Don’t scratch Kenya off your list of safari destinations just yet…


For many years Kenya was the premier safari destination in Africa.  Recently though, it has developed the dubious reputation as Africa’s bad boy, its good image having been tarnished by reports of corrupt police, mismanaged parks and failing infrastructure.  Granted, Kenya has more than its fair share of governmental problems but you still can’t ignore the fact that it is home to some of Africa’s most famous and well-stocked game parks, that it is a bird lovers haven and that it presents one of the has one of the most beautiful coastlines in Africa.  Where else can you immerse yourself in the rich and diverse ethnic heritage of both the Masai and Kikuyu peoples, visit ancient Lamu, scuba dive in fantastic blue waters, climb Mount Kenya and take a hot air balloon trip over the Masai Mara to check out the teeming herds of migrating wildebeest.


Its definitely not worth writing Kenya off as another African disaster just yet and its certainly worth taking a trip up there to check out what this beautiful and fascinating country has to offer. 


Our Kenyan route…


Lungalunga border to Tiwi Beach


Lungalunga is one of Kenya’s lesser-travelled borders and does not process a vast amount of tourist traffic.  Very few people drive up from Tanga, Tanzania en route to Mombasa.  Most travellers chose to follow the very direct route between Arusha (Tanzania) and Nairobi and end up entering Kenya at the very busy Namanga border post.  In some ways, entering a country at a quiet border post is a good thing as you manage to get through with relatively few hassles.  On the other hand, the officials are not always au fait with the customs and visa formalities that apply to tourists and the whole thing takes some time.  When we crossed into Kenya, the immigration official told us that South Africans needed visas to enter Kenya – visas which cost a whopping US$50 per person I might add!  We were pretty sure we did not need visas as we had made some enquiries with the Kenyan embassy in South Africa before our departure and they had told us that if we were staying in the country for less than 30 days we did not need any.  The whole debate became rather protracted and eventually the immigration guy let us through with a three day pass so that we could report to the immigration officials in Mombasa and have the thing sorted out properly.  This turned out to be the right decision as the Mombasa guys confirmed our point of view that we did not require visas – if we had paid the US$100 at the border there would have been little chance of getting it back.  The moral of our story is, South Africans do not need visas and don’t let the immigration guys persuade you differently!


From the Lungalunga border it is only a short hop to Tiwi beach via Diani and we arrived there before dark. Tiwi beach is a famous travellers rest stop and the best place to stay is the Twiga Lodge (S4 14 27.1 E39 36 09.3) where you can camp for 200 Ksh per person per night.  There are also dorms and self-catering chalets available.  The Twiga campsite is situated along the most gorgeous stretch of beach and is set amongst huge shady trees.  The ablutions are good except that there is no hot water which is not really a problem as it is excruciatingly hot!  The lodge also has a restaurant and bar.  In the mornings you will be visited by “mango man”, a local fruit seller who peddles his wares from a basket strapped to the back of his bicycle.  His fruit is good and cheap and he can even prepare a fruit salad if you fancy one.  You can also buy fresh fish, squid, chapattis and samoosas from the local fishermen and kids who do the rounds in the campsite. 


At low tide, the sea pulls back far from the shore and you have to walk out to the reef if you want to swim.  The rock pools and reefs are good for exploration and snorkeling (at high tide).  We have however heard some reports of thefts and muggings along this beach and some travellers recommend that you take a guard with you (supplied you the lodge) if you are planning to go snorkeling away from the resort.  We were not able to confirm these reports and did not experience an incident ourselves. 


We spent a gorgeous two days sunning ourselves in Tiwi Beach and it is definitely worth a visit – particularly if you have been on the road for a while.


