Nairobi CBD, Kenya’s capital and largest city, is devided into two halves, majorly dictated by the type of businesses you find and clientele. Moi avenue separates the city. The south of the city is chaotic. High traffic with public transport vehicles commonly known as “matatu” dropping and picking up commuters. Small businesses are located in this part of the city with lots of traffic both human and motorists.
Nairobi CBD serves as a meeting place for people. The problem is that it attracts idlers and sometimes conmen and thieves who prey unsuspecting travelers. You can’t just park your car here. Even when you have paid the daily parking fee. Parking spaces are limited and those available are always full. County “askaris” are always on the look out for vehicles flouting local by laws and individuals they can lay their hands on. You don’t want to encounter them.
On the north however, is the other side that hosts offices and including government buildings and luxury hotels. It’s a lot quieter compared to downtown. But not that quiet. You may be able to land a parking space if you are lucky but be ware of the parking cartels. It’s quite normal for them to ask for something small. Every public parking place hosts a number of jobless youth trying to extort something from you. There are private secured parking space which charge you hourly fee. I recommend trying them.
If you aren’t spending much time in town then it will be prudent to just use private parking. Example is lifestyle building along Monrovia street or holy family Basillica along parliament road. There are more private parking places. The other alternative if you have car is to leave the car away from the CBD, then take an Uber or Bolt taxi to town. Most people who hate the chaos of the city prefer to do this. You spend more though.
Like any other city across the globe, Nairobi harbors petty thieves and pick pocket artists and phone snatchers. It important that you are vigilant especially in crowded spaces. Avoid hidden streets with minimal human traffic unless you’re used to these streets. But don’t worry, these criminals are also scared of the long arm of the law especially when you raise an alarm when you are when attacked. Try to master a few Swahili phrases. But generally it’s a safe city and a beautiful place to be for those working hard to make it.