This is a super destination for those seeking excitement as well as relaxation. If that’s you, you’ll find great places to eat, a pulsating nightlife, a smattering of cultural sights and a few wildlife attractions too.
If you hire a car, get a 4x4. This will be useful for going out into the nature reserves and surviving the city’s potholed roads.
Keep your valuables close at hand, be alert when walking around the streets and avoid doing so at night or alone.
Kenya is on Eastern African Time (EAT) of GMT+3, with no Daylight Saving Time.
The currency is the Kenyan shilling (KES) and you can change money at banks, hotels and forex bureaux, which are plentiful in Nairobi. Barclays Bank outlets have guarded ATMs for safety throughout the city. Most tourist-orientated shops accept international credit cards, but may add 5% for doing so.
This is a tropical climate and Nairobi has a pleasant temperature year-round due to its altitude. Most rain falls during the warmest, wettest months of March, April and May, as well as in November-December. July and August are dry and cooler.
Kenyan plug sockets are like the British variety, with three square pins. The standard voltage is 240V.
The city has good mobile phone coverage and several Internet cafés, with a growing number of cafés and bars offering wi-fi hotspots. Don’t expect great connection speeds, however.
The city centre is small enough to walk around, but it can be a security risk, especially at night. Taxis are widely available, parked outside hotels and tourist areas, or you can order one by phone. They’re not metered, so agree a on price up front.
Buses run throughout the city on regular schedules and tickets are bought on board. Matatus, the smaller communal mini-buses, are the major form of public transport and run throughout the city, but they’re crowded and uncomfortable.
The city has notoriously bad traffic and at rush hours it can grind to a halt. It’s often quicker and easier to walk 4km or so than go by taxi. If you hire a car, be alert for hijackers: it’s a wiser idea to hire one with a driver, if your budget allows.
Airport to City Center
Jomo Kenyatta International airport is 15km from town. There are reputable taxis outside Bus 34 runs between the airport and the Hotel Ambassadeur in Moi Avenue in the city centre. Keep your luggage next to you and have small change ready for the fare.