Tiwi Beach, Malindi & Mombasa


From Tiwi we headed up the coast via Mombasa (S4 03 03.0 E39 40 08.0) to Malindi (S3 13 09.1 E40 07 01.4)).  The stretch of coast between Mombasa and Malindi is some of the most gorgeous we have encountered and is worth the drive even if it is only to drink in the mind blowing ocean views.  From Tiwi you head to Mombasa, the largest port on the East Coast of Africa.  The bulk of the town sprawls over Mombasa Island which is linked to the mainland by a road to the north and a vehicle ferry to the south.  The ferry costs 40 Ksh per trip for a car and two passengers and takes a couple of minutes to the island.  The island has retained much of its old character but has taken which is slightly spoiled by the hectic driving conditions (once again the racing matatus, unroadworthy busses and heavy traffic).  We did not spend any length of time in Mombasa and headed across the island and in the direction of Kilifi and Malindi.  The road runs over a series of bridges which cross rivers, coves and inlets and then heads north through lush sugar cane fields.  Stunning!


Malindi is a holiday paradise filled with luxury resorts and holiday mansions of the Kenyan elite.  The beaches are white and the ocean is azure and it’s a scuba diver and snorkelers’ paradise.  We managed to arrange a scuba dive at short notice and set off our to the Malindi Marine National Park.  Although the conditions were not perfect the sea life that we saw was incredible – huge schools of colourful tropical fish, lionfish and giant crayfish.  Unfortunately we did not see any turtles but they are apparently a regular feature of Malindi diving.  If you are going to be in the area for some time you may want to check out dives in the Watamu Marine Reserve as well.  We arranged our dive through the dive school based at the Silversands Campsite and the dive cost US$35 per person (inclusive of park fee, boat and equipment hire). 


The only spot to camp in Malindi is at Silversands (S3 13 59.1 E40 07 39.0)  which is not much better than its Dar es Salaam counterpart.  Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to pull into one of the luxury resorts.  The staff at Silversands are most obliging and camping costs 150 Ksh per person per night.  The ablutions are okay but the resort is used by Malindi and Mombasa day-trippers and so can be overrun with screaming kids.  Luckily it quietens down once the hoards clear in the evenings.


If you do find yourself in Malindi its worth pushing north to the island of Lamu just off the Kenyan coast.  Lamu is an ancient, predominantly Muslim island which is supposed to be what Zanzibar was before it became a tourist mecca.  It’s apparently quiet and historic and full of atmosphere.  You can drive north of Malindi and take a ferry to Lamu although we have heard reports that this stretch of road, which runs close to the Somali border, is not particularly safe.  It may be better to leave your car in Malindi and to fly out to Lamu.  Flights are reportedly very cheap (around US$60 return).  We did not visit Lamu as we had spent an extensive period in Zanzibar but those who have been out to the island rave about it.  From Malindi we headed back to Mombasa to try and sort out our immigration problems before pushing on to Amboselli National Park.


Mombasa to Amboselli National Park


The road from Mombasa to Amboselli is absolutely appalling – one of the worst in Kenya.  The horror starts just outside Mombasa town where the road is currently undergoing substantial road works.  Around the area of Vol the road improves and you hit a newly tarred stretch complete with decent shoulders.  The relief is very short lived and the road deteriorates once again to its rutted, potholed norm.  Going is exceptionally slow and there are the usual truck, bus and matatu problems.  Most people approach Amboselli from the Nairobi side where the road is better and the park is signposted.  This is also the route taken by the constant stream of safari operators.  If you are coming from Mombasa however, the road is diabolical and the turn off to the park is not signposted from the main Mombasa/Nairobi road.  You need to turn left off the main road just before you reach the town of Emali.  You then follow the dirt road to the park.  Of course, by the time we got there it was dark and we missed the first turn to the park ending up in the frontier town of Oloitokitok.  The park was long closed so we camped at the Kimana gate (S2 43 07.1 E37 22 38.8).  The park watchman was happy for us to camp there and allowed us access to the bathroom facilities in the park office. 


