When preparing to travel across the country to visit Africa for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I always wanted to go to Africa and that my thirtieth birthday was the perfect time to finally do so. Although I traveled with my girlfriend, I planned the trip alone. I simply started with a google search: “The best countries to visit in Africa during February.” This search is what ultimately led to my decision to visit Nairobi, Kenya.

As a first time visitor to Kenya, well Africa as a whole, I had a lot of questions that I failed to find answers to on YouTube and google. It was so hard to figure out simple things such as what type of clothes I should pack for visiting Nairobi, Kenya in February. Most of the information out there is vague and repetitive. As a result, I have decided to write a guide for those who want to visit Africa (specifically Nairobi, Kenya) for the first time. I hope this guide helps you plan your first trip to Nairobi, Kenya with ease.

When to visit Africa

First things first, you want to do research on the seasons of the specific country in Africa that you want to visit. There are not 4 seasons as there are in the United States. For the most part Africa has two seasons, wet and dry, and the months in each season vary depending on the country.

Specifically for visiting Kenya:

There are two wet seasons and two dry seasons. The two wet seasons are from May to June and November to the middle of December. The two dry seasons are from December to March and April to June.

I visited Nairobi, Kenya in February and the weather was perfect; it wasn’t too hot during the day and the nights were cool. While there I asked multiple people in Kenya their opinion on other good times to visit and it is safe to say that the best times to visit are February and July. During these times the weather is nice, there isn’t much rain (if there is any at all), and it is a great time for animal spotting.

Entry Requirements for Kenya

Although there are generally 3 things needed to enter Kenya, it is important to note that entry requirements for Kenya change frequently. I recommend checking the requirements every couple months before your trip. However, I do have a blog post that can serve as a great resource for determining the requirements to enter Kenya. Be sure to check that out.

Once you have all of your entry requirements you want to upload your health documents onto Global Haven and complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form . It would also be a good idea to enroll in STEP.

How to dress in Nairobi, Kenya

When it comes to clothing and deciding what to pack, it really depends on what you plan to do while visiting. I can only speak for when visiting Nairobi in February, during the dry season. I looked online and could not figure out what type of clothing to bring. Most YouTube videos show people in Nairobi wearing coats and you hear people saying it’s cold there; however, the weather is actually really nice and it is safe to pack fall/summer clothes. Even though the temperatures reached the 80’s at times, the heat was never overwhelming and did not cause me to sweat. There was also always a great windy breeze. You can wear cardigans, light jackets, and pants if you like or shorts, tank tops, and skirts.

I personally enjoyed wearing long flowy skirts and dresses. I was also really comfortable in leggings and t-shirts. I even wore cardigans, pants, jackets, and jeans. I did a lot of walking and exploring like the locals. In regard to shoes, I mostly wore comfy walking shoes and sandals; although one day I did wear heels. You can check out some of the outfits I wore below.

Ultimately, the decision is yours on what you decide to pack and wear. Just remember that the weather is most similar to a hot fall day in the United States. Oh, and that there are mosquitos in the city that are thirstier than you can imagine.

Most important, dress comfortably.

Where to stay in Nairobi, Kenya

Many people travel to Kenya to visit its largest city and capital, Nairobi. Home of the highly instagrammed Giraffe Manor. Nairobi is a modern city with lots of high rise buildings, restaurants, night life, and safaris. When visiting Nairobi, Kenya you can find many airbnb’s right in the city of Nairobi that offer modern open floor plans and awesome walkability.

However, if you are interested in visiting Nairobi but don’t want to stay right in the middle of all the action there are some incredible counties, neighborhoods, and towns on the outskirts of Nairobi. There are beautiful places you can stay in the suburbs of Karen and some unique stays in rural areas of Kajiado county.

If you wish to have an awesome one of a kind experience in a beautiful and secluded airbnb, I recommend staying at The Cave on Champagne Ridge in Kajiado County. We stayed at The Cave for a week and had the time of our lives. Honestly, I think that staying at any of Debs properties would be an experience you won’t forget.

Day to Day in Nairobi, Kenya

Now that you know what you need to enter Kenya, what to pack, and where to stay I want to talk about how a day in Nairobi, Kenya could look.


Kenya has two official languages; English and Swahili. I personally tried to learn some phrases in Swahili before visiting Kenya but did not have to use them at all while there. So many people speak English and it is very easy to go through a day in Nairobi, Kenya only understanding and speaking English. During my entire stay, I only came across three people who did not understand/speak English.

Getting around:

When it comes to getting around there are many options. You could walk or use public modes of transportation such as Matatus or buses. There is also the option of calling a taxi or using rideshare apps such as uber or bolt. For the most part while in Kenya we used three of the five modes previously mentioned; walking, taxi, and uber.

Spending Money:

The amount of money you need for spending money would depend on the type of traveler you are. There were days when we spent $0 and had a wonderful time and then there were days when we spent $200+. For reference here are some examples of prices:


At our first stay we did a lot of cooking. With about $115 we were able to order enough groceries for 3 meals a day for 2 people. During our stay in the city we ate out a whole lot at various restaurants and cafes. The prices for eating out ranged from $9-$75. This would really depend on where you decide to eat and what you decide to order. Sometimes we went out and ordered lots of food and drinks while other times we only ordered 1 meal and 1 drink a piece.


Our uber rides ranged from $2 -$9 (7mins-35mins) and the taxi rides ranged from $12-$64 (35mins-whole day). For our taxi rides we did use a recommended driver with whom we built a great rapport with during our stay so I cannot say that these rates are standard.


There are so many things to do for all price ranges. Here are a few examples:

You can do some sightseeing for $0. There are many things you can see for free including wild animals. You could also go bowling for $2-$4 per game or feed the giraffes for $15. There are safari’s ranging from the lower hundreds to thousands and Nairobi National Park that costs $40-$60.

Other helpful things

  • If at the time of your visit the Yellow Fever vaccine is required, set aside some money or try to get the vaccine early because it can cost $300+.
  • You do not have to take out a lot of cash because many places accept cards.
  • Tip! Tipping is very common and greatly appreciated. This is one of the things you do need cash for. A lot of places do not have a tip line on the card receipts.
  • Mosquitos are vicious in the city. DO NOT forget to use bug spray with deet as an active ingredient.
  • Sunscreen! Wear it.
  • The tap water in most places is not safe to drink; however, many stays have drinkable water available.
  • Single-use plastic bags are illegal.
  • To convert ksh to usd you would divide the ksh by 125. For example 1,000ksh is equal to $8

I hope that you find this guide useful in planning a trip to Nairobi, Kenya for the first time.

If you have a question that was not answered in this blog post please leave it in the comments below.


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