After a relatively short 4 hour flight from Abu Dhabi we have settled in to the most populated city in East Africa (5 million people). Nairobi is like most other equatorial cities.; humid and dusty. The history, we were told, was that an 1,000 km railway line from Mombasa to Kisimu dubbed ‘The Lunatic Express’ traversed the country. The colonial project was rife with local attacks, man eating lions and disease, passed through the swampy area and a small railway supply depot rapidly grew with pastoral trade to become the nations capital in 1905.
We were greeted as three people by our taxi driver; 1. Tanson, 2. Armstrong and 3. Michele Carlson – that must be us… The driver wasn’t too good at accepting US dollars, currency conversion (US$1=KS$86) and sticking to his agreed price . Driving through Nairobi had a lot of congestion and a fair bit of tactical weaving, with people dashing across the motorway. There were more close calls in our few hours driving than what you would probably get in a few years back home – testament to the skill of the drivers. A few entrepreneurs ambled up and down the white line in the middle of the road selling sunglasses, fire extinguishers, caution road signs and to our bewilderment, Scrabble and Monopoly boards.
Tomorrow we depart the Heron on safari with Absolute Africa, heading north to the Masai Mara.