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Is it safe to travel to Kenya and/or Tanzania?
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|Is it safe to travel to Kenya and/or Tanzania? by Kenyans247(1): Sun Jan 2020 02:44pm|
I am just back from Kenya and loved, absolutely loved the country. here are my two cents on the safety issue (and I am from India just so that you know about my perspective.)
At Nairobi, we were repeatedly told not to go to the downtown on our own. They said the streets are full of hookers. I researched the internet and found a foreigner is often under the threat of being kidnapped by Somalian (!) miscreants.
While I did not go far out of the hotel without a registered vehicle (very important), I did go for a city tour om the last leg of the trip. I did not spot any hooker and roads were beautiful with humble and kind people helping at every step. I suggest choose the timing of the outing, be vigilant and come back before sunset, just to be on the safer side.
2. At Nairobi, we were staying at Eka Hotel and went to the Next Gen Mall for dining. My experience with a street food vendor selling beef smokies and boiled eggs was wonderful. We could not communicate since we did not know a common language, yet we did business and he gave me 30 KES discount. I am amazed at his goodwill!
3. I spotted minivans and Matatus on the road with locals commuting inside the city which was cool (i guess it fits the bill with budget travellers too.)
4. I found the police walking with an automatic weapon (new to my Indian eyes). I found them on the road. there is also heavy and strict check at the entrance of every mall and hotel (more than what they require in Indian institutes). This feels safe as well as intimidating.
5. A long conversation with a Masai at the Azure Mara resort came out to be the locals are mostly happy with the government. they also loved the Bollywood movies, especially with the ones with a fist fight. Masais are a fine tribe with the extreme sense of respect and dignity. They are warm and welcoming to the guests too. there were no imminent threats from the locals beyond urban area.
6. The roads are often in bad condition so long journeys need to start at the dawn of the day.
7. Avoid travelling to the border area unless absolutely necessary. Also, be informed about the political situation. When we were travelling the election were being conducted at Tanzania and roads were frequented by police.
8. Avoid carrying cash instead use Mpesa to transact.
9. injury from animal attacks: Hardly takes place unless you irritate the animals. Do not go very close for selfie etc (a Chinese tourist recently dies out of hippo attack.)
here are my Africa blog posts: I hope I am able to help you plan the next trip to Kenya: We paid $1150 per person for a 7 day trip to Kenya. It pinched hard. I was always on the lookout for cheaper options, reason being:
Kenya is beautiful and I do not mind coming back
2. Coming back also means not repeating the first timer’s mistakes, meaning not burning a hole in the pocket.
what I understood about cheap travelling in Kenya is:
Using public transport like Matatus and rail to commute from one place to another. (remember: the language barrier may come on your way. You can get away with effective body language at times.)
stay at budget camps which significantly brings down the cost (it would have been $600 to $800 for us)
For even cheaper option, stay at the nearby cities with cheap accommodation. for example Narok at Masai Mara. Though the ride to mara from Narok is a bumpy journey of 2 hours, The Chinese construction company is in full swing and hope to make the road in two years.)
Do not compromise on your safety. During our stay, we were constantly reminded of not to go out on our own. Not that the lions will eat us but the crime rate is high. Also, the ensuing conflict with neighbouring countries (yes, Somalia) means many tourists being kidnapped. Your skin colour often is an easy give away to the miscreants. People at large was kind and humble, in my restrained local engagements.
Eat Local: the local food Nyama Choma (grilled meat) is very tasty and cheap.
Here is a list of my travel blogs on Kenya: kenya Archives - Orange Wayfarer I hope they help you with further information.
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