a VirtualTourist member from Shelburne
Hello - My wife and I are traveling to Kenya within the week and have become somewhat concerned about security issues in and around Nairobi as reported by the foreign press. Has anyone been there recently that has a realistic view of things?
Thanks. Please reply to:
I understand your concerns. The security situation in Nairobi is a popular headline in foreign newspapers.
Nairobi is a lively, roaring city, but from my point of view it is no more dangerous that any other big city - you just have use your head and take your precautions when you walk around. Don't wear a lot of jewelry, carry only small bags (if any) when you walk around downtown or in markets and don't stroll down empty streets.
I have lived here for a year now. I feel completely safe walking around the city center and even take the matatus on my own - during the day that is! When it's dark I always drive or take a taxi, even if I only have to go 100 meters. En general the city is safe during the day and transportation is quite easy. Be prepared to bargain with the taxi drivers, they charge horrible high fares the minute a mzungu (white) sits in their car.
I hope you will enjoy your stay here and I hope you will have the opportunity to travel and see the country.
All the best,
Its usually a good idea not to trust what you read in the newspapers. Nairobi is ok now, not more dangerous than before the political trouble, not less. During the day there are not really safety-related problems, simply use your good sense : do not carry expensive items in full sight and hold tight to your bag, especially in downtown. Residential areas for expats are less a problem.
At night, Nairobi can be extremely dangerous, but you should not encounter any problem as long as you do not walk. Always take a taxi, lock all the doors (during the day as well, especially in downtown) and don't let him drive slowly.