So we got to Nairobi. The city has more than three million inhabitants and its name comes from a water hole called in Maasai Enkare Nairobi – a place of cool water. The city was founded relatively recently in 1899 and it was a rail station between Mombasa and Kampala. As early as 1905 it became the capital of the British protectorate and a tourist destination as people used it as a starting point for safari and hunting. After gaining independence Nairobi began to grow rapidly and is now a city of contrasts, besides the enclosed neighbourhoods like Karen we also find the second largest city slum in Africa – Kibera. But we didn’t have time to get to know the city well. We were picked up from the airport by a driver named Kwach who took us to my friend Gosia who worked in Nairobi for InterHealth, an international charity. We were taken to the charity event that was ending soon but they still served food and I never say no to free food 😉
Posts Tagged With: Africa
So we landed at the hotel on Diani Beach. The hotel was actually a few large cottages where the ground floor and the first floor were separate rooms with kitchenettes, the lower one being like a small apartment. The whole estate is surrounded by a wall and between the houses there’s a lot of greenery – bushes with flowers and palm trees. We were warned to close all windows because monkeys like to go into the cottages. We also had a baboon that ate our chocolate and shamelessly used our floor as a toilet.
The basis of the economy is agriculture but tourism revenues are an important source of income for the people and Government of Tanzania. Kenya is a role model when it comes to tourism. The infrastructure there is more developed almost everyone speaks English and Kenyans are proud to say that they are way ahead of Tanzania. And although the United Republic of Tanzania (the creation of Tanzania was the merger of the British colonies of Tanganika and Zanzibar, hence the name) is younger than Kenya only by one year (if anyone’s interested in the process of creating independent states in Africa, please refer to Ryszard Kapuscinski – it’s worth it!) Difference in progress between two countries is easily noticable.
In a series of short entries I’m going to describe my visit to East Africa. Although it wasn’t my first visit to Africa (I visited Morocco in 2013) this part of Africa stimulates all my senses. The Arabs, the Portuguese, the British left their mark on this part of the continent. This is where Speke, Livingstone and Stanley made their discoveries, Karen Blixen planted coffee (as you can see in Out of Africa). And besides at least a few people from my generation would love to follow in the footsteps of Tomek Wilmowski, the main character of a series of adventure books I read when I was much younger 🙂