Living & Working in Kibera
From Nairobi Airport arrive at your Hostel
Rest and relax on day 1, as you will be tired. Also remember that Nairobi is at an altitude of 1,800 metres so it will take a couple of days to acclimatise. Most organisations that you will organise volunteering through will meet with you on arrival or at your Hostel with information regarding arrangements. You should be shown the local shopping centre, cinema , ATM machine etc. We also recommend you buy a local pay-as-you go SIM card for your mobile phone e.g. Safaricom, cost KES 100.
There are several very good Hostels that we recomend. YMCA, YWCA, and the Nairobi Youth Hostel are the best. They are all clean, in a very safe area, near to the City and on the right side of Nairobi in order to get to Kibera easily. They all cost about KES 1,500 per day. Both YMCA & YWCA also include breakfast. YMCA has a swimming pool. All have cafeterias. At the hostel put your passport, ATM card etc in the hostel safe. Later on that day you will be taken into Kibera in small groups and introduced to your job supervisor.
Your job supervisor will collect you from your hostel and take you to your workplace within Kibera.
In-house local accomodation
Sabina is our in house Kibera expert – she lives on the edge of Kibera in a very nice safe house.She has room to accomodate volunteers / visitors and her room rates are reasonable. Rate: KES1200 per night but would give a discount if someone stays longer,this is inclusive of meals.
You must be safely back at your hostel by 6.00 pm (well before dusk at about 7.15pm). At the hostel you can have a package that includes an evening meal or just bed and breakfast. If no evening meal is included then cook or eat out – there is a lot of choice at low prices.
If you want to venture into Nairobi do so in groups. From one of our recomended hostels it is 1 km. In the day time do so on foot or by mini bus (matatus) costs KES 150 each way. At night always use a taxi, cost about KES 700. Always take advice on matatus (minibuses) and taxis. We recommend you only use taxis affiliated to your hostel or a good hotel or that are known to you. Always be sensible and extremely careful as you would in any major city. Do not carry valuables and have only enough money for your night out.
Many visitors want to learn Swahili so they can communicate with the locals. We recommend the ACK Language School which is within walking distance of our recommended Hostels. Tuition is usually one to one & can be mornings / afternoons or evenings to suit. Cost is about KES 500 per hour
Health & Safety in Kibera
Take bottled water, toilet paper, a hat, good strong walking boots, sun block, a small amount of cash and a copy of your passport as ID.
Also remember to take your Malaria pills – See here for Malaria information.