MALARIA IN AFRCA
Because Malaria is probably Africa’s number one disease you have to take medial advice before going.
We stayed with locals in Nairobi and visited an orphanage in Kitengela most of the time, and pills were not needed because there were no mosquitoes in this area.
It is prohibited if you are out in the countryside especially near the Victoria lake.
Carry with you a mosquito repellent for any case.
Victoria Lake is the Malaria Capital of the World
The Lake Victoria is the malaria capital of the world.
You might not have known that but it is true. Here the weather conditions are really difficult. It is hot and steamy, just the perfect conditions for the deadly anopheles mosquito, the carrier of malaria.
Of course this does not mean that people should avoid coming here.
On the contrary come, but take precautions. Don’t forget your medication
Be Cautious of your surrounding.
Kenya is one of the safest countries in East Africa with its friendly people. Nevertheless it is advisable that you be cautious of your surrounding. It’s good to avoid isolated or dark areas, to walk in groups, not to have flashy jewelry or carry purses and cameras loosely. It’s also advisable that you don’t carry large amounts of money with you, as there are ATM facilities all over
Prohibited Import and Export Goods
The following goods may be imported into Kenya by passengers over 16 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 1l of spirits or 2l of wine.
• Perfume and toilet water not exceeding 0.5l, of which not more than a quarter may be perfume.
The import of fruit, plants, seeds, live animals, ammunition and imitation firearms is prohibited.
The export of gold, diamonds and wildlife skins or game trophies not obtained from the authorized Kenyan government department is also prohibited.
Wild Pigs and Baboon in the Premises of the Bomas
Don't be scared if you happen to come across some of the wild pigs wandering in the park of the Bomas. Also there are many Baboons in the area around the Restaurant. Nice to take some photos of them.
Don't be panicked if a wild pig approaches you. They are not wild afterall, and the only thing they are interested in is to eat some grass. They will do their job, and you will probably take some good pictures of them.
Photocopy Your Documents!
Regardless of your budget, when you are traveling in Africa keep in mind that you are much richer than the majority of local people around you. While most people are honest, the sight of a tourist with cash to spare and cameras dangling is too tempting for some. To avoid being fodder for con-artists, petty thieves and opportunists keep some of the following safety tips in mind when visiting Africa:
Make a copy of your passport, ticket, credit card and traveler check numbers. Put these in your main luggage so if you do get robbed of the originals, you still have all the information for insurance and replacement purposes.
Wear a flat money belt that fits underneath your clothes. Use this to keep your credit credit cards, passport and travelers checks safe.
Watch Your Belongings !
Don't wear jewelery, flashy watches or cameras around your neck, you're just inviting trouble.
Obviously you'll want to take photos when you travel, just try and be discreet and put your cameras away or leave them in a safe place at your hotel when you're not using them.
Watch your belongings and pockets very carefully at busy bus stations, train stations, markets and bazaars.
Car-Jacked or Held up.....!
If you are car-jacked or held up with a weapon never resist. Give your money, belongings, whatever is demanded. Most people are hurt because they do not cooperate with demands made.
Don't look too obviously lost even if you are. You can always walk purposefully into a shop, bank or hotel to ask for directions or consult a map.
Safes in hotels are not always safe (ironically) so use a lockable pouch or bag to put your valuables in if your hotel has these facilties.
Pickpocketing in Matatu
Yes, it is definetely the most cheaper way to get from one place to another, cost you 20 - 40 Kshs only which is very very cheap. However, be in particularly careful when entering or going out because it is the moment which thiefs look out for to take your money or things out of your pockets. The guy next to you might look very polite, dressed in nice suit, but if he do not step out in order to make you room ask him do do it. It happened to me and when I tried to step out of the car I felt his hand near my sidepocket. I caught his hand strongly and pushed him out of the car but he immediately run away.
Careful where you travel within the city
Hire a guide through your safari company for an extra day to tour around Nairobi. Easier to arrange, more reliable and cheaper than a taxi if there are several in your group sharing expenses.
Within Nairobi, you can easily become lost and find yourself in a very unfavorable part of town needing to ask for directions.
