a good way to flee the solar for a couple of hours.

Some of the oldest human remains

Nairobi Nationwide Museum Snake Park

Simply throughout from the museum is the snake park; a mini snake zoo.

By itself, it’s in point of fact now not that particular, despite the fact that I used to be hypnotised for some time observing two mating tortoises, they’re sluggish at the whole lot it seems.

I had bought an access as a blended price tag with the museum and as a facet enchantment it’s fairly fascinating, however for sure 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 out of doors, simply chilling. When I used to be completed we left and walked again against town centre once more.

Satan’s Nook Nairobi

As we walked we handed a place that used to be recognized in the neighborhood as Satan’s Nook, the web site were given its identify after being the web site of many killings all through the struggle for independence within the 60s and it’s stated the streets ran crimson with blood.

As soon as independence used to be awarded, the brand new executive donated that space of land to faith and Satan’s Nook is now the web site of 3 massive church buildings and a synagogue, not anything like development at the Satan’s personal land, I like the theory.

Charles in Uhuru Park

Uhuru Park

From there we headed to Uhuru (freedom) park. This is the place you’ll be able to get a super view of Nairobi and is the place all of the High Ministers and Presidents come to be sworn in and take an oath in an excessively public means. It was that they might take an oath in non-public so no-one in point of fact knew what they have been promising to do.

It is usually the web site that Pope John Paul the twelfth held mass again in 1980 when he visited Kenya.

As a Christian, Charles used to be very proud to had been there. This were given us speaking about faith, which as you’ll be able to believe took fairly a little bit of time and were given us via to lunch.

A conventional Kenyan lunch

I requested Charles to take me someplace very conventional for lunch and I wasn’t upset.

Subsequent to the Library, there used to be a big, open plan eaterie the place you order and select up your meals prior to taking a seat on the communal tables. In every of the corners, there have been basins so that you can wash your arms prior to consuming however something I realized used to be lacking . . . knives and forks.

I had hen soup and Charles had fish, each served with ugali, this can be a native maize dough-like product. These items that you must say used to be A-maize-ing (sorry) – however and not using a cutlery or napkins consuming soup used to be fairly a problem, messy however a large number of amusing.

Being well mannered, I waited for Charles to start out. In point of fact I simply sought after to know the way the hell I used to be supposed to consume these items and watch him. The ugali is basically a lump, roughly like fit to be eaten play dough (tastes a little bit like play dough too), however this supposed it used to be simply moldable.

So, learn how to do it’s rip off some ugali, mildew it into a coarse spoon form, dip it on your soup and stick the entire thing on your mouth, interesting and superior, I’d feel free to consume each meal like that.

The one problem to my lunch used to be the very thin hen. I struggled to seek out the beef at the bone. This additionally set the seeds for my later advanced 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 teach station for my in a single day teach to Mombasa. As we went our separate techniques Charles introduced to satisfy me once more later to assist me get to the teach station, an be offering I gratefully authorised.

True to his phrase, he met me later at my resort at 5 pm and walked with me to the teach station, even serving to with my baggage. As soon as there we stated our goodbyes and on I were given the teach to Mombasa.

Train from Nairobi to Mombasa

Leaving Nairobi via teach

There used to be somewhat 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 can be a little extraordinary.

Even though I had bought my price tag, as I attempted to go via to the platform, the guard wouldn’t permit me and pointed me again to the price tag workplace.

Slightly puzzled I headed again in there, anticipating I’d by hook or by crook been scammed. Thankfully no, it seems you probably have pre-bought a price tag, you must change that for a boarding go prior to you’ll be able to get admission to the teach.

It’s price figuring out this in case you must depart some time beyond regulation for it, however, don’t concern an excessive amount of about that roughly factor, that is Africa and as the whole lot is at all times past due, you’ll have numerous time to paintings stuff out.

Get your Nairobi town excursion itinerary

Trusted tour guide in Nairobi
Charles (proper) and trade spouse.

In case you are in search of a depended on excursion information in Nairobi, can’t talk extremely sufficient of Charles and his talent as each a information and a human. He used to be the very best spouse for a excursion of Nairobi so I believe it’s best proper to go away his main points.

In our day in combination we visited the Kenyan Nationwide Museum and Snake Park, Satan’s Nook, Uhuru Park and loved A conventional Kenyan Lunch.

In case you are pondering of going to Kenya please please get involved with him, he’s a certified information and gives journeys in all places the rustic or even into Uganda. The most well liked ones come with excursions to the Masai Mara, assembly tribes and gazing the nice migration.

Some of the perfect issues about Charles is that he’s simple to paintings with, he’ll totally tailor a excursion to fit your needs.

He too can prepare trekking journeys to climb Mount Kenya. If you need to determine extra, head to his web page Trekking Kenya or to find him on Fb Proper Time Safaris.

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