Is Nairobi safe?
It is a fact. Most tours to Kenya start and end in Nairobi with halts. When I first started thinking about touring Africa, Nairobi is a hot destination that immediately pops up while planning. An African tour without Nairobi is not complete. When once I ended up in Russia attending a youth forum, I made some good, insanely smart and crazy fun Kenyan friends who did not spare efforts to praise their motherland! Talking about security, I always had in my mind an image of Nairobi: the huge urban agglomeration, a two-speed city full of striking development contrasts and hence lack of security. Well, just like any Kenyan out there, you will get to experience heightened security that has no impact on your day to day adventure. This Nairobi to Amboseli to Mombasa Safari is a good example of Safaris in Kenya that start from Nairobi and include at least one safaris trip into the country.
Safety in Nairobi:
Most media outlets portray Nairobi as a dangerous destination to avoid because of occasional bombings. The thing is that what can happen in Kenya currently happens in countries like Spain or France. Do people stop vacationing there? NO! This is to say that we need some relativism in our approach to everything we hear, read or watch. Nairobi is a gorgeous African city that encompasses rare cultural mixes and ethnic variety. However, as it is a big city with different development paces, one should take considerable precaution regarding pick-pockets and muggers which are likely to happen: better careful than sorry, right?
What to DO in Nairobi... and Dont’s.
Nairobi is the only gem in the world where you can take a day trip to the safari within the city! How amazing is that? Do not miss out on the Rift Valley that is within just one hour drive outside of Nairobi. Not to mention the lively nightlife, the wide choice of local restaurants offering a great variety of international and local ethnic cuisine.
Literally, Nairobi is full of wonders! Nonetheless, the reasons why people tend to be judgemental towards this city are completely irrelevant aspects to safety such as atmospheric pollution and traffic jams. Being aware of your surroundings will not only help you relativise on everything that you see and experience on a personal level, but will also allow you to enjoy your time as a visitor, especially that Kenyans are known to be tourist-friendly, extremely welcoming people and quit open-minded. It is also common that people stare at you out of curiosity when you have different colour skin. Note to self: it is totally normal, just go with the flow! I would not recommend walking alone at night though and if you are a female traveler, avoid slums and always make sure to be accompanied by a male acquaintance as Nairobi is at its best by night. So, do not miss out on great evenings and quit tropical venues peered with a good Tusker beer because of irrational fear! Also, do not carry valuables such as gold or big noticeable amounts of money.
One last word: Enjoy the hub of East Africa!