We awoke the next morning to the most spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, which, although we had climbed it in Tanzania, we had never seen in its full glory because the cloud cover had been too thick.  We were stunned by just how big it is.  The views of Kili are reputedly better from Amboselli – we were just happy to see it!  We entered the park early and spent the day game driving.  Amboselli is a great park to visit if you are short on time; it is hear to Nairobi and small enough to see in a day without having to drive huge distances.  We camped in the Masai run campsite which charges US$8 per person per night (check out the fact file for more details about park fees).  The campsite has no facilities but you can park under the enormous trees in a completely secluded spot.  In the morning we had a herd of elephant passing through our camp which was a real treat.  The camp staff are happy to collect firewood and start a fire for you and there is a Masai village close by should you wish to get a taste of Masai daily life (see the bleeding of the cattle and mixing of blood with milk for brekkie!).  You will need to take all your food and water with you, as there is nothing to be bought in the park.  If you are looking for a respite from the blazing afternoon sun, head for the Amboselli Serena Lodge (S2 42 19.9 E37 15 57.4) for a cold drink.  There is great game viewing from the porch and they serve a pretty good lunch for about R100 a head (there are cheaper options but the buffet is superb).


Amboselli National Park to Nairobi


The dirt road on the Nairobi side of Amboselli is much shorter and in much better condition than the equivalent road on the Mombasa side.  Once you hit tar the road is good and the trip to Nairobi takes a couple of hours.


Nairobi (S1 17 00.0 E36 48 59.6) is a big, sprawling city.  In some respects it is very modern – it’s filled with high-rise buildings, all the major banks are represented there and there is certainly the appearance of sophistication.  In other respects though, it is in dire need of government attention.  During our stay in Nairobi it was in the throws or a terrible drought and there were severe water shortages.  In fact, in many places in the city there was absolutely no running water and the water truck would do its rounds every couple of days to deliver water rations – not conducive to the best levels of hygiene and cleanliness!  There just does not seem to be sufficient water to supply this rapidly growing city and the problem is aggravated in times of severe drought.  There are also power rationings in place which means that most establishments only have power for certain hours of the day and this applies whether they are butcheries needing to keep meat cold or bookshops!  The power rationings also mean that the traffic lights do not work during certain hours of the day which results in the most frustrating gridlock traffic jams. 


In Nairobi you can camp at the Upper Hill Campsite (S1 18 01.1 E36 48 41.6) which is literally up a hill just outside the inner city environs.  Camping costs 200 Ksh per person per night and there is a vehicle charge of 50 Ksh per night.  The owners of Upper Hill are very friendly and helpful and there is a restaurant and bar as well as a laundry service.  The ablution blocks are in good condition but without water they become a rather vial affair!  If you want to plan a safari to the Masai Mara through one of the local tour companies they can visit you at the campsite to make arrangements.  Its also the place to go if you are trying to buy or sell a car as it is the end point of many travellers’ overland trips.  Another camping option is Mrs Roche’s which always used to be popular but recent reports suggest that it has gone off the boil.


Many of the foreign embassies can be found in the Upper Hill area – including the Ethiopian embassy (State House Ave) and the Sudanese embassy (Mamlaka Rd).  Nairobi is a good place to get your Ethiopian visas if you are heading north – the embassy is very efficient and was able to process our application in 24 hours.


The main Nakumatt Superstore (S1 18 05.7 E36 49 29.2) to stock up on groceries is on Uhuru Highway although there are other branches in town.  There are also a number of bakeries, butcheries, restaurants and fruit stalls at the Hurlingham Shopping Centre on Awnings Kodhek road not far from the campsite.  There is a Barclays Bank (for ATM withdrawals and foreign exchange) at Hurlingham and it is also one of the regional headquarters for the Automobile Association (AA).  The AA’s insurance subsidiary is also there if you need to get third party insurance.  Further up the road is the Yaya centre where you can find a Barclays Bank with an ATM, a post office, various restaurants, a bookshop, a hardware store etc.  You may also want to check out the shopping malls in the Parklands area.


If you haven’t seen a movie in a while, Nairobi is the spot and its worth going to a movie just for the experience.  Don’t expect western standards – you will find that the sound track is a bit scratched and the movie a bit stretched but it is well worth it.  The best bets are the Kenya Cinema on Moi Ave or the Nairobi or 20th Century cinemas on Mama Ngina Street.  Movies cost 180 Ksh per person.  If you go in the evening it is probably worth taking a taxi (about 250 ksh) as it is not really safe to take your car into town.


