Shopping, Summer, Safaris

It seems that summer has finally arrived in Nairobi! And with the sunshine comes a lot of people escaping the colder weather in the northern hemisphere.

And most of them will be going on safaris - the great adventure that lets you observe the beauty of wild Mama Africa. For the amateur to the experienced traveller, the landscape and animals will always fascinate and bring with it new experiences.

At the end of their safari, a day or two to recuperate in Nairobi is the norm, and of course to go shopping for gifts.

A popular place to go for locals and travellers is Spinner’s Web (Located at 1.3A, Kitisuru Road). A very wide range of handicrafts produced by workshops, groups and individuals across Kenya (and recently, from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa) are available.

Available are a wide variety of products ranging from home decor and furnishing items to clothes and other accessories, including a beautiful range of jewellery from many different designers.

With such a big range of options, one may think it would be overwhelming… but at Spinner’s Web products are placed and spaced out in a way that lets you breathe and take your time… and one of the charms of the place is that there is a cafe for you to sit and have some coffee, tea, water, and maybe even a snack.

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From traditional designs and modern/trendy designs, to one of a kind treasures, you’re sure to find that little perfect gift for your loved ones (and yourself!).

Photos will do the beautiful house no justice, get yourself to Spinner’s Web and experience it yourself!

Winter is Here

... After some very heavy rains (that have caused some devastation in some parts of Kenya...and destroyed a few roads which made getting to travel destinations an extra adventure), we now have cold days. 

Luckily, being an equatorial country winter just means cold cloudy days, sometimes with rain and/or hail... (though it has snowed in some parts of the country in the past). If one has experienced "real" winter, this is nothing compared to the real deal... but, if you look around you will see some people bundled up in ski jackets and scarves. And of course, the second-hand clothes markets (mitumba) are now full of colourful sweaters and jackets. 

The garden is also blooming (after the rains and some days of sunshine)... and every night our dinner is accompanied by a large number of moths, while during the day there's a lot of butterflies flitting about. This is new to me and I have been trying to figure out why.

I have a theory:

Between the waning of the heavy rains and the start of the cold days, I encountered a number of these little guys (sometimes on my parsley... lucky for them I usually found them before I started chopping)... They were thriving it seems... because to keep the birds away from our raspberries, this year we have put up a number of scarecrows. Alas, less birds eating caterpillars means more survived and are now floating around our house and garden. 

At least they keep the cats entertained ;) 

On another completely different note, if you're in Nairobi and would like to go experience shopping in the 'old school' shops, there are places you can go in the CBD (Central Business District)... and find some hidden treasures.

 

Haberdashery

Just make sure to go with someone who knows the ins and outs!! It's easy to get lost! 

Otherwise, there are quite a number of modern shopping malls, and if you have a hankering for a Burger King or KFC (Domino's, Pizza Hut...), just ask someone and they'll tell you the closest one. But of course, I highly recommend going for the local restaurants! There's a lot of restaurants offering local and international cuisines, you'll be spoilt for choice!

Rainy Season

 Rain clouds as seen from Westlands, Nairobi

Rain clouds as seen from Westlands, Nairobi

Even after living in Kenya for decades, I am always surprised with the rainy season... 

I would like to say that I have a pretty good excuse for this: it always follows a long hot dry season. The one travellers may imagine we are always blessed with. 

So, we have just had a month of rains... maybe a few more weeks of it. 

Roads are flooding, making travelling a rather exciting experience. 
If in Nairobi, all rules of the road seem to disappear. The other day cars were going around the roundabout, in the wrong direction (to avoid some water). 
While en-route to a safari destination, one may be lucky to see a part of Kenya that not many people get to see... it may mean taking the long way around, but from my own experience it just means it's another 'African Experience' to enjoy. 

Anyway, I have been wondering about what the first post here should be. 

If you have any suggestions, let us know!