Nairobi, Kenya

On leaving the airport en route to the hotel (the same one Obama stayed in a week earlier) I caught site of no less than 8 giraffe in the Nairobi National Park which borders the city – only one in the world I believe.  I learnt later that it costs USD 50 (±ZAR 650) per person to get into the national park – madness!


The hotel, Kempinski, Villa Rosa – pure opulence – pucker 5 star!  Thousands of roses everywhere!  The room heavenly; including gown and slippers and for those inclined an iron and ironing board – not doing any of that while I am visiting, even an umbrella! 3 telephones to boot – heaven forbid you have to move to answer the phone. 🙂


As we always do on our first evening away, we ordered room service.  Well!  Room service has never been this good, the dining table which was rolled into the room even had a fresh rose with our dinns staying warm in the warming drawer underneath the tray.  Pete ordered a hamburger and I ordered the green thai curry.  Both were outstanding – restaurant quality.  I could get used to 7 days a week room service, especially when you eat in your housecoat and slippers. 🙂


The cloakrooms in the gym have a hot spa bath, sauna room and sauna and all the conveniences available for your convenience, even down to slip slops and individually packaged combs and shaving kits.  It was quite cool running in the same gym where Obama did his workouts for a couple of days.


Cool down walk after a 4km run

The second nights sleep was non existent.  We arrived on a Sunday so guess traffic was at its quietest.  Not so for the remaining part of the week.  24 hour seriously noisy seemingly permanent peek hour traffic and you can’t get away from it being in the city.  I was later told the roads are never quiet.  Might explain why they are in such bad condition.

We went to the Westgate Mall which has just reopened after the 4 day terrorist attack and bombing 2 years ago.  It was quite surreal being there after watching the horror on the telly.  So sad what happens in our world every day.

More seriously, our trip was a look-see about the possibility of a move to Nairobi for a couple of years for Pete to head up the start up of a sister company as he did when we lived in Mauritius.  Pete was given a housing allowance which clearly was extremely unrealistic,  he then doubled it and off we went to the estate agents.  Haa.  Well that budget didn’t turn up anything particularly worthwhile either, plus everything in the budget amount is unfurnished.  It is frightfully expensive to live in the city and close surrounds with neighbours right on top of you, a garden, even teeny tiny is a luxury and majority of the buildings are very old, think 70’s with lots of layers of lacquered paint and parquet flooring and avo or pink bathrooms.  We shall take our time until the right place comes along if it must and I shall have to get used to a non village, no space and little freedom.  I have put a spreadsheet together of the costs involved in living in Kenya and it is extremely expensive from start to finish!  We could live palatially for the same cost here at home!

Nairobi in a nutshell – like all other African countries, the city is loud, dirty, busy with drivers hell-bent on going as fast and as dangerously as they can on roads which are in dire need of repair and everything is scarily expensive.  I will say though, they are not aggressive like our local drivers.  The people are lovely and friendly and the further you go out of the city, the more beautiful it becomes.  My favourite was the makeshift nurseries on the side of the road – wish I could have taken a photo.

All the museums and the like are also expensive to visit but guess majority of the tourists are coming from first world countries so doesn’t dent their pockets like it does ours.  As a lot of you know, I always joke and say I want a giraffe and a squirrel to complete our family so Pete took me to the Giraffe Orphanage in Karen and I got to feed a lovely fellow named Eddy.  I am not one for animals in captivity but there is sometimes the need as with the Giraffe Centre, which was established to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe.


I want to bring Eddy the Giraffe home with me

Kenya Giraffe Centre

We also visited the Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) Museum which I loved.  What a life she lived!  It was wonderful being able to put my hands on her very bed and jewellery cabinet amongst other goodies which she sold to a friend, Lady McMillan after the farm went bankrupt and was later retrieved from the library the friend donated it to.  Sadly you aren’t allowed to take photo’s inside the house.  Apologies about the quality of the (phone) photos but my camera died when it fell out of my camera bag.  I am still sick to my stomach about it and not ready to talk about it. 😦




40 thoughts on “Nairobi, Kenya

  1. I am glad you had a relaxing but also educational trip. Sometimes just a a few days can make all the difference. The giraffes are so very adorable but unless you have high ceilings, you can’t bring him home with you… LOL

  2. Jambo Mandy 🙂 I loved Kenya as long as I was staying in hotel and being driven around by somebody else! Laura

  3. Oh my goodness! When would the potential move happen? That will be a big change. I’ll be thinking of you through the process! On a side note, what a beautiful hotel!!! I hope you got a bit of R&R while there. Xo

    • It would probably happen in the new year but there is SO much to consider before then plus there are budgets that will have to be met before we can consider it viable. Taking it one day at a time. Must say the hotel is wonderful! I just sent them a message this afternoon about their pillows. Thought I would be able to find something similar here but alas. I hope I can purchase some through the hotel. They are absolute heaven! Hopefully they won’t cost and arm and a leg each. Have a beautiful day Kristy. 🙂 xo

  4. What an experience! A cousin’s husband finished a year’s posting in Kenya (mainly based in Nairobi but also travelling into Somalia). I think it was quite tough but if he can help woth any pointers I can put you in touch. Take care!

