Is Nairobi safe for tourists? Who’s asking?
Well, I am just kidding.
This is a fair question. You see, I live in Nairobi myself and sometimes I find myself asking, is Nairobi safe for me?
Is Nairobi safe at night? Nairobi has some spots that you should avoid as much as possible. It also has some incredible spots that you must see. So yes, Nairobi is both safe and unsafe for tourists, just like most cities in the world.
This is the capital city of Kenya. In addition, it has quite a wide array of things to see and do, great nightlife and a vibrant population of well educated young people.
When it comes to rewards vs safety concerns, the rewards are more, so Nairobi is definitely worth visiting.
Is Nairobi safe for American tourists?
Nairobi is safe for everyone, not only American tourists. However, before you hop on the plane and jet to Nairobi, you had better get some travel advisory.
Of course, when you visit any new place, there are the common sense things that you should do. One of them is to find out the safe places to visit.
Of course, the first place to start is with the travel agency that is arranging your travel itinerary. You can ask them what to expect when you land in Nairobi.
More specifically, ask about safety. This is paramount! Take note of the places that they tell you to avoid. They say to avoid such places with good reasons.
For instance, in developing countries, a foreign tourist is seen as moneyed. Thus, the threat of kidnapping is always hanging close. There is also the threat of robbery with violence, carjackings and other similar cases.
As a tourist, it is best to have a local guide to accompany you to some of these establishments, if you must go.
Safety Tips for Travelers in Nairobi
What we are trying to say here is that as a tourist, you will stand out. You will attract attention from pickpockets, beggars, thieves and other petty criminals. Stay on the lookout.
Is it safe to eat food in Nairobi?
The locals are fine with the food sold in Nairobi. However, as a traveler, only eat fully cooked food. We would suggest that you take beans, rice, ugali and chapati, which make up the local staple. It is not advisable to eat raw salads, vegetables or fruits that you cannot peel.
Drink store-bought bottled water. It is of pretty good quality. Go easy on the local grub too until your stomach can get used to it.
If you will not peel a fruit, it is best not to eat or perhaps you can wash it thoroughly.
Getting around Nairobi Safely
You are better off using recognized car hire services for airport transfer and for moving around Nairobi. Public transport is not too safe for you unless you are accompanied.
You can also use Uber or other taxi hailing services because you get the full details of the vehicle and the driver.
The colorful matatus can be quite tempting. However, make sure that you know all the stops so that you can alight at a safe one, within walking distance to your hotel or destination.
Know the neighborhoods that you need to avoid
Avoid areas such as Kibera, Kamukunji, Eastleigh, Mathare, Mlango Kubwa, Korogocho and other slums. Believe it or not, even locals, especially those coming from the villages are advised to avoid many of these areas until they become Nairobi street-wise.
In the CBD, the area from Moi Avenue all the way to Uhuru Highway is safe. Downtown Nairobi is too crowded, but you can get very cheap items.
When you are out and about the city, do not carry expensive stuff on your person. Camera, binoculars and other items can be stolen easily in downtown Nairobi.
Also, do not carry your credit cards or a lot of cash on your person.
Nairobi is “fairly” safe from terrorist attacks
The UK and US issue travel advisories when there is a terrorist attack in Kenya. Even now, when traveling, it is best to check their consul’s and embassy websites to see the type of advisory they issue for Kenya.
Years ago, terrorists used to make random and often deadly attacks in the city. They would target areas such as Dusit hotel and Westgate Mall, where there are likely to be many foreigners.
However, from combined efforts of the local and international intelligence services, many attacks have been thwarted.
Today, domestic and Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terrorist attacks occur randomly in the northern frontier district.
Women are safe in Nairobi
Women are safe when traveling in Nairobi. However, most people in Nairobi come from the rural areas so they are a bit conservative.
Do not wear revealing outfits. It is best to note what everyone is wearing and wear that so that you do not stick out. Travelers are safe in public spaces such as Uhuru Park, but stay on the lookout always. Note how everyone around you is behaving, and do not stay in secluded places.
During general elections
Elections in Kenya are always hotly contested. If you happen to be in the country during such times, stay in your hotel.
Keep away away from all public gatherings because they can get charged up without notice.
Is Nairobi worth visiting?
Despite its shortcomings, Nairobi is 100 percent worth visiting anytime of the year. I will show you are a few reasons why:
It is in the middle of everything
Thus, it is a good point to launch your sight seeing in the coast region (Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu) and to other places such as Mt. Kenya, Mt. Longonot, Nakuru, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Chalbi Desert and so many other places.
It has so much to see and do
Secondly, even for a tourist who does not want to go outside Nairobi, there are so many things to see and do in Nairobi itself. For instance, the Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park are within walking distance of the Central Business District.
You never feel too far from home
I mean, there is a little of home in Nairobi. For instance, KFC will remind you of home. There are large shopping malls, coffee joints and a vibrant nightlife.
Compared to many other cities in East and Central Africa, Nairobi rocks!
Is Nairobi safe for tourists and what can you do as a traveler to keep safe? If you take the right precautions, you can be pretty safe in this city.