Any news on the latest "situation" in Nairobi?

Aug 18th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Any news on the latest "situation" in Nairobi?

Hi All - I leave for my safari to East Africa in 2 weeks. Has anyone heard of the latest state of affairs in Nairobi? This was posted a couple of months ago...Also, around that time there were a number of articles (New York Times, etc.) talking about the deteriorating situation in Nairobi with the Kenyan mafia, gangs, etc. The US media doesn't seem to report on this stuff very often, so I was just curious if anyone has the latest info on "goings-on" in Nairobi...

Is there a good web site to check out for local Kenya/Tanzania news? Thanks!!

"There has been an explosion in Nairobi city centre at a restaurant next to the Ambasador hotel at approx. 8:30 am local time today. Details are sketchy at the moment, but early reports suggest that it could be a suicide bomb."
lmavolio is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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I was in Nairobi in June/July and had a great time with Kennedy, our guide. I also toured Kibera with Special Ministries. I didn't notice anything different than other trips, other than tightened security at the airport. My first visit to Nairobi was a week after the embassy bombing in 1998 and didn't feel unsafe then, either.

You can always check for the latest news in Africa, and specify "Kenya".
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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I was in Nairobi for 2 days in July. Felt safe, didn't see anything that would make me concerned. Even went "shopping" downtown.

Go and enjoy,
Duane is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 03:06 AM
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Imavolio, I spent several days in Nairobi in June/July and have never felt safer. There were more street lights than there used to be, and the security guards were really, really bored. Walking the streets, even at night, is just not a problem. I also walked in Westlands and Karen that were perfectly safe as well. I didnít do any nighttime walking in Karen though, as it felt a bit deserted, but if Iíd done it Iíd probably have discovered that it wasnít dangerous at all.

Mungiki is a problem in Mathare as are the Kenyan police that kill innocent people in their Mungiki hunt. Iíd also worry if I was involved in the matatu industry, but the matatu people I asked werenít worried at all. Worrying about Mungiki as a tourist is like worrying about the Mafia when going on a beach holiday to Sicily.

When I asked about the suicide bombing I was told it was a local thing committed by a troubled individual. I saw the Bakerís Inn pastry shop thatís next to where it happened, but there wasnít anything to see.

Being of the worrying kind myself I understand you, but youíre worrying about the wrong things. Whatís really scary about Kenya travel is road safety, lost luggage and Ė above all Ė safari prices. Though personally I donít worry that much about road safety.

Of course, Kenyan and Tanzanian newspapers have websites, but I donít think they would be good for you. Next time when reading your local newspaper, imagine being a tourist who havenít yet visited your hometown and think about how the paper would make you feel.

Where are you staying in Nairobi?
Nyamera is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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Thanks for the feedback!! I am staying at the Serena in Nairobi.

I won't be in Nairobi for very long...I arrive at 2PM and leave early the next morning for a flight to Samburu. We were planning to relax at the hotel during this time, but if we're not too exhausted, I'd love to get out a bit, maybe do some local "African" shopping...Can you venture out on your own or would you recommend getting a guide?

Also, Nyamera, when you mention "road safety" - do you mean safety of the road conditions or bandits on the roads holding up tourists? (or both!)

I am also the worrying type (as you can tell by my questions)...I have thought of every possible thing that could go wrong on this trip, but I am pretty confident that once I get there, I will be laughing at all of my concerns (or at least I hope!!)

Thanks again everyone...
lmavolio is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Imavolio, with ďroad safetyĒ I mean accidents mainly caused by dangerous drivers. There are bandits as well, but tourists are very rarely targeted.

You donít need a guide for shopping. Just walk straight on to the east and after a few minutes you are in the city centre. Then walk up Koinange Street and youíll see City Market on your right, or straight on to Moi Avenue, turn right and youíll see Zanzibar Shop on your right, or turn right down Kimathi Street, past the Stanley and youíll see the Hilton Building where the Collectorís Den is on the right side. There are lots of other shops as well. As the first stretch of Kenyatta Avenue after the Serena is between Central and Uhuru Parks, it might be safer to take a taxi if you are returning to the hotel after dark. Iíve never been to the Serena, but I passed it on a bus to Sarit Centre and the road looked short and safe.

Itís not that easy to get into any trouble in just one afternoon and a night. I spent 9 days in Nairobi, I think, walking everywhere and wasnít even close to any dangerous situations.

Hakuna matata.
Nyamera is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 07:21 AM
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Hi Imalolio,
Nyamera has covered the saftet issues well but I just wanted to add that the restaurant upstairs in the Serena is VERY good. We stayed in the Serena last year and didn't feel like going out to eat so we ate at their restaurant (not the buffet) upstairs. I have to say it was the best meal we had for our entire trip. It was pretty reasonable too for what it was - just though you might like to know!
OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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If you go out walking, I wouldn't recommend doing it after dark...not safe. Also, don't carry expensive cameras, etc. that would make you a target. Being driven around Nairobi is different than walking there.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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I just saw that East Africa and Nairobi experienced another earthquake. That's probably the only "situation" you might experience there.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 06:47 AM
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I am very cautious (as you will see if you check my previous posts) and am so glad that I didn't cancel my trip due to safety concerns. We are already planning another trip and plan to take our children next time. We stayed at Nairobi Serena and Ngong House and felt very safe at both. If your tour company isn't, make arrangements for a driver around Nairobi and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
maria2 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:48 AM
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For newspaper stories:

choose your country from the pulldown in the middle of the page and hit go

I always check local papers before traveling.
tuckeg is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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oops missed ShayTay first reply.
tuckeg is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 09:12 PM
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Go and have a FABULOUS time. I returned from East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) about 2 weeks ago and passed through Nairobi - stayed at the Norfolk. Like you, I was quite concerned about the safety situation and after doing more research than I'd like to admit, decided to go and am SO glad I did. I was with a reputable tour operator with a guide who escorted me and my family around and felt fine. Yes, be aware and exercise prudence for certain, I would not have wandered out at night, but I can honestly say I felt just fine while I was there. People will likely have strong and differing opinions on this - I would very much recommend hiring a guide - it made my experience seamless, I felt safe, and I learned a ton. Visiting East Africa is a wonderful life experience and, of all my travels, the people left a lasting impression of warmth and kindness. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Africa06 is offline  
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