No visit to Nairobi would be complete without having dinner at the world famous Carnivore restaurant (out near Wilson Airport - S1 19 46.0 E36 48 01.8).  The Carnivore is a meat eater’s paradise and has become famous for the large number of exotic meats that it serves.  You can expect to try zebra, crocodile, eland and all sorts of other more run of the mill fare like beef, pork, chicken etc.  The meat is cooked over an open fire in a pit on giant skewers and your portion is cut off at the table from the sizzling skewers.  You can eat as much as you like and dinner costs 1490 Ksh per person without drinks.  There is a disco next door where you can dance off your dinner when you are done.  You can also check out the Cybervore Internet café in the same complex.


All the major motor dealerships are represented in Nairobi so you will be able to get spares and have repairs done to your vehicle if needs be.  There are also hundreds of spare parts stores where you can source just about anything (most of them are in the Chambers Ave, Tom Mboya street area).  You can also have your gas bottles filled at BOC Gases (S1 18 18.2 E36 51 00.6) in the Nairobi Industrial Area (Kitui Rd).  It cost us around 450 Ksh ( R45) per cylinder to have our cylinders filled.


There are a couple of historical sites worth checking out when you are in Nairobi – one of which is Karen Blixen’s house which you can find on Karen Road, Karen (which is a Nairobi suburb).  The house is worth a visit if you are at all interested in things historical.  Entry to the house is pretty pricey at 350 Ksh per person but the house is well restored, beautifully decorated and still contains many original pieces. 


Nairobi to Lake Naivasha


After having completed our business we headed for Lake Naivasha en route to the Masai Mara.  Lake Naivasha is one of the Rift Valley’s fresh water lakes and is a great spot to put your feet up for a couple of days, check out some birds and do some water skiing.  The campsite at Lake Naivasha, Fisherman’s Camp (S0 49 40.2 E36 20 06.0), is one of the nicest we have come across on our travels.  It’s enormous and has plenty of rolling lawns and huge shady trees.  There are good ablutions and hot water, a restaurant and bar and you can hire mountain bikes and canoes if you feel like a jaunt on the water.  Camping here costs 200 Ksh per person. Fisherman’s camp is also perfectly situated for day trips to Hell’s Gate or Longonont National Parks.  If you are looking for a good meal – try the delicious freshwater crayfish at the camp restaurant.


Lake Naivasha to Masai Mara National Park


If you are headed for the Mara (S1 34 58.8 E35 14 29.7) and are short on time, it is definitely better to take the main road between Nairobi and Narok and then on to the park.  This is the most popular route and is the route which is in the best condition.  It is also the main drag used by Nairobi tour operators for their safaris to the Mara.  Of course, we did not take that route wanting to find something a little more off the beaten track.  The whole thing backfired on us as we found ourselves on the precariously slippery dirt road that runs between Nkuru, Njoro and Narok.  There had been recent rains in the area and the road had turned to sludge.  The journey took substantially longer than we had expected and we ended up only arriving at the park well after dark.  This seems to be becoming a habit!  Once again we camped at the park gates and entered the park the next morning.


There are hundreds of safari vehicles racing around the park but nothing can come close to the mayhem of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.  Whereas in the past we had disdainfully shunned the tour operators choosing to go our own way, in the Masai Mara we circummed to the temptation of following the little mini-busses as they spead off in pursuit of a game sighting.  The result was that we saw some unbelievable game!  Two lone lions, a kill, four young cheetahs and scores of migrating wildebeest and zebra.  We camped at the western gate where there is an unfacilitated campsite (S1 15 37.4 E34 59 57.5) with a spectacular view of the plains.  Camping cost 200 Ksh per person per night and the wardens were happy to help us out with firewood.  Once again, you need to take all your food and water with you, as there are no facilities.  We repeated our visit to the Mara Serena and treated ourselves to their buffet lunch which is well worth it.  The Serena is worth checking out just for the view even if you do not have the lunch.  There are lots of old Masai women at the various park gates selling beadwork curios and we managed to pick up an authentic (or so they said) Masai spear from the local school teacher who runs a stall at the Western gate.  It is possible to take a hot air balloon ride over the park at sunrise.  The flight costs 350 US$ per person and includes a champagne breakfast.  We could not afford it this time but it is definitely on the list for a future visit.


