2 Months To Go

Sep 10th, 2006, 07:16 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 23
2 Months To Go

Greetings - I'm about 60 days out from my first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa. I'm spending about 14 days in Kenya. I have all sorts of questions so I think I'll start small and see if I can find other answers in the forum.

I'd like to know what people think about our tented camps. When did you stay? What was the plus? What was the minus? The three camps are Tortilis, Larsens, and Cottars 1920's.

As for clothes. I bought some fancy stuff from REI but decided to return it and went to Old Navy instead for cheap, cotton pants and shirts that I can leave when I return home. We'll be there during the short rains period so does anyone have any suggestions about things they wished they'd brought but left at home?

We'll be staying at Giraffe Manor at the end of the trip. Any recent reports?

And Nairobi or "Nairobbery". I've been to some pretty crazy places so I think I'll feel fairly safe but tell me how you felt walking around. Did you go out to dinner at night by taking a taxi? I don't want to feel like a hotel prisoner if I can avoid it.

And lastly shopping. I want to buy wood carvings, beaded jewelry, some glass, and some other art. Where did you find some genuinely great stuff in Nairobi? And how did the haggling go?

Thanks in advance. All replies are greatly appreciated.
LizYoung is offline  
Sep 10th, 2006, 10:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391
Nairobi is fine if you take nprecautions. leave expensive or expensive looking jewellery at home. Keep camera hidden in the street. find a good taxi driver.

There are so many great places to eat at night, don't be afraid to go out.

The chances of a tourist having ANY problem is very very small.

I'll be in Nairobi when you are there. If you need help or a restaurant recommendation you can give me a call!

There from October 3rd-December 29th
Pumbavu is offline  
Sep 11th, 2006, 04:24 AM
  #3  
sandi
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You have really lovely tented camps. None should disappoint. Traveling in the "short" rains, if you have rain, it's usually afternoon thunderstorms (brief) which settles the dust and rarely any humidity after. This often happens during your afternoon game drive. Otherwise, we've found it might rain overnight.

Your camp should have umbrellas for walking from tent to dining/public areas; good idea to have an inexpensive $1 slicker. The temps during this time will be warm, with cool nights and mornings, yet comfortable for sleeping. Besides, there should be extra blankets if needed.

Smart, to have returned
 
Sep 11th, 2006, 04:36 AM
  #4  
sandi
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... sorry about that, fast fingers.

Smart that you returned "fancy" clothing as this is not required. Comfortable and exchangeable mix-n- match is best. Have a comfortable pair of closed shoes, especially if from the rain you have to walk thru mud. Leather (vs. canvas) runners are good, as they can easily be washed.

Nairobi is as safe (or unsafe) as any big city; some information is a bit overdone. Just use your common sense. We walked the streets in downtown NBO on our own and were fine going about our business while locals did the same. We went shopping (only took a credit card and some currency in our pockets; no camera or jewelry). Even with purchases walking back to the hotel, no one gave us a glance. At night, we took a taxi to/from The Norfolk, for sundowners and dinner. About $3/each way.

You'll be at Giraffe Manor which is out in burb of Karen. Do you have your room as BB, HB or FB. If the latter, their dinner is quite good. But you can have the GM arrange a taxi if you wish to dine elsewhere. They should have recommendations nearby, rather than go back into downtown Nairobi (about 30-/min drive). Your decision. But you can find all kinds of cuisine in this town - Indian, Italian, Continental, Burger and Chicken joints, you name it!

Have a great time.
 
Sep 11th, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,871
You can try Kazuri for beaded jewelry. It's made on site at the Karen workshop where you can get a tour (there are branches in other Nairobi shopping centers). I've never haggled there but might ask for a discount if buying a very large quantity of items.

I've walked around the downtown area during the day and felt safe. I take similar precautions as sandi. At night, you should take a taxi.

Have a great trip! I'm headed there a few weeks after you.
Patty is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 11:42 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 369
Liz,

How did you like Larsens'?

Was it one of your favourites?

simbakubwa is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 01:49 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7
All three are lovely luxury tented camps! It's a lovely experience sleeping under canvas, makes one feel more closer to nature and the wild...do not get alarmed if you hear scampering on the tent roofs, it's just the monkeys messing about!

Nairobi is relatively safe. You just have to be careful not to wander in deserted streets etc etc..just like anywhere else..

The Giraffe Manor is very nice and recommendable. I know soemone who stayed there just last week and could not stop raving about it. The food was great and hosts are very friendly and helpful. Depending on what meal plan you are booked for, they include nairobi excursions in their rates using their own driver / vehicle. The vehicle will be shared by other guests staying at the Manor. I think they do include a visit to the Kazuri bead factory as well. Enjoy your trip to Kenya!
regards,
Sonal

SafariSonal is offline  

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