Skip to comments.(Vanity)We have an opportunity to go to Nairobi.Anyone been to Nairobi that could tell me about it?
Posted on 06/20/2006 10:04:53 AM PDT by hindsfeetnhighplaces
We are going with a group of ministers who work here in the U.S. to raise funds to build churches and equip ministers in Nairobi, Kenya. Then they go over there for several weeks on a preaching tour.
My husband and I would be brining our two sons ages 5 and 7. We would be staying with families of the churches and not in hotels. We would not be going there as "tourists" but to work. Although I am sure we will do a little site seeing as well.
I have never traveled anywhere except for a few places in the U.S.
What is it like in Nairobi? The culture? The people? The food?
Do you know of any good sites on the web that I can visit with accurate information about the area?
Has anyone traveled to Nairobi?
Call Brad and Angelena
NO thanks. I would rather have answers from real people not the plastic,papmered,leftist hollywood types.
that should read pampered.
That's comforting lol. Actually, I know that if God is sending us then He will protect us too.
We intend to look into this fully before we go. That said, if God says to go then we will go.
Kenya. Namibia. Different countries. You could look it up.
1)Consult a physician who specializes in tropical/infectious diseases.There are many,many diseases that one can contract in East Africa...many of them fatal. Most of them are completely unknown to the typical US physician,so it must be an expert in "travel medicine" that you consult.Follow his/her advice to the letter,including advice about immunizations,malaria prophylaxis and what not to eat/drink.
2)Assuming that the folks you'll be staying with know the area well (that is,they've been there for a good while) follow their advice regarding safety issues to the letter.Remember that,among other things,the average woman's pocketbook costs the equivalent of nine months wages there.
3)Make sure you register at the nearest US Embassy/Consulate and stay in *constant* contact with them regarding safety issues and other matters.
Although my post might sound ominous to you,I assure you that it is possible to have a great time in that part of the world.The game parks are,IMO,among the most impressive places that I can imagine existing on earth.The dark tone of my post is because I had health and safety problems while in Tanzania.
This Travel Warning is being issued to remind American citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya at this time due to ongoing safety and security concerns. This supersedes the Travel Warning of July 1, 2005.
The Department recommends that private American citizens in Kenya evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing terrorist threats and the limited ability of the Kenyan authorities to detect and deter such acts. The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of terrorist threats in Kenya and elsewhere in eastern Africa aimed at U.S. and Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places including tourist sites and locations where Westerners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or other Western interests.
American citizens in Kenya should remain vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, Western-oriented shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship. Americans should also remain vigilant in residential areas, schools, and at outdoor recreational events, and should avoid demonstrations and large crowds. In particular, there is a continuing threat against Westerners in the capital, Nairobi, and some locales in the coastal region. In addition to the terrorist threat, there are increasing incidents of criminal activity, including carjacking, robbery, and other violent crime, especially after dark.
Americans who travel to or reside in Kenya despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register through the State Departments travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20)363-6000; fax (254)(20)363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20)363-6170. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov. U.S. citizens should consult the Department of States Consular Information Sheet for Kenya, the East Africa Public Announcement, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or 202-501-4444 from overseas.
Watched him when I was kid too. The Nairobi Trio skits were pointless but always cracked me up for some reason and have always stuck in my memory. Guess that was the genius of Kovaks.
If,by chance,you're entitled to citizenship in another country (a surprising number of native born Americans are) you might want to travel on that country's passport for security reasons.
You'd be surprised how many Americans travel on foreign passports for just that reason.
If,by chance,you want more info on this,freep-mail me.I have some experience in this particular subject.
Thanks. That was very......ummm......helpful? LOL
Addictive, even. Careful with overexposure, or you won't be able to stop.
No, I don't think I would have dual citizenship.
LOL. Thanks for the warning.
Be careful over there.
We will and God will be with us.
