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Quick visit of Nairobi

Thoughts in the plane, and a 24h unforeseen visit of Nairobi

Still in Tana, leaving tomorrow for 4 days in the "Brousse". I ve decided that i will use franglais as writing language for this blog.
I am only finding time/decent internet connection now, 1 week after having left brittish soil. Let s go back a bit in time then...

10h20; sunday 31st take off from Heathrow, or at least that was the plan. Eventually about 3h delay, just enough to remove any hope of getting my connection flight to Tana in Nairobi. Looks like a free visit to Nairobi to me!

How to get to Nairobi from the M25 ? From Heathrow, turn left to head south, sort of Brighton, then target the Alps, ah no; re-target to avoid Libya. The pilot is a connoisseur, he is going for a fly-by of Dunkerque. Maybe he s been to la fete du harreng.
Mwinuko 1478 Futi (premier contact avec le swahili)
Belgium is on sight, still going Eastward !
Ok, it seems that not only Libya is to be avoided but Greece as well (air controller strike), following Greek border on bulgarian side, then turning south along Turkish coast, then Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and finally Kenya !!

Lundi 1er aout, Nairobi town center, Safari Club hotel, 5 stars !! in a room with this balcony view, 12th floor :
5 stars balcony in Nairobi

5 stars balcony in Nairobi

All paid by Kenya Airways !! Ok, the night was long but it was worth it.

"1h something", that seems to be the minimum waiting time in Nairobi Airport. 1hSth at Gate 6 to get to know on which flight i will end up going to Mada (your next flight is ... in 2 days !!), 1hSth to get to know in which hotel i ll be located, 1hsth to wait for the bus outside the airport.
Finally in the hotel room at 3AM. I had the option to get my luggage out for these 36h in Nairobi, but when the guy told me that it might take some time, i thought i d better just go to the hotel with just my cabin bag and brave the nairobian winter with my t-shirt and light jacket (seriously, it s a proper winter; can get down to 10ish degrees at night).

The good thing about queuing in this airport is that you get to know about all your fellow passengers lost in translation, in the East African hub, very diverse croud:
- a middle-aged guy from Zambia; travelling for business to Lusaka, an expert in African airline companies.
- a younger man from Zimbabwe, flying back to visit his folks in Harare
- a lady with 2 kids, to Harare as well
- A french speaking guy; going to Burundi
- this couple of charity workers going to Kigali
- a couple with 1 super young baby going to Madagascar
- a couple from New York with a child going, trying to go back to New York desperately
- a worker from Filipin, going to Guinea in west Africa
- a brittish girl going for a Safari in Tanzania

Ok, back to now: After this plane delay, i can now enjoy a full day of visit of Nairobi from my 5-times-starred HQ.
A quick stop at an internet cafe where i meet with Jacob who s got a business in safari tour. After a harsh negotiation, i got a deal for a half a day Safari in Nairobi National Park (outskirts of Nairobi) with Alfred, my chauffer for the afternoon.
Alfred is from the Victoria Lakes area, his mother tongue is not swahili, and even less english. He had to learn both though, but Swahili (or kiswahili) "you can learn it in 3/4 months just by speaking to people from other areas", while English is more complex, you have to learn it at school.
Alfred is Catholic, and he likes to listen to religious songs in his car. According to Alfred, Christian is the main faith in Kenya, but Catholic mainly in cities, while in the countryside, people tend to create their own religion, conveniently. There is one called the helicopter that has been created recently !

The animals of the Nairobi National Park :
- (to be continued ...)

Giraffes and Phacocheres (keep on forgetting the English equivalent) have to be my favourites of the day.

Swahili guide for dummies :
Hakuna Matata = No problem
Assante Sana = Merci beaucoup
Caribou = de rien

Annecdote du jour ( c est pour toi Nico !!) : (still according to Alfred)
Swahili language is coming from times when Arabic merchants were coming down the coast of Kenya and Tanzania to trade and sometimes fricfracking with the local beauties from souahel tribes. The mixture of Arabic and souahel language became swahili

Here is the first encounter in the Park :

Giraffe traffic jam

Giraffe traffic jam

And the baboons in the woods next to the Park Entrance :

Baboon familly - tail climbing

Baboon familly - tail climbing

Some more later...

Posted by tfenal 07:16 Archived in Kenya

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