    • Tanya, you are a star, thank you! I did quite a lot of research and read loads of ex-pats “stories” whilst there and saw a couple of agents and priced heaps of things – came home and put a spreadsheet together – hope I did not forget anything. Pete would be based in “town” for the first year and then out on the Thika highway after that so we would have to have a place central if you will to both for the convenience of the mad traffic. I await the next set of instructions from Pete – depends on what the company says about increasing their allowances before we make our next move in the whole process but being able to speak to someone who has lived there makes all the difference. I would love to be put in contact with your cousins husband. You are a star! Have a beautiful day. 🙂 xo

  5. Hope your move, whenever that may be, will smooth and stress free. Sorry about your camera, guess it’s an opportunity to get a new and more up-to-date one. Photos are still gorgeous.

  6. OOOOOO, yes,
    pure opulence!!
    Love the photos, darling.
    Such pampering! WOWWWWWWWWWWW.
    Giraffes are AMAZING.
    Also, Out of Africa is one of my all time fave. movies and books!
    How was the tour? I find Karen Blixen VERY intriguing! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Pete and I own a copy of the movie but sadly whoever we last lent it to has not returned it so we need to buy another copy – can’t wait to watch it again after having been to Karen’s home! I loved the tour – think I should do a post dedicated to Karen. Have a beautiful day dear Kim. 🙂 xoxoxo

  7. What a beautiful home. I do love the look of the hotel and a green chicken curry is what I would have ordered from the room service menu as well. I had no idea it was so expensive to live in Nairobi. That’s definitely a very big decision you have to make and if you do decide to live there, I do hope you can find some accommodation you can afford and that you’re happy with xx

    • Charlie, I was shocked at the cost of everything. Not getting myself tied in knots of what might or might not happen – just taking it one day at a time. Have a wonderful day. 🙂 xo

  8. Can you tell I am in heaven looking at all of these photos? Well if you can’t let me just tell you I am :). I am loving everything about the room service as well. Just look at that food. Okay I’m hungry now lol. Love this post Mandy.

  9. Hi Mandy, giraffes are so special I love the way there little faces look. Hope things work out for your living arrangements, had no idea it was expensive to live there.

  10. What a great big adventure! The museum would have been my favorite – that house alone is what dreams are made of. We live 50 miles from Washington D.C. which is close enough for me. Also very expense and and busy. Quality of life is so important – best wishes on making your decision about what is right for your family.

  11. Eddy looks more than willing to be your adoptee. Perhaps that will take some of the stress out of the move if you end up in Nairobi for a while—at the very least you’ll have to have visitation rights to get a kiss from him occasionally. 😉 I can’t imagine it’ll be a move you’ll make unless the company genuinely makes it worth Pete’s while, since he’s such a valuable asset to them, but I’m sure it’ll still be a huge adventure if you go! You’ll at least know that many of our hearts will go with you, wherever life takes you! In the meantime, what a wildly varied and intriguing introduction to the area you’ve given us. Much food for thought, even for those of us who, unlike you, aren’t contemplating actually moving there. 🙂

    • Oh yes, sweet Eddy would definitely makes it seem easier Kath. I am not sure what is going to happen – I am switching my brain off until such time it has to think of it all again, if at all. Today, I am playing in the garden before the rain comes back. We haven’t had much of a Spring yet – hopefully one more week of this wet and windy weather before the sun shows her beautiful face. Have a beautiful day dear. 🙂 xoxoxo

      • I know exactly what you mean by switching it off—while the prospect of new work, new places, etc, always means we have to be able to imagine ourselves in them to make them feasible, reality means that even *if* they come to be real, they lie in the future, and to obsess over possible-futures is a surprisingly dead end road! Better to suss out the possibilities as best we can whilst on the ground during interviews and investigations, then leave those thoughts aside until any further developments are worth the pondering. Whatever the future brings, whether it’s in your current place or any other, I wish you joy of it!
        ❤ !

        • If I didn’t switch the brain off to certain things I am sure I would explode. I always do my due diligence and then find the switch to turn everything off until further notice. Bless you Kath for the good wishes and love. 🙂 xoxoxo

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