Nairobi is pretty safe as long as you're sensible
24/02/2009 - 01/03/2009 30 °C
In Singapore now, the land of fast, free internet. Hopefully get all the Africa entries completed soon.
Nairobi, sometimes dubbed Nairobbery, due to high mugging rates, is actually pretty safe provided you are sensible. (Although I am about twice the size of the average Kenyan)
Following the overnight flight from Heathrow to Nairobi, (The Virgin advert with hot air-hostesses is somewhat misleading BTW!!!), I got picked up from the airport and I'm immediately khaking myself in the demolition derby that is Nairobi traffic. Cars everywhere, road markings are rare so you quite often have 5 cars trying to drive abreast a 3 lane road. I'm also astounded at the amount of people walking along (and cycling against the traffic ) on what in Britain would be classed as an A road. After about an hour (and seeing a guy where an old Rangers jumper) I arrive at my accommodation and find out there's a trip leaving in 30mins. Shower, Coffee, Go!!!
Saw a woman get head butted by a Giraffe here hehehe.... Thats what happens if you stand about with NO food. If you really want to you can kiss the Giraffes and get a lecture about Giraffes.
Karen Blixen Museum
Might've been an idea to watch Out of Africa before going here as this is where it was filmed and Karen Blixen (Author of Out of Africa) herself lived. Not that great, but Ok as part of a package with the Elephants & Giraffes.
How Safe Is Nairobi?
I step outside of the electrified gates in the blistering heat, a guy crosses the road and stops. I walk ahead. He stays behind me all the way down Ngong Rd. No matter what pace I walk at I can still see his shadow not far behind. He stays behind all the way down Valley Rd and onto Kenyatta Ave. I let him cross the road before me. Who's following who now eh!?! I then cross the road and keep one eye on him down Kenyatta Ave, until I'm distracted by the sudden cleanliness and lush bustling parklands on either side of the road. Reminds me of the promenades of Southern Spain. I wander down through the business district where lots of immaculately dressed men and women walk to work. I get to the Thorntree Cafe in time for lunch, its not what I thought it'd be. The Thorntree was one a Backpackers cafe. In the days before the world wide interweb this was the travelers forum where you could post notices on the Acacia Tree for other travelers to read. Now its contained in the uber-posh Savora Stanley hotel, where fat diplomat types (You know the type: Gold watches and Stripy shirts with a body guard in tow) have lunch and do dodgy deals. Had some lunch and then wandered round town. I was wondering round town for a while and it becomes immediately apparent when you want to turn round and head back where you came from, e..g. when you cross over the railway bridge and see a guy weeding on the other side with a machete!!!
I was too confused by the amount of Mutatu's to try to get one back to where I was staying, so after I went to my pre-Masai Mara I got a cab back as it was close to getting dark. Evan the Taxi Driver, who was from a small village told me not to go out in Nairobi after dark as lots of people get robbed at knife-point, but during the day it ok as long as you don't flash the cash. Somebody later told me a story of a guy who was mugged in broad daylight by 4 men, one on each limb, who cut his money belt off... but he was silly enough to show it in public.
P.S. I realised the guy earlier wasn't following me as, for those of you from Glasgow, this would've been like walking down Woodlands Rd and onto Sauchiehall St. (2 busy main roads for those not of weegie descent).
No soundtrack to Nairobi either as my Ipod might've been a muggers dream...