Nairobi, the capital of Kenya
As many other capitals in Africa, Nairobi is completely new build town which, in many of its aspects, looks alike to any other European capital. The city, with its skycrapers and glass palaces, looks very busy everyone seems to rushing somewhere or as if late for a meeting or so. As a matter of fact, to me there were not much of attractive and interesting sights inside the city centre. Downtown is the busiest, nosiest and very overcrowded with people and many coloured and decorated matatus, if you want to see Human traffic this is the place, its almost difficult to walk there espeacially if you are new in town. The outskirts of the town are more interesting and more pitoresque. You wont see many busy people there and nobody is trying to look alike to yuppis. This is where ordinary people live, struggling to surway in.
Visit Narobi National Park which is just outside the city. You can do safari within Metro-Nairobi. Here you can see giraffes, wilderbeests, rhinos, lions with the Nairobi highrise skyline as the backdrop!
MOBILE PHONES IN KENYA
Kenya does not have a good mobile phone network no matter what other people say. There were times when my local friends were trying and trying to get a line and communicate with their people and it was not always possible. The areas however where the bulk of tourists are staying, all have roaming. Rates depend on your own mobile phone company and can be high – check them before you leave.
Be aware that Kenya uses the GSM 900 system, which is compatible with European mobile phones but not with American or Canadian phones (which work on the 850/1900 system). A way to make cheap mobile phone calls within Kenya, is buying a SIM card from Telkom or Safaricom. Your mobile phone has to be SIM-lock-free for this.
Another very popular is the Orange card....but I had a Safaricom while in Kenya and I was very satisfied with it.
Virtually all cultures have fairly elaborate ceremonies established for marriage. Nairobi is no exception, though there are certainly elements of adjustments here that are not necessarily in keeping with what could be found in the rest of Kenya, or even the surrounding countryside around Nairobi.
People and vehicles arrive very decorated - just as they do in most cultures.
Generally, weddling last a long time, and there is a lot of waiting involved because usually people arrive quite a bit later than the scheduled start time.
Music? You bet there is music of all sorts. Sometimes traditional chanting with no instruments, and sometiems with modern accompanyment, but there is always music of some sort.
Visitor participation is definitely a part of the wedding ceremony, and you will certainly hear loud shoults of celebration from the people gathered to celebrate the union.
Photographers are drawn to weddlings like flies. In many cases these are not official photographers, but are there to sell their photos after the celebration is over. This is definitely a development of modern times and certainly has its origins in the arrival of Polariod cameras in the area. Sometimes it may seem that these people are annoying, as it seems a bit disruptive to have 10 or so photographers battling for position around a couple celebrating their wedding vows. However, this is Africa and not Europe or America. People view such things differently here.
I have been told that weddings must occur during daylight to be legal, which means that ceremonies may be cut short or altered if there are several weddings in the day in a church, and the first several run late.
Kiberia is located approx 5 kilometres southwest from the centre of Nairobi and is much larger than you can imagine. There is an estimated 1 million people here though numbers range from 600,000 to 1.2 million people.
Walking through the fringes of Kiberia shows the lowest of the low living as best they can in a virtual city of shacks including hotels, restuarants and shops but not as I know them. This is maybe not the safest place to visit but is worth it if you are keen to see part of the 'real' Nairobi and Africa.
Kiberia is the largest of Nairobi's slums and, apparently, the second largest urban slum in Africa.