shortened version of the conversation held by my friends and i when deciding where to go for this 5 day getaway
me: want to go to nairobi, kenya?
them: africa? i’ve wanted to go to cape town and johannesburg. i don’t know much about kenya. isn’t there yellow fever? malaria? typhoid? the common cold?? you know they’re not the cleanest…
us preparing to go..
2 OD on malaria pills (bless their hearts) 1 couldn’t stay off the internet reading tourist horror stories (“someone said her friend got salmonella!” you do know you can get salmonella from your own kitchen right?), and 1 treated the trip like any other.
if you have not been to africa, i bet you already have an idea of what you think it looks like…dirt roads and lions in the backyard?? haha not quite! but there were definitely lions!
okay so i’ll share the highlights of my trip as well as any tips i may have.
CARNIVORE: a beast of a feast $36 usd
a brazilian style steakhouse (as in, they bring around 8 million different types of meat and you just keep eating until you’re full lol) some of the choices were, ostrich balls, rabbit, and crocodile. (listen. when i tell you that rabbit and those balls were AMAZING) the feast starts at 6 oclock and goes until 10.
Nyama Mama: $18 usd
this is the cutest little place to eat breakfast! there was african prints everywhere, a cute little fireplace and WIFI!! (whenever you travel internationally finding a place with wifi is almost like being baptized for the first time) i ordered the chicken & waffles, an omelette, and cappuccino (because i was feeling fancy)
Mama Ashanti: $25 usd
we went here on a recommendation from our tour guide who said they have “the best goat pepper soup!” and she was RIGHT! omg it was sooooo good! 3 of us also ordered the deep fried tilapia, creamed spinach (i imagine if Jesus made spinach this is what it would taste like), plantains, and jollof rice. it was plenty of food to share!
Taste of China: $13 usd
okay okay before you be like “chinese in africa?? really?” yes REALLY! it was so good!! don’t judge…it was kinda late and we wanted something close to our hotel and this place was absolutely perfect. because we went twice during our trip i can say pretty much everything on the menu is good lol
the alchemist…this is an outside venue with a live dj, bar, and a food truck. the music was really good, but we went on a slower night, so i can’t really tell you how “jumping” it was.
b-club…super cute, and there was a good turn out. they were extra stingy with their booths (“this is for bottle service only”) the hookah was nice & if you like house music this is the place for you!
hell’s gate national park…beware of the wild primates!! 4 mile bike ride, 1.5 hour hike. i definitely came to the realization that i’m not a rock climber…you’ve been warned.
nairobi national park…AMAZING. lions, zebra, hippos, giraffes, etc in their natural habitat. i loved this game hunt so much! i hated that we couldn’t get out the safari vehicle, but i also didn’t sign nobody’s waiver in the event simba took off a limb.
giraffe centre…there are 2 giraffes here. grab yourself a handful of pellet food and get to feeding!
bomas of kenya…local dancers…dancing lol sorry! i don’t have much to say! but they had tusker beer available which was a definite plus!
elephant orphanage…look, don’t touch all these cute baby elephants! the space was a little small and overcrowded, so be sure to go RIGHT when they bring them out. 11am.
masai market…they. took. all. my. money. just go, you’ll see why.
so the us dollar is 10xs stronger than the kenyan shilling. what does this mean? well $10 is equal to 1000 ksh. so when you walk away from the money exchange counter with 60,000 ksh you can feel like a real boss haha on avg, meals costed about 2000 ksh, cab rides 300 ksh (yes, $3!!!), touristy shiggity 15,000 ksh.
quick tip when shopping at any market: HAGGLE EVERYTHING!! the first price they give you, counter with half. and go from there. no matter WHAT it is, do not pay more than 2500 ksh for anything! (this is just my opinion, because my friends were certainly walking away with 5000 ksh purchases) now, with that being said, you are also helping out whoever you’re buying from a great deal, so don’t insult them by offering too low prices. after all, 2500 ksh is only $25.
oh yeah, and PLEASE beware of the mosquitoes! i walked away with about 568 bites. including, but not limited to, bites to my face and neck. (they’re so disrespectful)
one thing i didn’t do, and will cause me to go back is to visit masai mara and spend a few days there. (its for 3 days and you get an authentic experience with an african tribe)
i didn’t get the “i’m home” feeling that a lot of people say they get as soon as their feet hit the motherland, but overall i felt welcomed 🙂