In certain sections of Nairobi, 70% or the populace has no running water, electric nor enough money to afford even the basics. Shanty towns are common place and roadside stalls are a bit unnerving in their sales practice.
Always have a knowledgeable local with you when traveling touring Nairobi
No for smoking in Nairobi
Comparing it with last 2006 year, Nairobi has changed. There are couple of new buildings in a city centre, more and better cars around especially 4x4 types, but most dramatic change happened regarding smoking. Nairobi city council decided to make it non smoking area. Those who smoke, and Im one of them, have to be very careful because there are only three smoking zones inside the town and couple of bars and restaurants where smoking is allowed. The smoking zone in Jeevanjee Park is probably the most convinient.
If cought in action, one can be fined 2000 ksh and put in a city jail!
Pot-holes in roads
If driving around the countryside surrounding Nairobi,beware!The roads are littered with pot-holes that play havoc with the car's suspension.They are filled in periodically with red dirt,but this gets dispersed almost as soon as it's chucked in the holes!
We were fortunate in having a driver who knew the location of all the worst holes and manoevered around them!
The economy of Kenya does not allow for Tarmac-ing of roads,other than the main ones.
Security around Nairobi is such that you will be aware of armed security guards on roadways.They are usually in groups of 3/4,positioned at frequent points along the roads outside Nairobi.If travelling through certain residential areas you will pass through check-points,both in and out..These are armed also!
The Mateka road(spelling?),where most of the foreign embassies are located is particularly guarded,(for obvious reasons).
Our driver insisted we always kept the car windows closed,particularly when pulling up at traffic lights.Frequent robberies occur when cars are stationary.
Don't let this mar your trip-just be security aware.
We were 2 women and a 7 year old child travelling together and nothing untoward happened to spoil our wonderful trip.
I was strongly adviced to avoid the downtown area of Nairobi, especially its part called Tea Room. My local friends told me it is not safe area, even for them, no matter if day or night time. Since I hate restrictions, of any kind, have decided to take a risk and go there.
Tea Room starts right behind the National Archive building, from the square where the biggest bus stop for outskirt areas is situated. I went down there, deep into the Tea Room, but was very careful observing guys around me who were all but friendly. I wasn't scared but very attentive and ready for eventually inconviniences I could meet. My experience learned me to watch that guys straight into their eyes showing no fear. They could see that I know very well who they are and that makes them confused and in a way insecure. I could hear certain comments after me but that was all.
Fact is, I had my very expensive camera around the neck although I was in the middle of area which is controlled by the mungikis (local bandits). Everobody was staring at my camera but nobody dared to do anything. On my way out of the area two guys have stop me and ask if I am a soldier, but I said no. They said I was marching through their territory in a very arrogant way, nad thats why they paid me respect.
I was first in Nairobi in March 2002. I had no problem, although I did not walk on the street alone at night. (Good advice from the local folk: take a taxi or walk only together with a local guide at night).
Second time I was in Nairobi with my friend in November 2004. We had a bad luck at daytime (!) in downtown: my friend just made a picture of the street (conference center and court house in the background - see attached) when a well-dressed 50 year-old man came to us and showed an ID ("head of security") which, as we realized not much later, was obviously a fake, and said: "Did you know it is illegal to take pictures of public buildings because of threat of terrorism, bla-bla?" (UNO SC meeting was held that day in Nairobi, so it sounded quite credible), "You don't know anything about this country", "You can get a heavy fine or imprisonment for this." As he was very suspicious to me, I tried to unmask him with some questions like "Is Kenya not a free country?" and "Do terrorists look like us?" but as he became very angry, my friend asked me not to heckle the guy, I stopped and tried to be "cooperative". Finally he invited us to a small bar, sat down, then his "colleague" appeared being even more agitated. They came to the point: "To avoid bigger trouble, let's settle it now. How much money do you have with you?" Unfortunately my friend confessed to have 50 USD, I said all my money was in the hotel (although I had cca. 8,000 KES, i.e. 100 USD in my pocket), so finally they disappeared with the 50 bucks.
Lesson: never trust anybody other than official (uniformed) personnel or insist on going to the nearest police station or to your hotel.
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