Buying a camera in Nairobi on Sunday

Old Aug 11th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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Buying a camera in Nairobi on Sunday

We're leaving in three weeks and are evaluating various options. We have tickets on BA with a stopover in London on the way over. Unless rules change that means NO carryons. Assuming we pack the cameras and they don't arrive in Nairobi (stolen or lost), is it possible to buy a Nikon D50 or something similar in Nairobi on a Sunday?
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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There is a large shopping mall in Nairobi called Sarit Centre. You might e-mail them at [email protected] and ask about hours and whether there is a camera shop you could contact in the Mall.

If you have more than one camera, perhaps you could pack them in separate bags. There would be a chance that at least one would make it through.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Marija & Shay, We were in The Sarit Centre two weeks ago and I didn't notice a camera shop. That's not saying there definately isn't one there though. I do know that there is another shopping centre though - the YaYa so if the Sarit Centre doesn't have one then maybe the YaYa will.
Good planing Marija!!

Imelda
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I think there is a photo lab there that might carry some photo gear. That's why I suggested e-mailing them in advance to ask. If they don't carry cameras, I bet they know who does. Even better, your ground operator should know where a camera shop is and if it would be open on Sunday. I'd check with them.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Shay, You are correct, there is a photo lab there - I bought a fabulous wooden photo frame there!!! It's right beside the supermarket on the first floor if it's the one I was in. I don't think they do camera equipment though ... at least I didn't see any. Maybe the tour operator would be the best bet. Maybe, just maybe, if there isn't a camera place open on a Sunday, the tour operator could have a camera on 'standby' for you? If it's a fairly big company I'm sure they could do this as a 'just in case' measure. Maybe they could even purchase a camera just before you get there and if you don't need it then just return it?? There's no harm in asking!!

Imelda
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Thanks for the "on the ground" info, Imelda. I agree that the ground operator is Marija's best bet. I asked this question on another thread: Would it be possible to pre-ship your camera gear via DHL to your Kenya ground operator, have them receive and inventory it and confirm receipt. Then, they could lock it up until you arrived. Which is the least scary option: DHL or baggage handlers?
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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Our ground operator is CC Africa and I have found them extremely difficult to deal with. I can't even get them to accept the final payment for a safari that starts on September 9th! They keep telling me to wait until they contact me for final payment. I think I trust baggage handlers somewhat more than CC Africa office workers.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Shay, I've been keeping an eye on that other post too!!! The only thing about DHL is they can get things wrong too AND it is quite expensive but I suppose it definately is a MUCH better option than no camera. Hopefully this baggage thing will be sorted in a short period of time and us 'want to be pro photographers' (I'm referring to myself not any of you super pros ) will have less to worry about.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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What about the issue of duty if you ship your camera equipment rather than having it accompany you on entry?
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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"is it possible to buy a Nikon D50 or something similar in Nairobi on a Sunday?"

A Google search turns up this thread, with 2 or 3 stores mentioned ... http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=00HFVs

I know personally three pro photographers who had gear stolen from the Nairobi airport, long expensive lenses that they couldn't hand-carry on British Air, and all three were nicked on the way out, not coming in, so there's that bit of cheery news.

Was also told earlier this year that the gang of thieves stole gear from a personal friend of a high government official so a sting was set up and the perps were caught, reducing the theft rate considerably. Dunno how true this is but sounds plausible.

Bill
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Marija,

Sorry to hear about your problems with CCAfrica. I think most of their staff are taking turns doing their annual training program and they have been taking turns with it. It did happen to me last week, but, things are in order at the moment.

Hari
 
Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Hari,

Have a great trip. I hope you and your equipment arrive safely. I'll be looking forward to your report.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Thanks Marija....will will keep everyone updated with my packing later in the day.

Marija, since your trip is still 3 weeks away....why not wait and see if carry-on implications change by then?

I will also try and report sometime next week on how other guests i meet at Phinda have packed their cameras etc etc., should help other fodorites embarking on their safaris in the near term.

Hari
 
Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:54 PM
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about DHL~ I was shipping a childrens Hawaiian dress, a Hawaiian doll and a silk fabric lei to Luangwa River Lodge in Zambia for MaryAnne and Seans's daughter Xante a few months back (cost $15.00, weight under a pound), went to DHL who has an office in Mfuwe and they wanted $116.00 to ship. I can't imagine how much it would be for a heavy camera set up! (ended up shipping it USPS for $8.00, took 5 weeks to get there)
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:43 PM
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Hari-
That would be interesting to know how other guests managed the camera travel thing. Of course many will have already been there when it happened. Wonder if they are concerned about getting it back. I'd be worried if I had to check all my backup, laptop etc, gear.
Write when you can
regards - tom
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 08:44 PM
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Dennis,

I would rather check in the camera equipment vs shipping it DHL or other courier service.

I deceided to hand carry my Nikon D50 with the Tamron lens attachment. I figure, if lap tops are permitted then i bet my Nikon should be allowed also. I am contacting the SAA India office in the next hour for specifics.

I am going to check -in my Sony R1, which is my back up camera. All batteries, chips, chargers etc etc checked in....not taking my lap top or Epson or anything....the above, given the current situation is plenty.

Hari
 
Old Aug 11th, 2006, 09:23 PM
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I would have thought that paying a courier and maybe some duty, is still going to be cheaper than buying a camera in Nairobi. Even if you end up leaving your camera there (I can give you an address to drop it off ;-)) and buying a camera back home it will still work out cheaper as this kind of equipment is rarer in Kenya and comes at a premium price!

I've been to the Sarit Centre Photo place, and it's more of a processing place, but it does have some camera equipment. I don't recall any high end equipment.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 09:37 PM
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According to Lonely Planet (so better check) you can hire SLRs from Expo Camera Centre in Westlands... infoatexpodotcodotke

This is on Mama Ngima Street,which is (again, apparently) the place to go for camera equipment.

Get your operator to check it out - you will NOT be alone .... and anyone living Nairobi, here is the business opportunity of a lifetime - SLRs for hire ;-)
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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I use a point and shoot so don't know what a serious set of photo equipment weighs but just as an example, shipping a 15 lb package from US to Kenya via UPS would cost about $360 not including insurance (about $0.50 per $100 declared value). I assume rates for Fedex and DHL would be similar.

Import duty for photographic equipment is 25% according to the Kenya custom tariff schedule here http://www.kra.go.ke/customs/pdf/CustomTariffs.pdf (it's on page 172)
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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So much for the shipping idea! It sounds like the best thing would be to double-pack your gear and check it if going through London. The more time-consuming you make it for a thief, the less likely you'll be ripped off...taped bubble-wrap, case within a case, etc.

Nairobi Airport has been working on their theft problem at the airport. They now have big windows at the rear of the baggage claim area. You can watch the baggage handlers unload cases from the big luggage containers offloaded from the planes. Outgoing luggage doesn't have this scrutiny, so it's more likely to be stolen or ripped off at that point. Don't think that it can happen only in an African airport. I know of several thefts that happened in Amsterdam's airport.
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