Masai Mara to Kisumu


From the park we headed west to Kisumu (S0 05 45.0 E34 45 08.0) on the shores of Lake Victoria before pushing on to the border between Kenya and Uganda.  Kisumu was only an overnight stop for us but you may want to spend a couple of days exploring the lakeshore.  The Lonely Planet recommends Dunga Refreshments for camping – avoid it like the plague!  It’s filthy and the campsite is depressing to say the least.  We ended up skirting the lake to the airport side and camped at the Kisumu Beach Resort.  Once again we found the same problem of being inundated with Kisumu weekenders so the place was pretty noisy.  The facilities are good and there is a bar and restaurant.  Camping costs 200 Ksh and things quieten down after dark.  There is a Barclays Bank, Nakumatt, Bakery, Internet Café and lots of petrol stations in Kisumu.  Diesel and Petrol are cheaper here than in Uganda so make sure you fill up before crossing the border.


The next day we headed to the border for our two-week Ugandan stint before heading back to cover the last kilometres to Ethiopia.


Malaba to Eldoret


Once we had returned through the Malaba border from Uganda, our days in Kenya were numbered, as we had to hot foot it to the Ethiopian border before our visas expired.  Our haste was a pity as it meant that we had to miss out on quite a lot of spots in northern Kenya that we had wanted to visit.  Kenya is in fact a trip in itself and its no wonder that it is the safari capital of Africa!  Oh well, I guess there is always next time.


We travelled the 150 kilometres from the Malaba border to Eldoret in about two and a half hours in spite of the potholed road and heavy traffic.  We camped at the Naiberi River Campsite (N0 26 20.7 E35 26 41.4) which is a good spot to overnight about 20 kilometres outside Eldoret.  The campsite which is popular with overlanders has glorious hot showers and flush toilets as well as a bar and restaurant.  It’s on the river so you may want to spend a couple of days there.  Camping costs US$3 per person per night. 





Eldoret, Nakuru, Thompson’s Falls to Timau River


The next morning we filled up with diesel in town (there are plenty of petrol stations) and headed for Nakuru (S0 16 38.7 E36 04 25.0) en route to Thompson’s Falls (N0 02 23.0 E36 21 55.0), Nanyuki (N0 00 44.7 E37 04 37.4) and Timau River where we planned to overnight before making our big push north along the Marsabit/Moyale road.  Nakuru is Kenya’s third largest town and is a really pleasant place.  We were told about campsite called Kano campsite about 20 kilometres out of Nakuru but did not check it out ourselves.  There is apparently a Land Rover mechanic there called Tony who is an absolute wiz about fixing cars!  There is a Nakumatt in Nakuru as well as a Barclays Bank and you will be able to grab a Nandos burger on your way through.  If you are there for a couple of days check out the Lake Nakuru National Park.


From Nakuru we headed north to Nyahururu (Thompson’s Falls) where we made a brief stop to check out the falls.  They are really worth a visit although the whole thing was marred by the constant hassling by the curio sellers.  The olde worlde Thomspon’s Falls Lodge offers accommodation although you can camp in their grounds as well.


After spending a while taking in the stunning view of the falls we pushed on north via Nanyuki to Timau River where we spent the night at the Timau River Lodge (N0 05 28.6 E37 15 05.3) before setting off to Marsabit via Isiolo. Timau River Lodge provides excellent facilities and if you have a couple of days you may want to do some fly-fishing.  Camping is expensive (450 Ksh per person) but the facilities are excellent and it is the best place to overnight before starting the push north.  Don’t try and stay in Isiolo – avoid it like the plague!  You will have to stop there on your way through though to stock up on diesel and to catch the convoy to Marsabit.


If you have some time you may want to head north from Eldoret and check out the various lakes to be found in northern and western Kenya.  As we had to hot foot it to Ethiopia we did not have a chance to visit any of the lakes but other travellers that we have met recommend them highly.  Some spots worth a visit include Lake Baringo, Lake Bagorio and, of course, the stunning Lake Turkana. Other northern national parks you may want to see include the Maralal National Sanctuary and the Samburu National Reserve.


