How to travel like a pro in Nairobi

Travelling like a pro in Nairobi, or any city for that matter, involves a combination of preparation, local knowledge, and savvy decision-making. Here are some tips to help you navigate Nairobi like a seasoned traveller:

  1. Research and Plan Ahead:
  2. Accommodation:
  3. Transportation:
    • Use reputable taxi services like Uber or Bolt for convenient and safe travel within the city.
    • Consider using matatus (shared minibuses) for short distances. They’re a popular mode of transport, but make sure to confirm routes and prices before getting on.
    • Avoid crowded or unreliable public transport, especially at night.
  4. Safety:
    • Avoid displaying expensive items like jewellery and electronics in public.
    • Be cautious with your belongings in crowded areas to avoid pickpockets.
    • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
  5. Local Cuisine:
    • Try local dishes like nyama choma (grilled meat), ugali (maize porridge), and sukuma wiki (collard greens). Visit reputable restaurants for authentic experiences.
  6. Currency and Payments:
    • Use local currency (Kenyan Shillings) for small purchases. Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger shops.
  7. Language:
    • English and Swahili are widely spoken, so knowing a few basic Swahili phrases can be helpful and appreciated.
  8. Sightseeing and Activities:
    • Visit attractions like Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Giraffe Centre, and the Karen Blixen Museum.
    • Consider a guided tour for a more in-depth experience.
  9. Local Etiquette:
    • It’s customary to greet people with a polite “Jambo” or “Habari” (Hello/How are you?) and to use “Asante” (Thank you) when appropriate.
  10. Health and Safety:
    • Drink bottled or filtered water to avoid waterborne illnesses.
    • Ensure you have updated vaccinations and consider consulting a travel clinic before your trip.
  11. Internet and Communication:
    • Get a local SIM card with data to stay connected. Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom are popular providers. However, if you have a current smartphone you could consider getting an eSIM, you can get one here.
  12. Cultural Sensitivity:
    • Respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas.
  13. Time Management:
    • Nairobi traffic can be unpredictable, so plan for extra time when travelling between places.
  14. Local Guidance:
    • Ask locals or your accommodation staff for recommendations on places to visit, eat, or shop. They often have valuable insights.

Remember, every traveller’s needs and preferences are different, so adjust these tips to suit your own style of travel. Being open-minded, respectful, and adaptable will enhance your experience in Nairobi. Therefore, if you consider the key points above. You will learn to travel like a pro in Nairobi.


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