Nairobi (NBO) - Transportation Advice Needed.

Dec 21st, 2004, 11:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10
Nairobi (NBO) - Transportation Advice Needed.

As I am set on this excursion to the safaris in both Kenya and Tanzania and (pretty excited I must say), I have no desire (due to safety reasons after reading all the links) to spend much time in Nairobi (NBO) or even interacting with the people there until I get out of town, I needed advice on the following:

(1) From NBO Airport (as I will be arriving late at night), what is the quickest and safest way to the hotel (I will be staying at the PanAfric I believe - not sure where it even is)? Will I be able to recognize the cabs from the illegitimate ground transportations? How does the fare system work and are these cabs safe (driving habits and honesty). I am from NYC so I know a lot of scam artists such as what we call "gypsy" cabs at our airports that may overcharge or not be legitimate.

(2) If I was courageous enough to take a tour of the City of NBO does anyone know of any reputable tours and is there really anything worth seeing?

Thanks in advance!
ohio_boys is offline  
Dec 21st, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Are you working with a tour operator either in your home country or in-country Kenya or Tanzania? If so, they can arrange to pick you up from the airport. Likewise, they can arrange to get you around town. If you're arranging everything on your own, you can contact your hotel and arrange for them to pick you up at the airport. You can also arrange with the hotel to provide a driver for you during the time you are in NBO.

But may I ask, what does the balance of your time in both countries consist of, do you have a set itinerary and how do you plan to get to places on your itinerary - between each country and within each country?
Dec 21st, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10
I will be with a tour operator the whole time (meeting them the next day in the afternoon at the hotel) so my transportaiton will be covered from that point on (plus a tour leader and a crew).

I mean is it as easy as jumping into a cab right outside of the airport or perhaps you are right and I should have someone pick me up at the airport?
ohio_boys is offline  
Dec 21st, 2004, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Ohio_boys: I think it is a shame you have "no desire" to interact with people in Nairobi. During our stops in Nairobi, we have never had a problem. Do we walk around at night by ourselves? Of course not. But I don't do that in Boston either. As for if there is "anything really worth" seeing, yes, there is. Do a search on this forum under "Nairobi," as the question has been asked numerous times already. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Giraffe Center and a little thing called the Blixen Museum (ring a bell?) are all located on the outskirts of Nairobi. Although, maybe it is best if you do not interact with people at any of those locations since you really have no desire.
SusanLynne is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2004, 06:39 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10
To Susan Lynne (regarding last posting).

My intent was not to denounce people living in NBO. I can't wait to met the local villagers and tribes on the outskirts in the safaris. My apology if you took it as if I have no interest in being in NBO. I have done a lot of reading and searching for advice and there seems to be ONE consensus. NBO is not a safe place overall and you have to be more careful than other cities. People may feel safe and that is great but from the postings it doesn't seem like it is that safe even during the day time.

One factor is that I have never been to Kenya let alone Africa and will be traveling by myself until I get there. So there is a little anxiety of not knowing what to expect and to only get information from reading postings and talking to people who have been there.

With your suggestions, I will take into account seriously and like my question #2 I would consider taking a tour around the city. If you have any additional comments or advice I would be more than happy to listen to (in order to take advantage of what NBO has to offer and with regard to safety concerns).

Again, thank you for your advice.
ohio_boys is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2004, 12:14 PM
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While NBO might not be the safest city, it is far from the worst place to be on your own. Much of the crime that occurs is against locals, and eventually gets blown out of proportion by the press, both locally and internationally. Hey, at one time NYC wasn't a safe city, and now it's one of the safest. That's not to say that incidents don't or can't occur anywhere.

I would suggest you contact your hotel and have them arrange to have a car or bus (maybe they have a shuttle service) pick you up from the airport. The cost might be free or maybe about $20, certainly reasonable to get where you're supposed to be after a long flight.

In the same email to the hotel, you can also arrange some activity for the morning till you meet up with your tour - a visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage which is mornings only about 11am. If you're up real early, and if it's not included in your tour, you can also arrange to go to the Giraffe Center in the suburb of Karen, but be certain to be back in time for the Sheldrick visit. Check with your hotel the exact hour when the Giraffe Center opens so you can set your schedule accordingly.

When visiting in unfamiliar surroundings and to be certain or our safely, use normal precautions. Don't take anything with you that you don't need, no wallet, but keep a credit card and local or US currency in your front pocket, no jewelry, keep your eye on your camera, and don't "look/act like a tourist" (check maps inside a store, and ask for information inside a shop, not on a street) know where you're going so you don't look lost - use common sense. You can store your important papers - passport, airline tickets, additional currency, etc. in the hotel safe.

Hey, if two female friends of mine ventured out on the streets of NBO on their own, with no harm to them, I think you can too.
Dec 22nd, 2004, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
We had a wonderful time during our looong day in Nairobi last summer. Granted, the guy who picked us up at the airport ended up showing us around all day. He simply asked if we wanted him to act as our tour guide (his job), told us how much he'd charge, and we said, sure, why not.

We did all the usual touristy things, which were great. He also ended up taking us to a "real African" as he put it place for beers and music in the evening. We certainly stood out! It was a lot of fun and extremely interesting.

I thought the people we met in Nairobi were warm, kind, etc.

If you're feeling nervous, it's pretty easy to arrange for someone to show you around, either through your hotel or your tour operator.

Have a wonderful time!
Leely is offline  

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