Six things you should know before visiting Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and the largest city in east Africa. These and some other reasons make it a great place to visit. There are some things you need to know before you travel there.

Here are six of them:

1. Traffic lights are simply suggestions

While you may have heard about the notorious Nairobi traffic, no one may have told you about traffic lights. In general, traffic lights and traffic signs are decorative. So don’t be surprised if pedestrians cross the road while it’s red or cars keep moving, just don’t get too frustrated.


This means that you should always be on the look out when driving or walking, don’t rely on the lights all the time.

2. Don’t Cross The Street While Talking On Your Phone

While this seems like basic common sense safety advice, it’s also important to realise that this is against the law and can get you in trouble if you are caught. Given that the streets are so busy, you may not even see the officers coming, so just put the phone down for a few seconds.

3. Not All Kenyans Run

Please, for the sake of all that is good, don’t go around asking every Kenyan if they run. A very specific tribe in Kenya is famous for running, they make up about 13 percent of the population.

The rest of the Kenyan population are equally impressed at their athleticism. If this was your go-to joke, you may need to change it before arrival.

4. Don’t Worry About The Time

While this may seem rude to those of Europen persuasion, the reality is that events don’t start on time. In order to avoid scrolling on your phone aimlessly as you wait, give events a few minutes before arriving. Of course, you shouldn’t show up an hour late for a two-hour event either.

5. Mobile Money

Mobile banking is huge in Kenya, so don’t be surprised if people don’t always have cash on them and want to send you money this way instead. It’s also very convenient and safe for you to have some of your money stored this way, so register as soon as you land. It’s quick and simple, not to mention free to do so.

6. Politics. Politics. Politics – all day

Kenyans talk politics day and night. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Prime prime TV news and the dailies are full of local political stories. Almost all Kenyans discuss politics and elections everyday, everywhere.

62 thoughts on “Six things you should know before visiting Nairobi

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