Isiolo, Marsbit and Moyale


Check out our next article on Marsabit and Moyale for details of this portion of the route north.


Kenyan Fact File…


Motoring in Kenya


Motoring in Kenya is rather trying to say the least.  The roads are mostly in appalling condition.  Although the major roads are tarred they are badly in need of repairs and are potholed, rutted and just downright unpleasant.  The worst of the bad bunch is the road from Mombasa to Nairobi and a close second is the Nairobi/Kampala road.  Travel is slow and agonizing and we found that we had to nurse our car over the ruts, bumps and potholes and even so we needed a full set of new shock absorbers and repairs to our air-conditioning by the time we got to Nairobi.  As if driving on bad roads isn’t enough you have to contend with a constant stream of bad drivers, unroadworthy busses, overloaded trucks and speeding matatus. 


The traffic and national police are also a regular feature of motoring in Kenya.  At the entrance to each town you will encounter a police checkpoint manned by alarmingly heavily armed police.  Their main concern is the busses and trucks that have to stop and present their papers and they seem to leave travellers alone.  The only problem is that in order to stop errant truck drivers from skipping the road blocks, the police have rows of lethal spikes that they drag over the road – definitely something you will want to look out for unless you want to lose your two front tires to the most spectacular of blow-outs!  Even when you are waved through and the barriers are pulled aside, it involves some skillful driving to miss the spikes.


Driving in Kenya and Tanzania involves having to relearn the most basic driving skills.  For most average South African drivers, if you indicate to the left it usually means that you are turning left or wanting to overtake someone ahead of you and if you put on your right hand indicator it means that you wish to turn off to the right.  In Kenya (and Tanzania) if you are travelling behind another vehicle and it is not safe to overtake, the driver in front of you will put on his right hand indicator telling you that it is not safe to pass him.  If on the other hand it is safe to pass, he will put on his left hand indicator. It really takes some getting used to! 


Entry Requirements













Currency and money matters


The Kenyan currency is the shilling.  R1-00 buys you Ksh 10 while US$1 buys you approximately 70 Kenyan shillings.  Changing money at banks and foreign exchange bureaus is easy and they can be found in abundance in all major towns and cities.  You can also change travellers’ cheques at most of the banks and foreign exchange bureaus in the major centres.  All the international banks are represented in Nairobi and credit cards are widely accepted at shops, hotels and restaurants here – you may however struggle to pay for things with your credit card in smaller places.  Best of all, most of the banks have ATM machines where you can draw cash against your Visa or MasterCard and if the machines are not working, the bank can give you a cash advance against your plastic.  The best bet for drawing money at ATM’s is the Barclays Bank which has a whole host of branches in Nairobi and also in places like Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Isiolo as well as in a whole range of even smaller villages.  If you need to have money sent to you, you can do this via Western Union or one of the banks in Nairobi.


Petrol and Diesel Prices


Diesel costs between 36 Ksh and 40 Ksh per litre while petrol costs between 51 and 55 Ksh per litre.  Kerosene goes for about 31 Ksh per litre.  Petrol prices are not standard and fluctuate from place to place.  You will find that petrol and diesel is cheaper near the coast and Mombasa than it is in Nairobi or nearer to the Ugandan border.  Even in Nairobi you will find subtle variations.  We discovered that petrol in central Nairobi cost a couple of cents more than that sold in the Industrial area.  Petrol prices change on an almost weekly basis though and it is not unusual for the advertised price to be lower than the actual price.


Diesel and leaded petrol are available everywhere including in the smaller villages.  You can get Kerosene pretty much everywhere but you will struggle to find unleaded petrol.  We did not spot any at the filling stations that we visited.


National Park Fees


Kenya is littered with National Parks and Game Reserves.  Luckily, entrance to the Kenyan parks is cheaper than entrance to their Tanzanian counterparts.  Entrance to the parks costs US$27 per person per day.  A day is roughly 24 hours although the Kenyan park officials are not too fazed if you are not out of the park within the strict 24-hour period.  They will give you a couple of hour’s leeway.  You will pay about 200 Ksh per day to take your car into the parks (about R20).  We found that the price charged for camping varied dramatically from place to place.  At Amboselli National Park we paid US$8 per person per night (with no facilities) whereas at the Masai Mara and Marsabit National Parks we paid only Ksh 200 per person per night (around US$3 per person per night)(also no facilities) and this was despite the quoted price of US$8 so the arrangement seems to be flexible. 


