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Safety and Health, visiting Nairobi, Kenya

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Culver City...
posts: 14
Safety and Health, visiting Nairobi, Kenya


I am planning on going to Nairobi in three weeks. I met a woman who came to California and we have become very serious. Because she has to work most of time will be spent in Nairobi, and I will be alone during weekdays.

I am kind of alarmed and worried to Nairobi after reading the alarming State Department warnings. I know those warnings can be overblown.

How safe is it really to walk around the city on my own being a white male? What are the safe areas and where should I avoid? Also shots/vaccinations, I am getting the madatory yellow fever vaccine. What about hepititas and typhoid? I am leaving to soon for the hep. shot. It also seems like many posters say to bring anti-malerials. Do you have a brand and does you reccomend? To make things even more interesting, I have a somewhat weak sensitive stomach, is it risky to eat fresh fruit?

What are some places you reccomend seeing in the city. I have to be there three weeks because my girlfriend is working. And some good day trip excursions?

Overall does one really have to be worried, is it really that dangerous?

Newcastle upon...
posts: 1,390
reviews: 34
1. Re: Safety and Health, visiting Nairobi, Kenya


your Dr needs to advise on your anti-malarials.

I eat fresh fruit everyday from the street stalls in Nairobi, it is very healthy and cheap. Ive never had a problem with it but i visit Kenya regular. If it is your first visit just like anywhere away from home you have a good chance of a bit of a bad stomach at some point, its normal.

You will be fine in the city centre walking around, i do this everyday. At night if your going out the city centre use a taxi door to door. Just use your common sense in all matters and you will be fine. Don't believe the stories the locals tell you. You might get the young street kids asking for money in the city centre but they are not a problem really. The State Dept warning is obviously there for a reason and Nairobi has had quite a few terror attacks this year. Again as long as you remain reasonably vigilant and use common sense your in all likelihood going to be fine.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,993
reviews: 52
2. Re: Safety and Health, visiting Nairobi, Kenya

(Also posted in reply to your question on a different thread)


you don't technically need any vaccinations for Kenya, but it makes sense to be up to date with those recommended for adults at home or travelling anywhere: diphtheria; tetanus; poliomyelitis; typhoid; hepatitis A.

Yellow Fever is not mandatory, it is entirely optional if you are entering Kenya from the US and returning direct to the US. (see the FAQ on Yellow Fever on the right of this page for more info)

As a white American you will be treated no differently than any other mzungu (white person) there is no general anti-American feeling here, and most Kenyans cannot differentiate between accents so would not know whether you were American, British, Dutch or any other fluent English speaker. Just use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, don't flaunt your wealth and you will be as fine as the million and a quarter other visitors / tourists (the vast majority white and either European or American) who visited Kenya in the last year

posts: 13,987
3. Re: Safety and Health, visiting Nairobi, Kenya

Discuss with your doctor re malaria meds and even if only staying in Nairobi, you do need these.

You also have time for a Hep A jab and Tetanus (the latter two good for 10/yrs) and Polio booster (good for life), all of which are recommended if never leaving home. Adults should be protected since last they had these was as children.

You don't need Yellow Fever for entry to Kenya, but do if during your visit you head to Tanzania.

Discuss with your doctor based on personal health history.

Edited: 12:18 pm, August 11, 2012
4. Re: Safety and Health, visiting Nairobi, Kenya

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