Nairobi Nairobi Nairobi! Mzungu Nairobi! Chances are if you are not in Nairobi you will hear this phrase as a Kenyan gives his vehicle a slap. If you are not in Nairobi – it is assumed that’s where you want to be. So, Nairobi it is!
Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and the largest city. If you fly to Kenya, you will land in Nairobi. You will find excellent hotels to lodge at – Hilton International, Hotel Inter-Continental, Nairobi Serena Hotel, and the Mt. Kenya Safari Club all five star hotels. Of course, there are other hotels to stay as for as little as a hundred shillings (about $2 USD). These are good for people on a very tight budget and they provide a bed and a (possibly public) bath.
Once you are rested, a walk from one end to the other of the city takes about 30 minutes at a good pace. You will encounter many street vendors selling anything from safaris to jewelry to baskets and other curios. Don’t purchase a safari from a street vendor you may be purchasing a worthless piece of paper. As for the curios, you want to barter with the salesman. Start at about half the price being offered – be prepared to walk away as this will help you bring down the price. If you don’t like the price, just walk away – there is always another vendor willing to sell you something at a lower price. A good place to go shopping is the city market in Nairobi along with the many curio shops. Generally in the curio shops the prices are fixed – there is usually a sign in the shop stating this.
Here is a bracelet I purchased in a curio shop on Moktar Daddah Street. I was told that it is made of ‘Somali Silver’.
There are some great attractions just outside Nairobi. One is the Nairobi National Park just eight miles outside the city. Another is the “Bomas of Kenya” which has traditional dancing, artifacts and culture. Also, if you drive about thirty miles away is the Great Rift Valley where also see spectacular scenery and the extinct volcano Mount Longonot.