Nairobi, Kenya - Stein Travel
Email us: sarah@steintravel.ie
Call 01 517 5990

Licensed by Commission Aviation Regulation TA 0796 Holidays 100% protected

request a quote

OUR DESTINATIONS

 

Let us help you find your perfect holiday by phoning us on 

(01) 517 5990

 

We offer holidays to the four courners of the globe.  If you want specialist advise please phone our travel team and we will be happy to help. 

Alternatively, check out some of our holiday offers below. 

 

Holidays Portugal

Holidays Spain

Canary Islands

Holiday Offers

Escorted Holidays

Nairobi

Nairobi is best characterised by its variety of locally-given descriptive names, representative of the city's contrasting images - of wealthy spacious suburbs, charming flower-lined streets and a refreshing climate, alongside crime, corruption, filth and poverty. Names like 'Green City in the Sun', 'City of Flowers' and the Masai name 'Place of Cool Waters' attempt to overshadow the all too real version of 'Nairobbery' that stands as a well-found warning to newly arrived tourists.

Nairobi is one of Africa's largest and most interesting cities. It is a place of enormous energy, a tireless and thriving bustle of people, and a city of differences. Assorted races, tribes and origins are all a part of its make-up. Rural immigrants and refugees are drawn by the hope of wealth and opportunity, international businessmen are attracted by profitable business prospects, and tourists are promised the makings of the perfect safari. The city centre buzzes with the energy, aspirations and opportunism of moneychangers, safari touts, would-be thieves, food vendors and trinket sellers, prostitutes, shoppers, security guards, and sharp-eyed shoe shiners assessing the footwear of the hurried throngs. Among them are the disillusioned faces of the unemployed, the beggars and the destitute.

Kenyatta Avenue is the city's favourite tourist image, a broad avenue fringed by trees and flowers that was originally designed to allow a twelve-oxen team to make a full turn. There are several museums and places of interest in the centre, including the National Museum and Snake Park. There are numerous markets selling traditional crafts, especially the appealing Masai market. Just outside of the centre is the Nairobi National Park, and the nearby Bomas of Kenya host performances of traditional dancing and singing. The Langata Giraffe Centre offers visitors the chance to hand-feed the Rothschild giraffes that inhabit the area.

Nairobi is also the safari capital of Africa and a good base for travel in Kenya. From here excursions and safaris can be arranged to any of the national parks or reserves in the country.

Information & Facts

Climate

Situated at a high altitude, Nairobi has a moderate climate. The summer months are sunny and warm without blistering temperatures, while winters are mild to cool, with very chilly evenings. Rainfall is also moderate, the wettest part of the year being late summer to autumn, when cloudy, drizzly days are common.

Getting Around

The most popular form of public transport in Nairobi is the matatu, usually a Nissan minibus, which operate on set routes collecting as many passengers as possible en route, with people boarding and disembarking wherever and whenever they choose. Loud music goes along with the ride in these cheap but unregulated and usually overcrowded vehicles that have become part of Kenyan culture. No less risky, but not as colourful, are the local bus services which operate on set routes and schedules through the city streets, renowned for overcrowding and speeding. Taxis are widely available and convenient, usually congregated in the street around hotels and areas frequented by tourists. Taxis are not metered and the fare should be agreed upon before departure. Nairobi taxis are marked with a yellow line along the side of the vehicle, or they are, surprisingly, large black London taxis. The better taxi companies have more modern vehicles, which can be booked by telephone. Three-wheel auto-rickshaws, or 'tuk-tuks' are also used as taxis in Nairobi.

Language

English is the official language but Swahili is the national language, with 42 ethnic languages spoken.

Money

The unit of currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), divided into 100 cents. It is not advisable to take Kenyan Shillings out of the country, as they are difficult to exchange elsewhere. Travellers cheques in Sterling or US Dollars are recommended for your trip to Kenya. US Dollars in particular have become commonly used in many of the country's main hotels and safari lodges. Foreign currency can be changed at banks, bureaux de change and hotels; easiest to exchange are US dollars, pounds sterling or Euros. Street exchange merchants should be avoided as they are operating illegally. Banks open Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm and on the first and last Saturday of the month. Banks and bureaux de change at the international airport stay open 24 hours. Credit Cards (American Express, Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in the larger hotels and stores, and some camps and lodges. ATMs are widely available in Nairobi and the major towns.

Shopping

Nairobi is a probably the best place in Africa to stock up on crafts and curios. The quality and prices of good are not matched elsewhere so make the most of a stay here to stock up. The local vendors will test your bargaining skills so be prepared to haggle. Typical souvenirs include Kamba woodcarvings, African masks, Kisii soapstone carvings, Masai beadwork colourful fabrics, handmade rugs and the distinctive square cloth known as kangas or kikhois. Do not attempt to buy precious stones or jewellery from freelance vendors.

The best place to go on a shopping excursion is the fascinating and always lively City Market on Muindi Mbingu Street. For a more local experience visit Kariokor Market where everything from vegetables to clothes is on sale. More local crafts can be found at the Maasai Markets (every Tuesday, Friday on the intersection of Moi Avenue and Monrovia Street; on Thursdays near the National Theatre; and Fridays near Limuru Road). Biashara (Business) Street in central Nairobi is lined with interesting stores and boutiques, with plenty of cafes in which to recuperate from the rigors of shopping.

Note that taxi drivers and local touts will pressure you to go to certain stores; they earn large commissions for doing so and therefore the prices you pay will be much higher.

Sightseeing

Many visitors to Kenya spend as little time as possible in Nairobi, partially because of the city's reputation for danger and congestion. This is a shame because Nairobi is a welcoming and fascinating place with a range of worthwhile things to see and do. Before departing for the parks, reserves and islands in the rest of the country it is well worth spending a day or two exploring Nairobi. It is a good idea to hire a taxi driver, based on a recommendation at your hotel, and to allow him to navigate you between the sights.

Call us
Our experienced travel consultants
are always here to help on:
(01) 517 5990

ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.