Blogs from Nairobi, Nairobi Province, Kenya, Africa

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Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi January 7th 2024

Just being here, surrounded by the acacia trees, the odd baboon on the side of the road and a few random cows does inspire one to want to crank out the occasional Elton John. But I fear that that would scare off what we’re really here to see - the animals! The overnight flight from Cairo sucked as predicted but we were picked up from the airport and deposited to our accommodation before the sun came up so we were able to get some sleep and kid ourselves we’d stayed the night. A slow start and some late breakfast but off to the giraffe sanctuary to feed them and hang out with them for a while. We were each given a cup of pellets to feed the giraffes and they seemed happy enough to go to ... read more
And one for me too
And I’ll have one too
No pellets here, but much tastiness

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi September 25th 2023

In July of 2023, we’d tried to acquire the required admittance visa for both Kenya and Tanzania, the two tour locations that this trip covers. The Tanzanian visa was straightforward, despite a variety of government photo requirements requiring additional editing, but those came through. The Kenyan visa (also required) was unavailable because the online system had been shut down due to a hack at some point in July 2023, presumably stealing guests personal financial information such as passport and credit card numbers. After contacting our tour company to discover what our next step should be, we were sent an official Kenyan government document stating that until October 24th 2023, the country would allow visitors to acquire the required visa upon landing at any Kenyan airport - for us, Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi. With this information in ... read more
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Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi September 21st 2023

The time to depart Canada on our way to Africa gets closer and closer. Only three more days before we wend our way to Amsterdam with KLM for a seven hour layover. We've booked a lounge visit at Schiphol airport (Amsterdam, Netherlands) to try relaxing before our final flight to Nairobi. Our Amsterdam landing time will be += 6:00 am their time, but we will still be on Canada time, which will be about 12:00 am or midnight. Since past travel experience has proven that we always have difficulty sleeping on planes, some rest may be necessary. The additional cost of lounge access won't hurt either when food and drinks also will be available.... read more

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi September 14th 2023

So this ‘blog’ is an attempt at sharing Kathryn, Steve, Jan and Chris’ African travel tour experience of 2023. The pandemic shuttered our last African attempt (Kathryn and mine) and this time, our adventure will hopefully materialize. All the particulars are in place - flights are booked; restrictive sized luggage acquired; hotel vouchers received; dietary requirements acknowledged; our accommodations are registered and even local currencies have been procured. We’re ready and anxious to leave to Nairobi via Amsterdam from Pearson airport in Toronto, Ontario. There are four of us traveling together on this tour, so some strength in numbers to motivate fates positive direction, may assist the process.... read more

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi March 30th 2023

Protests were planned to continue until the government would address the opposition's compliments, but in an effort to limit further deaths, fires and destruction Raila called them off. Similar protests happened in 2007 and caused a 8 month long civil war that saw significant deaths, damage and sever impact on the economy. Many were worried this might happen again, but fortunately it is not. The unfortunate part is that the current government is no longer being pushed to improve living conditions of the people. With this news I returned to Nairobi to spend a few more days with PTS before returning home. I joined the fashion class for an afternoon while they were learning to make different styles of blazers. Their first garment is always a group project so I joined them as they worked to ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi March 24th 2023

Fortunately, last night turned out to be more calm than anticipated. This was for two reasons. First: Raila the opposition leader spoke to the people in the slums and asked them not to continue the fighting. But, what might have had a bigger impact is that the police did not allow the burials to take place. There are still vows of revenge once they can burry their dead. Raila has committed to twice a week riots until the current government steps down. This is extremely unlikely to happen so the hope is that it ends peacefully. But, in the meantime I will share some positive parts of my time here. I spent an early morning driving over the Rift Valley to visit Hell's Gate National park with was the inspiration for the Lion King. It got ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi March 23rd 2023

I am not new to being in a country under protest. While in Bolivia we were under protest for 38 days straight. So when PTS told me that two days after arriving in Kenya I could not come to their offices due to protests I was not particularly phased. The protest was being organized by the opposition party because of large increases in the cost of living. The downtown area of Nairobi near the government buildings was a natural location for riots. The other was Kirbra: the slum where PTS is based as well as the opposition party. The residents of the slum were paid $1USD (a daily wage) to join the riots. That first day I stayed away from those areas, but I did spent time in other parts of the city without any incident. ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi March 20th 2023

My last stop before coming home is Kenya to visit a NGO called Passion to Share. This organization was started by a young women who had a very difficult childhood. After her 7th step mother attempted to kill her she went to live in an orphanage run by Warm Hearts. They supported her through high school and college. When they would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up said she wanted to be like them: helping others. And she has done just that. Lydia and her co-founder Noel started Passion to Share to lift up the girls in the slums of Kibera. This slum houses well over 250,000 people (counting is very difficult due to the nature of their living environment). This is the biggest slum in Africa and one of the ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi October 29th 2022

Thankfully, I slept until after 9:00 this morning, untroubled by waking in the night. Breakfast was a buffet of Kenyan, English and Indian cuisines; my choices were dates, papaya, a scone, strawberry jam, pork sausages, and sweet potato, with green tea. Fully satisfying. Instructions last evening were to be in the lobby by noon for a couple of excursions. I was the only one there, provoking all imaginable questions about time and location. I pacified my panic by looking around the hotel. Now called the Sarova Stanley , it was built in 1902 as the New Stanley Hotel. Many historic photos testified to its fame as the place to meet for safaris, meals, and social occasions. The Thorn Tree restaurant, where I had breakfast, used to be open air, and the thorn tree was famous as ... read more
Ecobank building
Giraffe Centre
Busy day at the Giraffe Centre

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi October 28th 2022

Oddly, I fumbled all the processes of checking in and boarding in Calgary, as if I were a newbie – perhaps that’s what staying home during the pandemic did to me. This trip still seems like a dream, not a reality. I am now in the KLM lounge at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, a ten-minute walk from my arrival gate. This large lounge is virtually full – takes some walking around to find a seat. The main part of the airport, down one flight of stairs, is much busier – a constant passage of discontinuous crowds. As soon as I finish drinking my tea, I am going to mask again – too many sneezes and coughs can be heard. There are three and a half hours left of my almost six-hour wait. Our flight was more than ... read more
Stanley Hotel
Stanley Hotel
 Thorn Tree Café




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