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Safety in Nairobi

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New York
Level Contributor
10 posts
16 reviews
Safety in Nairobi

Anyone have any comments or input about this? Plan to go in June for a week+ and the US Dept of State Website has some pretty serious travel safety warnings...anybody have an opinion/recent experience? Thank you.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,156 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Safety in Nairobi

Been going to kenya since 2004, stayed In Nairobi most of the time and have had no problems there so far. Treat it like any big city and dont wear flash jewellery when aout and about -Just use Common Sense and taxis after dark and all will be fine

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
278 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Safety in Nairobi

This travel warning has been in effect since 1998 and as I've said in previous posts, it's a ridiculous warning and there are far more dangerous places in the world that do not have warnings at all. It is certainly nothing new... Like the above, I have been traveling in Kenya since 2001 when I was starting grad school (I did my fieldwork in Kenya for 18 months). I've been back at least once a year ever since and have never ever had a problem. I also have always traveled in-country either by myself or accompanied by my driver. I don't walk outside after dark, I never have a bag dangling on me that I can't clasp and I don't ignore people. I think that having an aura about you that shows disrespect is simply inviting disaster. Do not reach into your bag while on the street for any reason and I caution against using cameras in the city if you're alone. Not sure what more I can say other than have a great time and you'll be fine.

Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3,755 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Safety in Nairobi

As a resident all I can say is, follow the advice given above.

Don't have expensive equipment - mobiles, cameras etc - on show when walking around

Don't wear jewellery/expensive watches when walking around

When in a car keep the doors locked AT ALL TIMES

Don't go with anybody who offers to "show you around/show you something". People are very friendly here but there is almost always an ulterior motive.

Agree a fare with your driver for any trips beforehand

Cultural awareness will also serve you well in public. Swearing is very much frowned upon, and public displays of affection are pretty much a no-no.

Other than that, use your common sense. You'll have a great time.

Level Contributor
14,030 posts
4. Re: Safety in Nairobi

From a fellow New Yorker, I've been traveling to Kenya/Tanzania for 14/years. And, not till the '98 Embassy bombings did the US issue a "warning" about travel. A "warning" (of which there are many other countries on the list), is not a "do not travel" (as Iraq, Cuba, No.Korea... etc).

Visited Kenya in '98 two months after the bombings and always felt safe. Even visited South Africa a few months after 9/11.

And, last year when there was political upheaval in Kenya after their elections, the US still only had their "warning" whereas other countries as the UK, France and Germany, issued "do not travel." At no time were tourists targetted, nor harmed. Those who did visit had wonderful experiences and only saddened that many stayed home... a shame!

I have never felt unsafe, whether in NBO a big, noisy city, with lots of traffic and peeps; nor on safari when I've often been the only guest at a small remote camp.... just me and my Masai protectors!

Again, it's a "warning" and very politically based. There have been serious incidents in England, France, Turkey, Egypt, etc... and haven't seen much of a fuss made about travel to these countries... travelers still visit these.

Pack your bags, get on that plane and enjoy your holiday!

New York
Level Contributor
10 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Safety in Nairobi

Thanks very much.

Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
7,514 posts
48 reviews
6. Re: Safety in Nairobi

Speaking as someone operating safaris in Kenya since 1988, I can swear to you that the WARNING is a political tactic. There are germs of truth in it. One known terrorist did live for awhile in or around Malindi on the coast and hasn't been seen this century. But here's the warning you should listen to: the roads can be scary as the dickens. They tend to be in bad shape, full of traffic with an abundance of speeding and reckless drivers. If your budget allows flights from camp to camp, you will be more relaxed.

Dave Patterson - Owner, The Africa Safari

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
367 posts
78 reviews
7. Re: Safety in Nairobi


-- be mindful of the local news when you are here so you can avoid potentionally hectic areas should incidents happen

-- do not carry too much cash on you

-- keep car windows up and put handbag under the seat

8. Re: Safety in Nairobi

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