Help with Taxis & Hotels in Nairobi

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Feb 10th, 2006, 01:27 PM
  #1
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Help with Taxis & Hotels in Nairobi

Hi Guys-
I am traveling solo and this time not using any tour operator to get to Rwanda.
I have to overnight in Nairobi on Feb. 27 before continuing on to Kigali, Rwanda the next day.
Since I will be arriving in NBO at 8:30 pm and leaving for KGL at 8:30 am the next day (at the airport by 7 a.m.) I don't want to spend upwards of $250 per night at the Norfolk or Serena if I don't have to for a minimum of 10-12 hour stay at a hotel.

My question is twofold:
Is it safe enough for a single woman to take a taxi from Jomo Kenyatta to one of the hotels in Nairobi?

And does anyone know less expensive hotels which still have decent enough accommodations for a good night's sleep? The Intercontinental and/or Hilton seem to have cheaper rates but I've not been to either.

Can any of my fellow fodorites help me out on this? Thanks.
Sandy
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Feb 10th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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Hi Sandy,

At last a post to which I have an almost perfect reply!

It is safe enough for a single woman to take a taxi from Jomo Kenyatta to one of the hotels in Nairobi. Iíve done it several times and Iím still alive. The fare is 1,200 shillings.

At the Terminal youíll have a nice hot shower and a comfortable bed for 1,200 shillings (aprox. $ 16). Telephone: +254 (0)20 228817 Fax: 220075

Safari njema



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Feb 10th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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sandi
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There's a new hotel, but 10-minutes from JKIA (great for early departures) - the Pananeri. Haven't been, but hear it's lovely and about the same price as the Intercontinental.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a website, yet, so check with your outfitter.
 
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Feb 10th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Sandi-
I'm going to Rwanda to meet w/ the field staff of the Dian Fossey Fund to take some photos for their org. so it's not a 'proper' safari. Hence no outfitter involved.

It's a long shot trying to find info on Pananeri. I've tried web searches but came up empty handed.
I'll keep trying.

Thanks for the suggestions. If anyone else has any ideas, I'll be patiently waiting.
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Feb 10th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Sandy
I don't really know what you class as "decent enough" unfortunately, but you seem to classify the Hilton in that. I can only say The Nairobi Safari Club is comfortable if SLIGHTLY run down. Service was excellent when we were there and we slept like babies (rooms are suites and bedroom was smallish with no (or was it small)window but we left the conecting door open and it was like sleeping in a quiet pod). Would definitely be an option. The Jacaranda is not really a place for an overnight - rooms are the only weak feature. Holiday Inn looked very nice - we stopped to look at it on the way to the Jacaranda because it was my first choice - but Jacaranda was better for shoping - but if air conditioning is important to you I would check if they had it (Jacaranda doesn't). I could be wrong but I think the hotel Sandi refers to does have a Web site and that Patty previously posted the link. If so, the problem is the spelling is wrong - and when I checked it out the rack rates put it in the $200 + class, although they may have specials if you go through an agent (like I said, could be wrong, and I was checking rates for two - PATTY!).

I am pretty sure a taxi from the airport is safe but if you are worried you could just book transport. Let's Go and Southern Cross Safaris both do transport from the airport (among many others)for $25-40 dollars. Taxi is much cheaper though!
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Feb 10th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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Sorry sandy, I am thinking for two again, transfers are probably $40-50 for a single traveller.
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Feb 11th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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I did find the Panafric Hotel which is located at the corner of Kenyatta and Kimathi Roads. It's outside the city center en route from JBO

It looks OK and is around $100 a night.

Could that be the one you guys are talking about?
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Feb 11th, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Oops...JBO should be NBO...
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Feb 11th, 2006, 05:10 AM
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Yes, it is definitely safe enough to take a taxi to town. I think it's 1,200 KSHS. You could look at th 680 hotel. They have nice rooms for about $30 per night...and they over look the city if you're interested in seeing it.

