Safari in Nairobi

Dear everybody,

I have heard a lot of positive things about the Kenyan layover so I decided to bid for it in the previous month. My bidding was so successful, I got two layovers and one turnaround – I didn’t know there is a turnaround as well, otherwise I would have bid only for the layover, but never mind. The flight is only about 5 hours long with only one service which is pretty easy. The flight was not full so I was a bit worried to get removed as the second most junior but luckily it didn’t happen. The most junior crew was Ana from Spain, I had the luck to fly together with her on my last Dakar flight and I was very happy to see her again. I knew she would be interested to do the safari tour or to visit the elephant orphanage. There were many crew who haven’t visited Nairobi before, so it was not only me and Ana who wanted to do the safari. We arrived to the hotel at night time, around 10 pm and we immediately booked the tour at the concierge.

The hotel room

Usually I don’t like these kind of organised tours that you can book at the hotels because they are overpriced and the price in not even a fixed one – depends on the number the participated people. It was 7 of us who went for the tour and it costed 90 USD per person and the allowance was 100 USD. The food at the hotel was pretty expensive only with 20% discount (most of the hotels provide 40-50% discount to airline crew) so eventually I had to pay more than 200 dirhams extra when I checked out, but it is not a big deal, at least I had a very good experience. Me and Ana had the energy (and hunger) to go down to the restaurant to have dinner. We were the only guests which made me a bit uncomfortable. Even though it was not busy at all, the staff was not so friendly with us :(. We both had tasty beef medallion and obviously I couldn’t miss the beer.

Beef medallion

We arranged the shuttle with around 7-8 am pick up time and (again) it was only me and Ana who went down for early breakfast, we were the first people in the restaurant and this time the staff was much friendlier. It took a while while everyone showed up in the lobby, first we all had to pay for a lady, then we met our guide, Roni. We had a huge off-road car with  a special convertible top, but don’t imagine anything like Cabrio! We drove to the entrance of Nairobi National Park, it was only 15-20 minutes away from our hotel. Here we met masai warriors, we had the chance to sing and jump together with them as well as taking photographs. We entered the national park and the first we saw was lots of monkeys!

With Masai people
Monkeys are everywhere!
Burnt ivory in the national park

Nairobi national park is a very special place, because it is very close to the city, you can literally see the higher buildings. You can find many animals there, few of the big five, but unfortunately no elephants. It was a chilly weather, felt like autumn in Europe and I spent most of the trip standing in the car and putting my head out. Roni spotted two hippos in a lake, but they were too far, we could only see the uneven surface of the water. There are lots of buffaloes and impalas in the park but we were lucky enough to see some rhinos as well. Zebras and giraffes are also not rare animals but we saw something rare – two giraffes were doing neck fighting for a little time. My personal favorites were pumba and kongoni.

wp-1467823381929.jpgwp-1467823412501.jpgwp-1467823474401.jpgAll of us wanted to see lions but we were not too lucky. When we arrived at a certain spot, many cars were parked next to the road and people were out, watching something which far away. We figured out that there was a lion laying on a cliff, we could see it with binoculars, but still not too clearly. Roni got angry, because it is totally forbidden to get off of the road and to get out of the car, he said “it is very rude”. Those drivers were not from the national park, they were “private drivers” so they didn’t care much about the rules. Eventually the guards arrived and they gave penalty for those who were still there.


After few hours we got back to the city. Roni told as there are much longer safari tours, like 2-3 weeks long and you can literally see the whole country and all the animals during that period. I am seriously considering to participate in a long safari in the future, maybe next summer. Roni told me that the best period of the year to do the safari is during dry season (June to October) when the mammals migrate. I have already checked some safaris, I found one which is not only in Kenya but Tanzania and Zanzibar as well, but obviously it is very expensive so I need to save some money first.

The team
Me and Ana
Holding a very old buffalo skull at the exit of the national park

After the tour I had some nap back in the hotel and I also tried Kenyan coffee which was much stronger I expected but I enjoyed it a lot. We had a night flight back to Dubai and when we landed early morning (before 6 am). I quickly went home to change and to remove my makeup, then I took my previously prepared luggage and I went back to the headquarters. I took the metro (only one stop) and I went to the terminal 3 to reach my 8:50 am flight to Budapest. I previously bid for 5 days off so I could go back home for a short time. I was so exhausted, couldn’t sleep at the aircraft so I was dead tired when I arrived to Budapest.

The beautiful, sandy Dubai from the clouds! It made me emotional to see this view.

I was literally in Kenya, then Dubai and also in Hungary within a single day! This is definitely the life of a cabin crew 😀 !




4 thoughts on “Safari in Nairobi

  1. Hi Dorottya!

    Loved this post. I’m Kenyan and live in Nairobi. I’m happy to see that you enjoyed your layover. Sorry about the staff who were not friendly (Kenyans are generally warm and friendly). Next time i hope you can visit the elephant orphanage and see the baby elephants being fed and playing soccer. Those trips that Roni talked about are a must for anyone who visits Kenya. Plan a trip to the Maasai Mara (you get to see the historic wildbeast migration) and Mombasa where you have a lovely holiday by the beach and get to experience cultures.

    Safe travels and welcome back to Nairobi!


    1. Hi Camilla, thank you for your comment!Actually the staff was not rude or something, just a little bit cold, but not all of them. And it happens, everyone has bad days :). I am gonna plan my Kenyan holiday for the next year migration, looking forward already. I am in love with African cultures.
      Have a great day!



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