Top positive review
Pretty good general guide
on 18 March 2011
I took the Rough Guide with me when I arrived in Nairobi not long after my graduation, rather poor, with a heavy backpack and a lot of excitement & enthusiasm. The Rough Guide was my guiding light when I was lost or stuck and didn't know where to go or how to get there... it helped me plan my itinerary completely independently and gave me a lot of knowledge that I then passed on to other travellers I met along the way. Without this Rough Guide I would not have been able to travel across Kenya using the cheapest public transport, from bicycle taxis in Busia on the Ugandan border to dolphin watching off the island of Wasini on the southern coast.
There are quite a few inaccuracies in the text itself, most of the prices are wildly wrong (as has been commented on before in Rough Guides) - taxis in Nairobi will always charge you the 'Mzungu' price, which is a lot higher than the fares quoted in the book, whereas snorkelling boat trips at Diani should not be as highly priced as suggested, you will be able to get them easily on the beach for at least half the price. Personally I would advise against buying these boat trips at all - you can swim out to the reef yourself and most of the way is shallow and safe. Go at low tide when the reef is more exposed and there is a shorter distance to swim across anyway. You can rest on the sandbar beside the reef once you get there.
Perhaps the most useful thing I learnt in Nairobi is that the traders in the Maasai market will trade virtually anything for their souvenirs; if you have run out of money or don't want to be ripped off, they will trade small things for just a bottle of water. The bookshop on Moi Avenue is very good - Book Point. Overall the Rough Guide was extremely handy, and though inaccurate in places (much of Kericho is inaccurate - items on the map put things in the wrong place, which is annoying and troublesome if you are using them as markers when walking about, and restaurants and hotels that have shut down or disappeared are still mentioned in the guide), but it was better informed on the whole than the LP Guide to East Africa that I used at the same time.
I can't wait to get my next Rough Guide and plan my next adventure!