The website is: http://www.680-hotel.co.ke/
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Feb 11th, 2006, 05:16 AM
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It is the Pananeri... that's all the information I have as I use an outfitter to book. I sure wish they'd get a website up, at it's a great option for those early morning departures.

The last I was at the Hilton, and a friend some years after - we both felt the hotel could be in better shape; believe Patty also felt the hotel had seen better days. It's a shame.

I know that the Intercontinental just recently refurbished the last of the rooms that needed it. You may just want to contact the IC direct and see what they can do for you. Believe the IC is 3-blocks closer to JKIA, and they may even have a shuttle bus for pax going to/fr JKIA.

We stayed at Jacaranda some years back. The property is nice with pool, but the rooms were a great disappointment.

That's all the info I have.

 
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Feb 11th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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I had a short overnight in Nairobi on my way to Entebbe, and I stayed at the New Stanely Hotel, and they arranged transfers from the airport.
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Feb 11th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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The Pananeri is nice, but it feels like you're in a shopping mall rather than in Africa! I like the Holiday Inn in Westlands as it's a bit out of town and there's a bit of greenery around you.

But the new hotel is close to the airport... and if you like meat check out the Pampas Grill.
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Feb 11th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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Itís called the Panari and has a website http://www.panarihotel.com/index2.htm
Perfect if you want to stay in a luxury shopping mall with an ice skating rink. It seems to have good views though.

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Feb 11th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Nyamera -

Thanks so much for the link. Had been looking for sometime.

Yes, maybe unlife what one would expect for Africa, lots of glass and maybe like a mall, but when arriving late and leaving early... too tired after 15-hrs flying and too groggy next morning to even notice... nearby and clean, works for me.
 
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Feb 11th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Nyamera-
Thank you for the link. And thanks to everyone else's suggestions and input.

I figured I'd be OK doing the taxi thing but a very conservative travel agent said not to. Then again...that's why I love this forum! ;-)

It's a long story but suffice it to say that most of the regulars on this forum know more about Africa than many travel agents. Even those who are members of the Virtuoso travel network.

So kudos to all the travel agents and tour operators out there who do know about their 'specialty destinations' and have actually been there and/or have done the research, and are willing to work with customers even if it isn't to put them in the most expensive hotels, lodges and camps.

An ice-skating rink in Nairobi?? Who woulda thunk it!

OK...I'm off my soapbox now
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Feb 11th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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... or a snow skier from Ethiopia, Mama Luge from the Caribbean (remember the Jamaican bobsled team), and Hawaiian wave pools in Japan!

 
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Feb 12th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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Taxi for single from JK to NBi city center, fine, IMO.
Inexpensive hotel with decent rooms: Panafric.

Check with them as they might pick you up at the airport too. They did for me last year.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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divewop

@ There is a shuttle u can take. not sure untill what time it operates.
@ i also think taxi is safe (take an official taxi)
@ Taxi: In case u r still unsure, u can talk to these guys (they r nice), tell them u r going only if u r not alone. u can fit with another tourist.
anyhow town center is small... Talk to tourists, this is not europe it is more informal, ask if u can join ...

I saw Intercont in august 119$
Hilton should b similar prices...
680 (as suggested by simbakubwa) is central & certainly cheaper. so should b Panafric ...

thit_cho - It is "Stanley" (again) - after "The New Stanley" was refurbished it became Stanley again.
Tour operators get the Stanley at about the same rates as Hilton & Intercont.. so check it
for 1 night i would take a less expensive hotel

finally if want a meat restaurant ("Nyama choma") + cabaret (~african) + Casino + quite an impressive hotel = Safari Park Hotel, a bit out of Nairobi
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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Thanks Aby-
Nothing too fancy for me in Nairobi this time. If I were staying more than just a short night I would consider it but since I'm just laying over until my flight to Kigali, I just want a place to rest my jet-lagged head.
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Feb 17th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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I remember seeing the Panari on the drive back to NBO in November. It's very close to the airport, so that would probably be my first choice considering your flight schedule. Please report back if you do stay there.

BTW the Hilton also has an airport shuttle. It could use a little upgrading but is fine for a 1 night stay.
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