Locations - Nairobi the capital
The capital city of Kenya developed by building the railway line from the port of Mombasa to port Florence - renamed Kisumu. Today Nairobi is an important economic center in East Africa. Nairobi is normally packed with people and cars, there are taxis available from the airport to the city center. Prices are usually negotiable. During the day one can travel short distances within the city using matatus, which are mini-buses. Usually these are fully packed with people. Mini-buses meant for 9 passengers may at times carry more than 12 passengers. The matatus are also popular for their dangerous driving, those who love adventure and are not afraid of close contact with the local population, they should try a ride in a matatu. The prices are cheaper than taxi prices.
Accommodation in Nairobi is easy to find. Many hotels of varying prices are available. The Norfolk and Hilton Hotels among others are available in the town center. The Embassy Hotel in Tubman Road next to the City Market or Africana Hotel near River Road. Popular for backpack travelers is the really cheap Kenya Lodge in River Road - after sundown River Road becomes a rather dangerous part of Nairobi, which might explain the cheap prices at Kenya Lodge.
There is more to see in Nairobi than one is led to believe. Masses of Christians holding open air masses are common occurrences for those seeking a spiritual experience. Most of these open air masses are joyful. The services events are different from anything one can see in Europe. The Nyayo Stadium for sport lovers, an sometimes for the mentioned spiritual healing, is a nice place to make contact.
Many international organization, airlines, banks and diplomatic missions are located in Nairobi, check the opening times for the banks especially on Saturdays where very few are open for business. When one arrives on a weekend it is advisable to change money at the airport otherwise one has to be lucky to find street - changers (black market) whose exchange rates at times are lower than the bank exchange rates. With some of the black market exchangers one might even be conned. Credit cards are accepted by most banks, businesses and gas stations.
The Kenyans are a so warm-hearted and hospitable despite if one has to go out at night then better with a taxi and preferably with friends. Robberies and muggings on the streets of Nairobi, like in most international cities, are an everyday occurrence. During the day caution is also recommended. There are con-men and thieves always out to way lay the next victim. Valuables are safer when left in the hotel safe. Expensive watches, necklaces and cameras should not be displayed. Street Childrenin Nairobi make a living out of snatching such valuables.
Attacks on tourists and local people are common, in newspapers although some may be exaggerated. Nairobi after all is not more dangerous than New York or Cairo, depending how and where one moves around. Justice is most likely brought through the mob because Nairobi's respectable citizens have had enough of the robberies especially with the bad press it fuels abroad where it is portrayed like all people in Nairobi are criminals out to way lay some tourist.
Further trips through Kenya and the whole of East Africa can be started in Nairobi. From the capital city a safari to Masai Mara, Nairobi National Park or Amboseli National Park is so easy. To see Kenya's beautiful attractions Lake Victoria, Mount Kenya, the equator, Kericho's tea farms or even Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolph) Nairobi will be a good starting point for visitors.
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