Any advice or suggestions? Traveling to Nairobi, Kenya soon.

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by dreamingartemis, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Hi,
    I'm not sure how to even frame my question. I'll be going to Kenya next month on work assignment for a month and I'm not sure what to expect. I already have idea of what gear to bring so this isn't asking about what gear to bring but more to what should I be aware of in terms of culture, caution and handy tips while shooting over there especially on the weekends.

    Thanks for any information in advance~~~:D
     
  2. jakeblues

    jakeblues Member

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    Hmm... Will you have a local guide? Someone to steer you out of bad areas?

    I was there for a month in 2007, but we were with a kenyan friend the whole time. We took public transportation everywhere (which was pretty crazy) and Matatus (which were really crazy). If you're white, expect to get asked for money pretty frequently. There are some people who just go around asking anyone who looks like a tourist for money.

    Oh if you're buying a wooden statue or something off the street and the seller says it's ebony, it's not ebony. And usually you can buy cheap tourist goods for about 1/10 of the original asking price. You just have to be willing to walk away.

    I don't know what else to say...Kenya is a tribal country. I think there are 42 tribes, and even in urban, professional centers like Nairobi, people still identify pretty heavily with their tribes.

    That's all I've got. Maybe you could ask a more specific question?
     
  3. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Hi! Thanks for the information, I'll mostly be on my own so no local guide. I know that's very unwise especially when travelling in unfamiliar places but this is a work assignment after and not a Nat Geo assignment :laugh::laugh:

    I'm not white (no offence intended) but being asian I will stick out nonetheless like a sore thumb. :pouty:

    To answer the last question, what I'm really after are just suggestions of things to try out and things to avoid but I guess I just have to use common sense and be wary of things around me.

    One question though and I know I'm not being fair to people in Kenya but then I'm always worried about this factor, how tight will I need to keep on my wallet and pockets from pickpockets? I was almost picked once before and luckily I kicked the guy down the escalator when he tried it. Or for that matter, how is the general situation of security and safety in Kenya?
     
  4. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    very tight on the first question.
     
  5. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Thanks, had a feeling it was going to be like that.....
     
  6. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I don't know how related this is to Nairobi and your work, but since a few days the news here report attacks by terrorists to Christian churches in the North town of Garissa, near the border with Somalia.

    The Kenyan government sent troops against the Al Shabaab rebels in Somalia during the last year and those seem to be making retaliatory actions in Kenya, or at least they are officially blamed. I don't know how much this is motivated also as inter-religious struggle. Considering how easily a tourist/foreigner can be accused of being an agitator/criminal by a crowd in a witch-hunting expedition I would avoid places of worships of any sort at the least suspect of tense religious relations in town.

    The situation in Nairobi can obviously be totally peaceful. Actually the situation in Garissa can also be totally peaceful and the attacks to the churches of the last days being maybe an isolated occurrence. Ask around, read the local newspapers. If there are dangers of inter-religious clashes take all precautions.
     
  7. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Yes, I did read about those reports in the news. Rather worrisome but I've been given the okay by the company that if attacks are imminent during my stay, we are to either stay in the hotel or evauate to either the airport or our embassy. :blink:

    But until the situation gets any worse, I'm still going. At least it's better than the situation in Egypt which I was slated to go end of the year but was cancelled due to recent political situation.......why is my company sending me to such places?:blink::blink:
     
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I traveled throughout Africa for 5 weeks last year for work. Like any place, 90% of the people are great. That said, there are bad areas and good areas. One of the first things to do is to find a good cab driver or two through the hotel and get their phone number. They can make your life much easier. Phones are dirt cheap. Get a mobile phone from SafariCom. Their rates are really inexpensive. I did a safari in the Masai Mara and it was pretty amazing and not that expensive I went with a 90mm lens (5 weeks all over Africa doesn't allow very long lenses! I'd recommend 100-400 mm or at least 200ish. There is a lot or good asian, indian, and Italian food.....not much traditional African. That said the fruit is really amazing. Another place to check out is Mombasa on the Indian ocean. I had zero problems in 5 weeks, but we were very careful.
     
  9. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Thanks! But phone wise, the company is paying so no worries there.