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Traveling solo
Traveling solo | © Free-Photos / Pixabay
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A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Nairobi

Picture of Nandika Macharia
Updated: 30 March 2018
So, you are a solo act, much like Kira Salak, so you know that traveling solo can be challenging even though you set your own pace. But then again, there is a lot of truth in the words of Henry David Thoreau, who said that the man who begins alone can start today but the one who travels with a companion must wait for the other to be ready. Nairobi is a treasure trove just waiting to be explored by solo travelers. Read on to learn what solo travelers need to know when planning a visit to Nairobi.

Getting into the country

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Travel-ready documents | © Stevebp / Pixabay

In some countries, a visa can be received at the airport, while in others, you must apply at their embassy. Depending on your nationality, you can obtain a visa through the e-visa online procedure, which is the fastest and simplest method. Visa on arrival can be obtained if you are from an eligible country or the embassy procedures apply to countries that are not eligible for the above. It is important to check your country’s eligibility for all of the above visa procedures.

Accommodation

There are a plethora of luxury and budget hotels to choose from, ranging from international brands to homegrown options. As a solo traveler, you will have to pay for a single accommodation, which may be fairly expensive, especially if you are traveling during peak season. The argument is that the establishment is making less than what they would if they were selling the room to two people. You can try the Palacina residence and suites for serviced apartments or the Intercontinental Nairobi for a more central location.

Transportation

You can opt to use the public service vehicle, known as matatus, or you can utilize private taxis. The matatus are cheaper, charging less than $1 to and fro, in some instances, although they can get very crowded, with some passengers standing in the aisle of the vehicle. Some of them also play very loud music. The private taxis charge $15 and upwards and are more organized.

Food

Sardines
Street fried sardines | © Ignotus the Mage / Flickr

Nairobi offers everything from street food to fine dining options. For less than a dollar, you can eat healthy, nutritious food in a food kiosk locally known as a “kibanda.” The more delicate palette can enjoy fine dining in upmarket neighborhoods like Karen, Westlands, and Lavington, spending as much as $100 on a plate.