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“Good but be warned of a couple of things” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Explore Kibera Tours

Explore Kibera Tours
Prestige Plaza, Ngong Road | Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya
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Ranked #26 of 104 activities in Nairobi
Type: Walking tours
Attraction Details
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good but be warned of a couple of things”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

I'm very interested in development so on a six week work trip to Nairobi, my top priority was visiting Kibera and scheduled a tour with Explore Kibera for my first weekend.

The tour was good but there are are two things people should note about the tour.

The first thing is that whilst the tour confirmation stated that the tour would be for three hours, my tour only lasted for two hours for the same price. I was told later on that because the tour was on a Sunday, the orphanage and another of the stops were closed and therefore my tour cut short. I do think this is something that should have been disclosed by Explore Kibera - that if one booked on the weekend, one would get a much shorter tour than someone who booked on a weekday, so I was a little disappointed. Other than that, the tour was great and it didn't feel vouyeristic. It was a great insight into how people lived and it was a great way (I thought - see caveat below) to give back to the community in Kibera.

Before I get into the second point, I should explain the background of my findings. After a few more weeks in Nairobi, I decided to go back to Kibera with a friend, independently of Explore Kibera. The reason for my second visit was that I was keen to visit the orphanage as I heard many lovely things about it. Along the way, I spoke to many people in the community in Kibera. The stories I heard alarmed me somewhat as although I was told by my Explore Kibera guide that USD$5 of my trip fee would go to the orphanage (and another USD $5 would go to another of their local community partners - I can't remember which), the people I spoke to were adamant that this was untrue and the orphanage did not see any of the money.

If that were true, whilst Explore Kibera is still doing a great service to the community by opening outsiders' eyes to how people in the slum live, and bringing people to the orphanage so that such people can choose to individually help or volunteer at the orphanage, it's still not right that tourists are being misled on how the tour fees are allocated. These allegations may equally be untrue but people should be aware in any event that there's a possibility their tour fees do not get donated to the relevant causes in the community as they purportedly are.

I would still recommend Explore Kibera with the above caveats as it is nevertheless a great way to see the slum for those who feel unsure about venturing around on their own (and it is a bit of a maze!). I would also highly, highly recommend seeing the orphanage one way or the other as it's an absolute joy to behold. The place has clearly been upkept with love and pride as it is clean with lovely murals on the wall and doors. It is very capably run by a passionate and impressive young lady named Lucy and her tiny team (of two others) and there's so much scope for people who want to help there. I would also recommend jbuying some supplies in Kibera (e.g. maize or sugar etc from the shops) before you visit the orphanage as every little donation counts and makes a huge difference to the children and the incredibly team who work at the orphanage. Do also feel free to contact me if you would like Lucy's details so you can get in touch with her directly.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Most memorable glimpse into harsh realities”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

Alistair and Robert were excellent hosts on our tour through the Kibera slums in Nairobi. My boyfriend and I spent most of our day walking through the slums with Alistair. On our walk, we visited a bead/jewelry factory and an HIV/AIDS orphanage school, both of which offer opportunities for volunteering and donations. Come prepared! If you want to help, ask what supplies you can bring before you go. I wish I had brought more (money & supplies) with me on this tour so that I could have helped more. This is a great way to ensure that donations actually go to the people that need it. It's also an unforgettable opportunity to understand poverty with a more well-rounded perspective. If you have the time, let your guide know that you would like to volunteer and they will set it up. I went on this tour as part of an around-the-world trip that included 12 countries. I have been on 6 continents and have been on countless tours, and I have to say that Explore Kibera was one of the most unforgettable experiences I have ever had. It's hard to believe the extent of poverty in any city without seeing it with your own eyes. What I liked most about the tour is that it was personal - just my boyfriend and I and Alistair. Alistair is knowledgeable, genuine, approachable and committed to improving his community. I especially appreciated that I didn't feel like we were voyeurs - we weren't behind any sort of screen "protecting" us from reality. We were right there in the thick of it, shaking hands with people, chatting with passersby that recognized Alistair and playing with kids walking home from school. We ate lunch with locals at a place Alistair brought us, called a "hotel", which looked like a food tent with picnic tables inside, but don't be fooled. Food and experience were just as authentic, great and memorable as the tour. Dress humbly and wear close-toed shoes. Be prepared for shocking sights and bad smells, but it's all worth it and will surely help you appreciate every thing and opportunity you have. Don't pass this up! Caution: don't get on the wrong matatu (bus) like we did! Follow your guide's instructions for the meeting place. Don't get on a matatu without verifying your guide is there. Matatu drivers are very friendly and wave you onto the bus to get their fill on fare. We were lucky, and ended up getting dropped off near a bank that was able to call Alistair and let him know where we were. Aside from the minor setback, this mistake gave us a little adventure and a good story to tell. In all, Explore Kibera is the perfect company to give you an authentic and memorable experience learning about culture and economics in Nairobi while also offering a chance to give back and improve our global community.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

We liked this tour and we highly recommend "Explore Kibera Tours" as the tour operator. It was a great experience for all of us. Program was well done. Our tour guide Alistair was excellent! Milan and his friends

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Kigulu Orphanage Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

It wasn't a tour. You're not there to take pictures for Facebook. Kigulu is a place where a few incredible people work together to create a better life for children born into the toughest circumstances one can imagine. I think it is something everyone should experience. It will shift your priorities and perspective on so many issues and hopefully influence you to contribute to the environment in a meaningful way. I'll never forget my time here.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“An important trip to make”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

We undertook a tour with Sande on a Sunday afternoon. The tour took us on a walk through Kibera that included the large markets and a stop at a bone carving collective. At no point did we feel insecure and people seemed happy for us to be there.
Sande is a good guide and pateintly answered our many questions on life in Kibera. He is recommendable.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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