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“Eye opening” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kibera

Nairobi, Kenya
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Ranked #33 of 89 things to do in Nairobi
Attraction details
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
75 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Eye opening”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

First of all, it's a bit ingenuous to say that a shanty town is "excellent" but the experience of spending time in Kibera was amazing and really got me thinking about how incredibly lucky (blessed!) I am (in some ways at least) to be born in the US instead of in Kibera.

I went in with local colleagues and connected with an NGO in Kibera, MMaji ("mobile water" in Swahili) This organization collects information from water sellers, and then gives information to women who must fetch water each day for their families. The sellers feed their water availability and price into a central database. The women then send a (free) text to MMaji designating an area of Kibera where they are located. Immediately, they get back a (free) text with all of the places that have water that day, plus the prices. That saves them a lot of time and frustration. The organization also monitors water purity, offering free testing and remediation if needed.

Together, we walked through the public lanes of Kibera, and along that famous icon, the railroad track, that cuts through the area. It was a very sobering thing to see conditions - yet the people were very nice, waving and smiling as we passed. We were very respectful because it felt like an honor to be allowed to come to this community.

I know there are tours of Kibera as well, that are great for people who don't have local contacts. Do NOT go in without a local accompanying you! They will know where it is safe to go (and where it isn't) and you will have an interpreter who can help you understand things that aren't clear to you.

I've been to "slums" (informal housing, townships, favelas, etc) all over the world and I always find it to be a very important experience. Much of my work involves people in such places, so I've been to a number, but Kibera was a particularly interesting place, given our contact there.

Visited September 2013
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50 reviews from our community

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Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

It's hard to say I "loved" Kibera slums. It is simultaneously a heartbreaking and thrilling place to visit. Make sure you visit with a local - though it's not an explicitly dangerous place, even Kenyans aren't likely to wander through without a guide who knows the area. A microcosm of the greater world around it, if you can see past the facade of filth a visit to Kibera can be an enlightening adventure.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The Chocolate Tour by Octopizzo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Our family of 8 just recently returned to the United States from Nairobi and we did the Chocolate tour with Octopizzo (Henry). The tour was so worthwhile and life changing. Equally amazing is this young man's willingness to give back to a community that he grew up. Our two small granddaughters ages 9 and 10 were traveling with us so I had some concerns about safety. Henry made us feel safe at ALL times. He took us to a school where we took supplies and were able to see the children and their smiling faces. He also took us to a small shop where women with HIV make and sell there goods and wears. It was a way for us to support the local community. We took very few pictures as you get so wrapped up in Henry's knowledge of Kibera and the day to day living. The people of Kibera are happy and very loving. It is a must see if you are near Nairobi. Definitely makes a lifelong impression. Great work Henry! Your mother is smiling down from heaven!
If you have any question feel free to send me a private message. You can reach Henry for tour information at octopizzodahiphop@gmail.com

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
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645 reviews
292 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 288 helpful votes
“Come to give back to the community by helping out at a school. not a tourist attraction - arrange a visit through a reputable or”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

We visited here and Muthari (another slum) as part of the We the Change foundation which is focused on providing pre-K education to kids in need who would otherwise be wandering the streets before public education begins. The slum itself is not so different from Rocinhas or others in the world you may have seen (built a little differently since all geographically flat), but you're here to help out kids in need. After visiting one of the schools, you will walk away inspired by the tireless efforts of the dedicated teachers who are really making a difference (and the kids who are motivated, sweet, and friendly). This is not a visit you make for tourism, but for inspiration and to help out where a difference can be made.

Visited April 2013
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Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

The drainage is not so well done,to start with its not there,its a health hazard especially when it rains you do not wanna visit this place and the area is overpopulated...I hope the government shud take this matter up especially the relevant ministries.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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