Well, I have some things to do but I will check this thread throughout the day. Thanks for all of your advice and comments. :)
Get all your immunization shots up to date: Polio (I saw some older adults on the streets of Moshi, Tanzania with limp legs which indicates Polio in the recent past), Yellow Fever, etc. I also was on Malaria pills the whole time and only ate cooked foods (NO SALADS!!! They will be washed in local water and therefore you can get ill from them) and only drank bottled beverages. Also, a good 20 micron water purification 'pump' ($50-$100, sold at any outdoor or backpacking shop here in the States) will take out most bacteria, spores and parasites. Some Viruses are too small and may get through.
Thank you, I will remember that. Did you contract Malaria or were the pills a preventative?
The lifecycle of the malaria parasite is such that it infects the human liver (once injected by mosquito bite) and you have about 5-6 days as the buggers reproduce in the liver and any indication of the disease. The pills affect the reproducing parasite and the emerging form. This is why they usually have you take the pills for at least 7 days AFTER you leave the infected area.
All the Hotels I stayed at supplied mosquito netting for each bed. This is an absolute necessity for sleeping!! Mosquito repellant (High DEET concentration) is also good to carry. If you're having a nice conversation and drink on a veranda in the evening while watching the sun set over the African plains (Beautiful!) and it starts to get buggy, go inside; Don't take chances.
Silverleaf and DoctorMichael have,IMO,given you good advice regarding health issues but there's one thing that hasn't been mentioned regarding malaria prophylaxis...
IIRC (it's been a while since I've been to Africa),you must start the malaria pills some time before you leave home...I think it might even be a month or more.Given this fact (possibility?) it would be wise to get your marching orders from the doctor that you consult long before you plan to leave.
I've not been to Africa, but had a friend that went twice on mission trips
with (mainstream) Church of Christ to Nairoibi and surrounding area.
He was positive about the experience and didn't mention any real downside/danger.
You've gotten good advice from "Doctor Michael" and "silverleaf".
I'd just add a few things...
Google a bunch even after you check State Department
warnings. Even in the
relatively recent past, State Dept. advisories can trail a few weeks to months
behind the emergence of issues of concern/danger.
Get medical EVACUATION insurance if you can afford it.
DON'T buy it from the same entity that sells you your flight/lodging.
Make sure the insurance is the type that will cover flying you ALL the way
home and maybe even has a nurse/doctor in attendance on the flight.
Sure it sounds paranoic, but Peter Greenburg (he's the travel guy on
NBC/Today Show) always recommends it, especially for international trips.
Check out trip insurance. I think there are different kinds, such as
ones that cover cancellation of the trip by a travel company and the
type to cover you if you get sick at the last moment.
(again, don't get it from the entity that's providing the flight/lodging)
Be advised that even the best of these policies will have a "force majeaur' (sp?)
that lets the insurer off the hook if a major catastrophe beyond their
control is the cause of the cancellation.
REALLY inquire about anti-malarials.
"silverleaf" gave you wise counsel on that. I'd just add that I read an article
about the awful experience of a traveler that had anti-malarial that
just didn't work (either a bad batch of drug or resistant bugs?) and
had real trouble getting fixed up with good treatment.
I guess I'd inquire about a Plan A and a Plan B for fending off malaria
with your doctor (and Googling).
Also, get a fresh Tetanus shot. Don't get bit by any animals (Bats, etc.): Rabies is endemic. Tanzania would not let you exit the airport after you arrived unless you could show an up-to-date Yellow Fever shot. I've also had both Hepatitus A & B, Meningiococcal and Typhoid vaccinations as well as getting booster shots for all the childhood diseases that you got as a kid years ago. See here................
Here's a link to one of the medical evacuation services recommended by
Also, just Google with "medical evacuation insurance" to get a load of
different services to investigate.
As long as you don't, for any reason, leave Nairobi then you should be fine.
They are wrong. But don't bother with the anti-malaria medication. It is much easier to just buy a testing kit(available at drug stores in Nairobi for about $15) and the cure (available for about $5) and keep it with you.
I just got back about 3 months ago, what would you like to know?
