List of things to know before travelling to Nairobi Kenya


If you are from a foreign country or upcountry, there are several things to know, they will help you live comfortably and avoid losing your items. You will also enjoy your stay in Nairobi.

  • Don’t ask anyone for direction

In case you are lost, don’t ask anyone for direction, ask security personnel in any building, Mpesa agent or Somali selling items in shops. If you make a mistake of asking those in the streets, you might be kidnapped and your items will be stolen.

  • You should know landmark buildings

There are specific places to meet people. In case you are lost,go to places like Archives,Afya Center, outside KICC or Kencom stage and direct your host to meet you there. Everyone in Nairobi knows these places.

  • Don’t talk on phone while opening your window

In case you are in a moving matatu/car, don’t open your window while talking or holding your phone. Smartly dressed thieves are everywhere and they will snatch your phone.

  • Best estates to live

Don’t live in estates with high insecurity like kibera,Korogocho,Mukuru,Kayole or Githurai.If you have enough money, like a budget of Ksh 50,000 monthly, look for a good apartment in Kilimani,kileleshwa,South B,South C or Westlands.

  • Means of transport

The means of transport are matatu and online taxi. For foreigners I will recommend online taxi like Uber. Download the App and call any online taxi available. If you are from upcountry, use matatu to travel within Nairobi.

  • Monthly budget in Nairobi

In Nairobi you need Ksh 100,000 to Ksh300, 000 per month to live comfortably. Most of the money will be spent on rent and food.If your rent is Ksh 50,000 per month then you need Ksh50,000 extra for you to live comfortably.

  • Where not to take photos

There are places you should not take photos, you are not allowed. If you are spotted taking photos, you will be arrested. They include: State House, Harambee House, CBK, Times towers, Barracks, Airports and Parliament. Those are sensitive government facilities.

  • Walking at night

In Nairobi there is no problem walking at night especially in CBD and selected estates. The good thing is that there are many police patrolling the streets. The city is runs 24 hours.

  • Using Nairobi Expressway

If you are moving from JKIA to Westlands you better use Nairobi Expressway because of traffic jam in the old Mombasa road. But in the expressway you are charged Ksh100 to Ksh300.

  • Don’t allow anyone enter your house

You should be careful in Nairobi, not everyone smiling at you is a friend. Treat everyone as a suspect. Even if there is someone you know from the village, don’t allow them into your house because you don’t know what they do for a living.

In Nairobi, people don’t socialize much because there are many bad people. Be careful!

You need a VISA to travel to Nairobi and a passport when in Nairobi

If you are travelling from another country you need a VISA and to move within Kenya you need a passport.

  • You should have Safaricom number

While in Kenya, you need Safaricom phone number to make calls with and to withdraw and deposit money via MPESA.Payments are usually made through MPESA.

In Nairobi it’s safe to have your money in MPESA than to walk with it in your pocket.

  • Best places to visit Nairobi

Nairobi has several places to visit and enjoy. They include Nairobi National Park, Nairobi Archives, Museums Nairobi, and Giraffe Center. You will also walk around the city to know more about the heritage and culture of people.

  • Language

The common languages are English and Kiswahili.

  • Food

Be careful where to eat, don’t eat in those downtown restaurants. If possible eat in hotels owned by Somali people because they cook fresh and genuine food.

  • Weather

The weather in Nairobi is perfect. Don’t bother about wearing heavy jackets. This is one of the cities with perfect weather, it’s not too cold and not too hot—you will enjoy.

  • Don’t use a taxi without an App

Avoid using taxis which don’t have Apps for online taxis. Don’t allow them to switch off the App because they might con you.

  • Where to buy items

If you want a cheap television buy from Luthuli Avenue and specifically from the Somali people. If you want a genuine smartphone, buy from Jumia online or order through Amazon. You can also get one at Safaricom shop.

To get a genuine car visit Toyota Kenya, DT Dobie, Mercedes Benz, BMW Kenya. Don’t buy from brokers.

  • Land

Most of the land in Nairobi is not genuine. People sell a piece of land to several people. Very hard to find a genuine land seller.


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