Food, beer and other important matters


Kenya is relatively civilized when it comes to matters of the belly (probably because it is an erstwhile British colony).  There are all sorts of brands of beer brewed by Kenyan breweries.  Tusker beer is popular with the locals but we preferred the ice brewed Pilsner Ice.  Beers cost between 100 and 120 Ksh per bottle (500 ml).  Cold drinks like Coke and Pepsi are widely available and cost between 200 and 300 ksh each.  Kenya has an excellent supermarket chain called Nakumatt.  You will be able to find a two story Nakumatt superstore in Nairobi that stocks a wide variety of foodstuffs including imported and luxury goods.  Lesser Nakumatts can be found in other centres.  Nairobi also has a good selection of bakeries, butcheries and fast food restaurants and sit down spots.  It’s a good place to stock up on food and groceries if you are headed north. Local food is very cheap and is widely available.  You will be able to dine on a meal of chicken/beef/goat and a chapatti or rice for about 100 Ksh (R10).  An omelet and chapatti will cost you about half that.


Internet, email and books


There are a large number of Internet café’s in and around the Nairobi area and you may well find them in the smaller towns.  Many travellers visit the National Library in Nairobi as it reputedly has the cheapest Internet around and is within walking distance of the Upper Hill Campsite.  If you have your own computer you can use the Upper Hill phone line and you will be charged for a local/international call depending on your dial up.  There is an excellent new and second hand bookstore at the Yaya Centre in Argwings Kodhoek road where you can buy guidebooks, maps, second hand and new novels, foreign magazines and newspapers. 


Summary of GPS points…..


Twiga Lodge (Tiwi Beach)

S4 14 27.1 E39 36 09.3


S3 37 17.9 E39 50 55.7


S3 13 09.1 E40 07 01.4

Silversands Campsite (Malindi)

S3 13 59.1 E40 07 39.0


S4 03 03.0 E39 40 08.0

Turn off to Amboselli from Emali (Mombasa/Nairobi road)

S2 05 24.0 E37 28 54.7

Amboselli National Park (Kimana Gate)

S2 43 07.1 E37 22 38.8

Amboselli Serena Hotel

S2 42 19.9 E37 15 57.4


S2 32 43.2 E36 47 17.8


S1 17 00.0 E36 48 59.6

Upper Hill Campsite (Nairobi)

S1 18 01.1 E36 48 41.6

BOC Gases (Nairobi)

S1 18 18.2 E36 51 00.6

Carnivore Restaurant (Nairobi)

S1 19 46.0 E36 48 01.8

Nakumatt Super Store (Nairobi)

S1 18 05.7 E36 49 29.2

Laundry (Nairobi)

S1 17 42.3 E36 48 48.3

Fisherman’s Campsite (Lake Naivasha)

S0 49 40.2 E36 20 06.0

Turn off to Fisherman’s Camp (from Nairobi/Naivasha road)

S0 44 54.0 E36 26 30.0


S0 20 00.0 E35 56 37.4

Masai Mara National Park

S1 34 58.8 E35 14 29.7

Masai Mara Serena Hotel

S1 24 07.7 E35 01 32.1

Masai Mara Campsite

S1 15 37.4 E34 59 57.5


S0 05 45.0 E34 45 08.0

Naiberi River Campsite (Eldoret)

N0 26 20.7 E35 26 41.4


S0 16 38.7 E36 04 25.0


N0 00 44.7 E37 04 37.4

Thompson Falls

N0 02 23.0 E36 21 55.0

Timau River Lodge

N0 05 28.6 E37 15 05.3



Some basic Swahili……






How are you?


I am fine thanks


Thank you (very much)

Asante sana

No problem

Hakuna matata



















How much/many?


Water (hot)

 Maji (moto)













Maize (mielie pap)