Everything LOL! Whatever you would care to share.
I am pretty sure we won't, but not completely positive about that.
Has you group given you any guidelines yet?
The food is pretty good, don't eat anything raw, no unpeeled fruit and never ever drink the water. Do not even brush your teeth with it.
Sure I am sure. :) you can PM me if you like. I would love to hear about your experiences there. We just found out about this Sunday evening so no, we haven't gotten any information yet. One of the pastors whe went has put together a presentation that he is going to give at his church and we are going to try and go to that. The trip isn't until November but I am anxious to find out as much as I can. If you have the time I would love to hear all about it.
Got a Passport?
Not yet but we will get them soon.
the first kiss took place on a Kenyan beach. They had the baby in Namibia.
I drink the water all the time -- and this is Nairobi City Council water not borehole water! I guess I developed the antibodies as a baby or something.
Lot's of crock on this thread, to be honest.
Crime is a serious concern, but you'll be fine if you're sensible.
Otherwise Kenya is a fantastic place, and even Nairobi is great -- though it does have its downsides.
Here's a quick run down of best restaurants to eat at:
JAPANESE -- Furasato in Westlands does the best Sushi in Africa.
FRENCH -- Alan Bobbe's Bistro has finally moved out of the centre of town since the great man died. I don't know what it's like in the new location -- but this was THE place where European royalty, U.S. tycoons and Hollywood actors used to go. Ask to see their guest book.
SEAFOOD -- A bit overpriced but Tamarind in the centre of town is very good. Much better, though, is their dhow in Mombasa.
INDIAN -- Haandi in The Mall or either of the two Anghitis (one in Westlands, one in Muthaiga) are truly excellent.
CHINESE -- My favourite is still the rather run down Hong Kong on Koinange Street -- aka the Street of Sin.
ITALIAN -- Variable and sometimes inconsistent. I still like Trattoria if you're in town and want a quick pizza. Medditeraneo on Woodvale Grove is an old favourite an Chianti's in Hurlingham is good too.
THAI -- Siam Thai in Xerox House of Woodvale Grove is the best in town
Favourites are Moonflower on Dennis Pritt road -- lovely atmopshere
Talisman/Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and especially Kudeta in Karen/Langata are great, thought sadly Kudeta was closed last time I looked -- but may be reopening.
For the best outdoor experience go to the Rusty Nail, which has a lovely garden but not such good food. Have afternoon tea and a sticky toffee pudding or a beer instead.
Pavement in Westlands very good too,
Out of town head for the Kentmere Club on the way to Tigoni.
Most famous restaurant in Nairobi is the Carnivore in Langata -- a feast of Zebra, crocodile, Impala etc etc
For breakfasts head to any one of the Java Houses in town. The one at The Junction at Dagoretti is the hippest place right now.
For the kids there are fast food joints all over.
Fancy: The Mercury Bar, Casablanca, Havana, Pavement, Karen Blixen
Mid level: Gypsy, Klubhouse, Soho, The Horseman
Clubbing; The Pavement and Simba Saloon at Carnivore are the top places. Black Cotton Club once a month is also recommended.
Weve got the most importqant stuff in nairobi out of the way. Anything else you want to know?
I was born in Kenya by the way, lived there for 18 years and go back there at least three times a year...
By the way it's not such a bacward place.
I live in Moscow now and Nairobi has more advanced supermarkets, better cinemas and better bookshops than here.
The food is a hundred times better too.
Are you sending the kids to school, by the way?
They'll have a wonderful time if you relax and let them...
You must try Zebra -- it's the best meat in the world. Like a very tender steak but much juicier and more tender on the tongue.
The Java House chain is a safe bet if you want the taste of America. It's owned and run by a Canadian.
Tamambo's is essentially U.S. cuisine and the chef at Verandah in Langata is an American.
I have quite a lot of American friends who have come out and they say the cooking at decent restaurants is at least comparable to the U.S.
Forget about the granola bars. You can get orios, hershey bars and granola bars at a number of the better supermarkets...