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One day in Nairobi

We were booked into the Kenya Comfort hotel, in the north of the CBD near the university. After six nights in tents it was a relief to get back to a plush hotel room with an ensuite.

Mamie was staying in a hotel just over the road, so we had dinner together in our hotel restaurant — fish with ugali. One of the televisions in the restaurant was showing a preacher ranting, another was showing some kind of soap opera.

Sunday 27th March

We left our luggage with the hotel, which had a secure storage room. Wandering into town, our first stop was the Central Market, which must once have been a prestige location but now seemed a bit run-down. The shopkeepers were a bit pushy, but once it was clear I wasn't going to buy anything I chatted to them while Camilla shopped (mostly for textiles).

The bookshops were all shut, unfortunately, but we went into a supermarket to get a drink and see what it was like. We visited the Kenya National Archives. The lights weren't working here, but they let us wander around anyway — the Archives has a great collection of art, artifacts, photographs, stamps, etc. We wandered back along Moi Avenue and had lunch in a shopping centre back near the hotel.

the Central Market
old coke ad
Kenya National Archives

After lunch we walked through the University to the Nairobi National Museum.

University of Nairobi sign
Nairobi National Museum

The museum has some nice displays on history and culture, showcasing something of Kenya's diversity. And there are various ecology and natural history displays. The highlight of the museum for us, however, was the human origins gallery, which includes some of the most famous hominid fossils (though it's not always clear which ones are replicas and which are originals).

We looked at the snake garden and had a snack and a drink, and Camilla bought some more souvenirs in the shops (which she reckoned had better quality and/or cheaper items than in the markets).

An easy walk back to our hotel, a taxi to the airport — even the taxi drivers seem to drive quite safely! — and we were soon on our way back to Heathrow. I managed to sleep through most of the flight, improvising a blindfold and passing on all the meals.

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