This blog post on my trip to Nairobi is long overdue. I had heard so many amazing things about Nairobi that I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to go for work last fall. The only downside was that the day before I was supposed to leave for my trip I found out I was pregnant and I was feeling terrible.
All I wanted to do that week was curl up in bed and talk about Baby P. Luckily I was able to adjust my travel dates and was feeling better. Plus adventuring and working in a new city was more than enough to distract me from spilling the beans about our then secret Baby P.
How to Get Around
Uber, uber, uber.
I’m so happy that Uber has made its way to Nairobi. Venturing around the city alone would otherwise be pretty intimidating as a first time visitor and it’s not always the safest either. A the risk of sounding like an Uber ad, I have to gush that Uber made travel around the city easy, safe, efficient and affordable. All the drivers I talked to loved driving for Uber and one of my drivers actually said he was able to quit his job overseas and move back to Nairobi to be closer to his family thanks to Uber.
A standard tourist spot, I entered the market and made a few laps around, eyeing the colourful African handicrafts. I resisted purchasing much even though there were a few trinkets I had my eye on. Watch out for some of the more aggressive salespeople who are desperately pleading for you to check out their wares.
I did end up purchasing a big Dashiki inspired mumu for when I’m a big round pregnant lady.
The market rotates locations around the city so check their Facebook page to plan your visit.
A Kenyan supermarket chain. Not necessarily a must-see for most visitors, but after spending a week in Kigali it was like traveling to another time period (even compared to the Kigali Nakumatt location). Similar to a smaller Walmart or Target that you would find in the US they seemed to sell everything –electronics, home goods, groceries, entertainment etc.
And wow the grocery selection was so refreshing. A wall of cheeses, fresh meats, — even a Mexican section! If you’ve been traveling for a while and are in search of home comforts, hit up Nakumatt for groceries (or cheap spices to bring home).
Baby P and I went to our first prenatal yoga class. The yoga studio was in a really popular part of town so it’s perfect for morning yoga, followed by brunch.
Baby’s first prenatal yoga class! Baby’s first yoga class in Africa! Baby’s first prenatal class in Africa!
Since I spent all week in meetings, most of my meals were in coffee shops. Luckily Kenya is renowned for coffee and the coffee shop culture means great coffee and amazing food.
A Kenya staple and a popular hangout in the city, Java started as a single coffee shop in Nairobi in 1999 before expanding to 50 locations across East Africa. It’s a great place to stop by for breakfast or for an afternoon break.
I had to skip the coffee on this trip since I didn’t know too much about my pregnancy yet, but Urban is another local hotspot and a key player in the local coffee culture. If you have to skip the coffee, I have to say the chicken shawarma is a win too.
Mama Rocks is a gourmet burger food truck. I walked over from Acacia after yoga and was the first in line to order. Oh man these burgers are amazing. With an African inspired burger, fries and sides menu, you can’t go wrong. I scarfed down their Nollywood Suya Saga burger– a paprika spiced beef patty, sauteed red onions, Mama’s special honeyed nutty mayo, wild rocket, and a dash of Mama’s authentic Africa hot sauce with a side of fries.
The truck is usually located at the Alchemist Bar which is a really cool spot housing live music and a few other local food trucks in a large outdoor space. I definitely want to come back here to hang out with Pete (and eat a few more burgers).