Arriving in Nairobi
(Thursday 4th October, 2018)


This image is one part of the view from our hotel rooftop lounge.

After a bumpy flight which wasn’t too pleasant, we finally set our foot on Kenyan soil. The heat (27 degrees) slapped us in the face as we disembarked the airplane. Getting through the customs with our pre-ordered E-Visa was a breeze, though we had been cautioned about it by a desk clerk as we were checking in in Kastrup airport.

To get from the airport to the centre, we had been advised to take a ”Yellow Cab”, that has a stand in the airport. A friendly woman gave us a price and a price slip, and then she followed us out to the taxi outside. It cost us $20.

Our hotel was a budget hotel in the Central Business District of Nairobi. This should be one of the safer areas in a town which has the unfortunate nickname of ”Nai-robbery”. I’m not going to lie, I had been a little concerned by all the negative comments I had read about Nairobi and safety there beforehand.


A Walk in Nairobi
(Friday 5th October, 2018)


Taken outside the City Hall entrance in Nairobi.

Originally, we had planned to do a day tour to some of the ‘must-see’s in Nairobi, such as The Giraffe Shelter, David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust (an elephant orphanage working to raise abandoned elephant calves and rehabilitate them into the wild when they are old enough) and the Karen Blixen museum – or alternatively a game drive in the Nairobi National Park, but we decided the evening of our arrival that it was a bit too expensive ($50 and up per person for a half-day tour).

Instead, we decided to go on a walk around the Central Business District. We started by visiting Jeevanjee Gardens, which is a little park just across the road from our hotel. It seemed fairly well used and a lot of locals were sitting around on the benches, and the jacaranda trees were blooming beautifully purple.


A blooming jacaranda tree in Jeevanjee Gardens.

In this area is also the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), and this building has a tall tower, from which the public for a small fee can enjoy an amazing view over Nairobi city. They are pretty thorough with security and, seemingly military, personnel scanned our bags, and we had to go through a metal detector. After paying the fee of $5 per person, the elevator took us up 27 floors, and then we walked an additional 4 floors of stairs before an incredible view of Nairobi unfolded before our eyes. Can recommend going here to see just how far the city stretches – it is home to an estimated 5 million, many of whom come from the smaller villages trying to find a job and a better life for themselves in the big city.

Nairobi looks very cosmopolitan, with highrises spread out across the cityscape, creating a skyline – some of these high rises have quite interesting and modern architecture.

We also walked to Uhuru Park located just around the official buildings in Nairobi, such as the City Hall, The Senate building and the Court building and the Kenyatta Mausoleum. I suppose it is technically outside the Central Business District as we crossed Uhuru Hwy to get there. It’s a fairly large park with open areas and trees shading for the sun, some small stands selling refreshments, a little lake on which you can sail on pedal boats, and a small amusement park (which does not seem very safe, but is none the less in use). Obviously, people were using this place as a nice place of recreation and hanging out with family and friends, as could be seen on the groups of people spending their day there.


Picture of the view with the city in the background, Uhuru Park.

Before sunset, we went to the rooftop of our hotel and had a look around there. We could see the mosque turret, on the backdrop of a highrise apartment building. We saw the other highrises and the Jeevanjee park, as well as the marabou storks circling high above the city. It really looks cosmopolitan.


A mosque tower in Nairobi.


Reflections on Nairobi:
The streets are kept very clean – there’s not a lot of litter lying around in this neighborhood. We didn’t feel unsafe at any point, and no one paid us any attention really, except for one man who tried to sell us a safari tour. Traffic is very congested and using a car can take a long while; the drive from the airport was fairly short kilometer-wise, but it took us about 45 minutes because we got stuck in traffic a few times. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful, same with the restaurant staff we encountered.

There also seem to be a lot of different religions and tribes living together in good harmony. It does have that bustling big city feel to it, without it being overly crowded in the places that we went.


Driving From Nairobi To Arusha
(Saturday 6th October, 2018)


The view from our lunch spot on the road side.

Today our tour is due to take off from Nairobi. We had an early start so that we could be sure to get to the pick-up point on time (setting the alarm at 5:00). We got to the hotel where the tour would start, and then we met our guide, Thabani, and our crew, Godfree (chef) and Evans (our extra crew). We also met the other people who were going on the tour, and we turned out to be a small group of 6 people starting out from Nairobi. Besides us two, there is an Australian married couple, a German guy and a Japanese man. We were also introduced to our truck on our home on the road until Victoria Falls, her name being Ella.

On our way out of Nairobi we saw the railroad which is almost finished and will connect Nairobi and Mombasa with high speed trains, a 4 hour connection. We were told it is funded by a Chinese company, and I had also noticed up until then that some of the new, large buildings being put up in the city are by Chinese contractors. Moreover, Nairobi is so densely populated that another city started growing some way outside of it, near the cement factories, which are located there due to the nearby limestone supply. This smaller and very new city (10 years old) is called Kitengela, and is growing a lot as new jobs open up. Eventually, the two cities will probably grow together, so to speak. Kenya is now experiencing urbanization as people from all over the more rural areas are coming to the big cities in hope of finding a job and a better life.


Goats passing by during our lunch.

On the drive down to the border I saw the first Thomson’s Gazelle, and while it was very cool to me, I assume seeing one is to the local what seeing a roe deer in Denmark is to me. The landscape was mostly flat, dry and with shrubs – to be fair, this part of Africa is coming out of dry season and currently entering the ‘short rainy season’. The closer we got to Tanzania, the more Masai we saw along the road too, herding goats in their traditional draped clothing (and many with a walking stick).

Crossing the border into Tanzania was unproblematic and we got our VISA on arrival quickly after filling out the forms. Not long after we cleared the border, we pulled into the bush on the side of the road and had lunch. Godfrey and the other crew members cooked us a nice lunch, which we enjoyed on our folded out table and chairs. While we were there, a couple of Masai and their goats passed by and said hello, which was pretty cool.


Preparing our lunch out of the truck, Ella.

On our approach to Mount Meru (and Arusha), the landscape gradually became more and more lush and green rather than yellow and dry. This enables the people near Arusha to grow a large variety of vegetables and to have rice fields. Arusha is thus really quite a green and flowery city and it was a nice change of scenery to observe.


The image at the top is one part of the view of the Nairobi skyline from KICC.

Last updated 3rd January, 2018.