Nairobi Hotel - Best location?

Old May 21st, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Nairobi Hotel - Best location?

Well I'm back - second guessing our choices again!!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our itinerary, we will be in Nairobi on the following days;

July 24th from 9am until 3pm
July 27th from 12.15pm
July 28th All day
July 29th POSSIBLY day trip to Lake Nakuru!

Here's my question:

We have booked the Nairobi Serena for our stay BUT, bearing in mind we will want to visit the Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park and do some shopping - how good / bad is the location of the Serena? Will we be spending an excessive amount of time travelling between places?? Where would be better?

Thanks again guys,
Imelda
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Old May 21st, 2006, 02:13 PM
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sandi
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The Sheldrick Ellees, Giraffe Center and National Park are all in the suburb of Karen. This is about 30-minutes from downtown Nairobi. I would suggest for July 27/28 staying in Karen. Consider House of Waine, Machushla, Ngong House, Blixen Coffee Cottages or the Giraffe Manor. You will find these prices to be somewhat higher than at the Serena or most downtown hotels. Most are on a B&B basis, though the Giraffe Manor can be either B&B or HB.

If staying at the Giraffe Manor you don't have to go anywhere but their windows to feed the giraffes from the Center which is on the grounds. They can make arrangements for you to visit Karen Blixen, Sheldrick and/or the National Park. For that matter, all of these properties can make arrangements to visit these sights.

For shopping here, these is also Kazuri Beads.

On July 24, for the few hours you can stay at the Serena from where you can do shopping in downtown Nairobi. The Intercontinental though may be better if you just want to walk to shop. The Hilton and Stanley hotels are also nearby. The Norfolk is a bid further from the downtown business district.

You've got choices.

 
Old May 21st, 2006, 04:15 PM
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I stay downtown and don't find it too inconvenient to visit the places you mentioned. Staying in Karen would be more convenient but as sandi mentioned the accomodations here are on the pricier side. If you're going to hire a car/taxi for the day, I wouldn't be too worried about the location.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 05:06 PM
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hi all-

since i am comtemplating this very thing, as a female alone do i need to concern myself with the taxi i hire to do these trips?

ideally, once i work out my safari details i figure i will end up with lose days in nairboi and i'd hoped to spend them at the above mentioned sites. are all taxis safe?

do i need to contact a day tour agency instead?

thanks and sorry to intrude- but i think it might be helpful for you, too onlymeoirsh.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Hotels generally have their "own" taxis and these seem to be safe. They will wait for you where you go and take you back or on to your next destination at no extra charge (well, okay you are paying a bit extra to start with but it's not too much). The doorman will sort you out and tell you what it should cost. We did a tour desk thing and it really wasn't much better than a taxi - the driver just spoke slightly better English (of course there will be quallity tours and guides but that wasn't your question). Hotel taxi drivers seem to know all the sites and each one of them gave us advice on what to do or not. If you like your taxi driver well enough just make an appointment with him for the next day. You are unlikely to have problems but there is nowhere all taxis are safe and I am sure Nairobi has it's share of rogues - if you don't like the look of your hotel's drivers or their vehicles, just go to a nicer hotel and ask the doorman there - no problem. If I were a woman alone I might be reluctant to get a taxi on the street (would depend on how well I could "read" people) but there are plenty of hotels downtown and if you are going out of the center just ask the driver to wait..
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys. We actually have a driver and car booked (Kennedy of the cheetahs!). The reason I asked is that we have so little time in Nairobi I want to make the most of it. However, I'm not too sure I want to change hotels especially as we will only be there for two nights.

I have one more question - how far and in what locations are JMO and Wilson airports? I have tried to find a map with both on it but have failed. Does anyone have a link??

Thanks again,
Imelda
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Wilson airport is right above Nairobi NP. NBO (Jomo Kenyatta Intl) is about half hour's drive from downtown Nairobi to the east of Nairobi NP. I'll try to see if I can find an online map somewhere.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
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I did a quick search and couldn't find any maps of Nairobi showing the locations of both airports, but if you can use Google Earth, download Eben's Kenya map http://www.go-safari.com/safari_Kenya.htm

It will give you the location of Wilson airport and the Norfolk hotel. To the east of the city, look for a big runway with a semi-circular building and that's NBO.

The Nairobi section on Google Earth is very detailed and you can locate specific buildings if you know what you're looking for. For example, I can locate the Hilton, Stanley and Intercontinental hotels because I know what streets they're on and what the buildings look like.
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