TRAVELING TO KENYA? HERE’S THE SCOOP!
My husband and I try to take trips out of the country once or twice a year, whether it’s with a group or just the two of us. This year Africa seemed like a good idea and prices were reasonable so we figured, it’s our birthday, why not? and in case you were wondering, we are 9 days apart. We booked a trip to Nairobi, Kenya. Tickets were purchased at least 6-7 months before departing which allowed us ample time to save for our expenses while on vacation. There were a few things we needed to do before leaving like getting vaccinated & applying for visas. We scheduled our vaccinations with passport health. Yellow Fever & Typhoid were the two shots we needed in addition to getting the malaria pills but with the cost of the malaria pills, we decided to opt out. If you do not have health insurance, be prepared to pay a hefty price for the vaccinations. We unfortunately do not have any health insurance at this time and paid over $1000 in vaccines + travelers diarrhea (antibiotics). Btw, the malaria pills were $300 (rolls eyes) shall we move on?
For some reason I thought purchasing visas was something we could do at the airport and waited till the day of; talk about a nerve wreck (OMG). When we arrived to the gate, I walked up to the agent inquiring about the visas and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I immediately got Delta on the line asking for alternatives and Delta said nothing! **faints** Trying to keep my cool, I go back up to the agent and luckily the agent beside her was a bit more experienced, he recommended purchasing the visas online. This option didn’t work for us because there’s a 2 day turnaround time and we were literally boarding in 2hrs. The other option was to simply wait till we arrived in Nairobi and purchase the visas through customs and that’s exactly what we did. Though the lines were extremely long, we got our visas at 50$ ea. My suggestion? get the visas online just to save time. Getting out of the airport was pretty easy. We booked transportation for our entire stay a week or two before we arrived so we didn’t have to go through the hassle of choosing a driver upon arrival. The drivers waiting outside were a bit aggressive but I guess that could be anywhere.
I’m not the best at planning trips so an itinerary is never an easy task. Because this was a group trip and one of my girlfriends who is extremely gifted in researching lol she was able to plan the itinerary. I wanted to stay in a hotel I trusted and was familiar with because believe it or not, ya girl can be a little scary in places she’s not familiar with sooooo I booked a 10 day stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Nairobi. My homegirl works for Hilton so I was able to get her family/friend discount (ain’t no shame in saving coins). The hotel is fairly new, if you watched my instagram stories while there, I did a full tour of the room. Dining is available and the food is amazing! Security is extra tight so you don’t have to worry about being safe, in fact the entire city is pretty secured.
Here’s the deal, we were there for 10 days so we got to do a lot. Here’s a list of places I’d totally recommend you visit:
- Giraffe Centre
- Lake Naivasha (boat ride to see hippos and waterbucks; the views are out of this world)
- Masai Mara Safari (it’s a 5-6hr car ride so be prepared to stay in a nearby camp grounds for 2-3 days; highly recommending Africa Asia lodge. The cottages on avg are $450 per person during off peak seasons. Breakfast, lunch & dinner is included. Safari tickets are also included in this price.
- Bomas Dance
- Central Business district
- City of Kibera (the slums; there are over a million people living there and the government has abandoned them)
- Mama Oliech Restaurant (thee best fish ever)
- Carnivore Restaurant (meat lover; the ambiance is everything)
- Asmara- Westlands (ah-mazing food, recommend you eating here your last night)
Here’s a list of things to bring:
- Sleeping aid pills (time of travel is pretty brutal especially if this is your first time traveling out of the country)
- Pepto Bismo
- anti-diarrhea pills
If you ever get an opportunity to go, GOOOOOOOOO
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