An extra day in Nairobi-what to do?

Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:10 PM
  #1  
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An extra day in Nairobi-what to do?

First I must thank all who post here. I've enjoyed reading about your questions, advice and trips. Now a question or two for you.

We are going on a Tauck tour of Kenya & Tanzania in January, 2008 and will arrive in Nairobi 2 days early since I was able to use FF miles. We will be flying to Arusha in Tanzania to join the group on the second day so we have a choice of how to spend the day after we fly in. We can either take that day in Nairobi or go to Arusha after overnighting in Nairobi.

Our tour comes back to Nairobi to see the Karen Blixen Museum and the Giraffe House so I want to do something different and thought maybe the Bomas looked like an interesting half day tour. I'm a little concerned about safety in Nairobi though and would go to the Bomas on an escorted tour that would pick us up at the Hilton where we will be staying.

Or, we can take an extra night at the Serena Mountain Village in Arusha where our tour begins however that gives us 2 full days in Arusha before the tour starts and I don't think there will be enough for us to do there since we do have a full day there anyway.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Ilene
ICASH is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:32 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi ICash,
There have been lots of threads on how to spend time in Nairpbi and really there is lots to do. You could visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and if you wanted a 'private' visit where you can get up close to all the babies you can adopt an elephant for just $50 for a year. We did this last year and it was one of the highlights of our trip. Other things you could do include shopping, including Kazuri beads, the markets etc etc. There is also the KWS orphanage and Nairobi NP as well as the things you have already mentioned.

Imelda
OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Imelda has a nice suggestion with the Sheldrick Center...I've fostered a baby ele there myself. However, if you fly into Arusha a day early, you could set up a full-day trip out to the Arusha NP. Find out what safari outfitter Tauck uses in Tanzania, then set up the early arrival "meet and greet" and tour with them. The park is lovely and, unfortunately, often skipped. It's between Mt. Kili and Mt. Meru (the tallest and 4th tallest mountains in Africa). There are forests with black and white colobus monkeys, lots of giraffe (among other herbivores), and the opportunity to walk with a ranger to a waterfall. Take a picnic lunch and make a day of it... a great introduction to Africa.
ShayTay is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:59 PM
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If not Arusha Natl Park, you can schedule a cultural visit at N'gresi village, an agricultural community on the slopes of Mt. Meru.

I notice on the itinerary there are no cultural visits indicated, unlss they're hidden away somewhere.

But, is the flight to Arusha from NBO on 2nd day already scheduled? If so, can it be changed without a fee. If not, then I'd stay in Nairobi. As mentioned schedule to visit Sheldrick at 11am -it's 1/hr daily, then you can have lunch at The Carnivore (or other... there are many choices in NBO; maybe the Tamarind for fish/seafood). In the afternoon you can visit Kazuri Beads of Utamuduni Crafts Center.

I almost dare not say this, but since you're staying at all Serena properties in Tanzania and much of Kenya, but for Mt. Kenya Safari Club (2/nts) and Mara Safari Club... are you committed to Hilton hotel in NBO. If not, you might want to enjoy some of the charming B&Bs here rather than a big city hotel. These are also closer to many of the sights.

But, seems you're already paying a premium for the Tauck Safari, you might not want to go for the extra bucks for one of these small properties.

If you schedule your activities in NBO thru your hotel with a guide/vehicle, you'll be perfectly safe.
sandi is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:21 PM
  #5  
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Thanks OnlyMeOirish, Sandi and ShayTay!
Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage sounds absolutely great.

What's Kazuri Beads? I'd probably love it but not sure about my husband.

If we go to a few different places what's the SAFEST/best way to get around? We were going to do a bus tour to the Bomas with a hotel pickup and drop off so that would have been easy but now that I may add a few other things maybe we should go on our own??
Thanks,
Ilene
ICASH is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:34 PM
  #6  
 
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The Hilton can arrange a tour (vehicle/driver) for you to visit Sheldrick at 11am and lunch (somewhere... Tamarind, though there are some really nice places around), and visit Kazuri Beads or Utamuduni afterwards.

Kazuri is a women's cooperative in the suburb of Karen, though they have outlets around NBO. Here they create "small & beautiful" (meaning of Kazuri) beaded jewelry and pottery. What's nice, besides the wide array of items, is being able to visit their factory on the property; speak with the women; what they do; watch the process.

sandi is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:38 PM
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What's Kazuri Beads?

A women's cooperative that makes beaded jewelry and pottery. You can visit the workshop where you can see the items being made and purchase them. There are also several store branches throughout Nairobi but these are for purchasing only. www.kazuri.com

The easiest way to visit multiple sites is to hire a taxi for the day (or whatever duration you want). Agree on a price and they will wait for you at each stop. This is perfectly safe. Or hire a guide like Kennedy (many here have used and recommend him, do a search for Kennedy) to show you around.

Hope this helps.
Patty is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:03 PM
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I second the recommendation of Kennedy. We used him when we visited in June for multiple days. If you'd like to hug a cheetah, he can arrange that for you, as well. In addition to shopping at Kazuri Bead Factory and Utamaduni, there is also Amani ya Juu, which is also a women's self help group. They make beautiful sewn goods and have a shop near the intersection of Riverside Dr. and Ring Road River Side (Kennedy should know where it's at; he took us there.) They also have a small outdoor cafe open six days a week. They serve Mexi-Kenyan; the Tsavo Tacos are great!
ShayTay is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:09 PM
  #9  
aby
 
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Hi ICASH

now i see that something is wrong with the "Search" function
hard to find the links, but i decided to try:

Nairobi layover (10 hrs) - What to do? (with links to 'Cheetah hug' no longer possible??)
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...hText=+Nairobi

one day in Nairobi

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...Text=Sheldrick
aby is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:18 PM
  #10  
aby
 
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+
Schedule events for one day in Nairobi

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...Text=Sheldrick
aby is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 12:46 AM
  #11  
 
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ICASH, The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage visit at 11am is for the 'General Public' and can be quite crowded especially on weekends. When you foster an Ellie you can arrange a sort of private visit (where it is only the Foster Parents who get to visit) at 5pm when the Ellies are being brought in from the Park and being put to bed. On the 11am visit the Ellies are out in the open inside some loosely tied ropes (to keep the visitors back a bit) whereas at the 5pm visit the Ellies are generally in their barns and you can meet them 'over the half door' or for the older ones, through the rails of the stockades. If it were me I would do both visits but IMHO the 5pm one is far better.

Now, I three would third using Kennedy as your guide - he's a great guy and really cannot do enough for everyone - we had an amazing time with him last year

Imelda
OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 12:06 PM
  #12  
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What would a driver/guide cost for a day or half-day in Nairobi?
What's an appropriate tip?

Thanks so much!
Ilene
ICASH is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 12:26 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The last time I booked a full day vehicle and guide through a tour operator the cost was $110. This was back in Dec last year. I've also hired a taxi for the day for about $80 (it's possible you could get this for lower as I didn't haggle). For a day trip in Nairobi, I typically give the equivalent of about $10 in shillings.
Patty is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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I forgot to add that those costs did not include admission, meals, etc.
Patty is offline  

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