This week we attended our first ever International Agricultural Show in Nairobi. We went with Beryl, our agricultural teacher and Gary our new Canadian friend. The traffic was so congested getting there that we left our car parked at the nearest mall and we piled into Gary’s car for his driver to drop us off. We also went back another afternoon but caught pikipikis (motorbikes) and got there really fast.
Because there were 5 of us (Liz took a day off work) we ended up splitting up into two groups.
This show is nothing like Sydney’s Easter Show. Firstly, it only goes for one week and it only costs $3 to get in. And – lunch cost a whopping $2.50. There was a large outdoor arena where the President spoke on the day we went and there were the normal shows like bands, entertainers and marching teams. However, you had to pay another $2 for that, which we forewent. There’s also no woodchopping events, which are always great to watch.
One thing we did notice is that there were hardly any pamphlets on offer. Every stand/tent/expo site had a guest book which you felt obliged to sign (cue endless followup calls). At some places you had to buy their handbooks ($1) but some were worth it especially on how to raise animals. Business cards seemed to be in short supply as well. At most sites there was an ‘in’ and ‘out’ sign which kept foot traffic flowing pretty well.
What wasn’t sparse was the amount of places to buy water or have your photo taken in front of a gaudy photobooth. Gaudy with a capital G. There didn’t seem to be any price hikes on drinks and food just because it was a special event, water was only 30 cents a bottle. There seemed to be endless ugly photobooths. I’m talking about large stuffed animals, Christmas decorations and weird backgrounds. Kenyans love photos and it amazed me how these were one of the hits of the show.
We avoided the rides and you can see why in the photo below. There were only rides that went round and round (vomit machines) and there were no safety rails. So, if you fell out, too bad. I tried to convince Liz to go on a camel ride but there was no way she was going on one of those things. Liz had a blast though and couldn’t wait to go back for a second day.
So, if you’re in Nairobi when the agricultural show is on I definitely recommend it.
Just a few things to note:
– Go midweek, the later in the week the more people there are
– There are ATM’s but take cash anyway
– Be prepared to be fully checked at the entry gates for security
– Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and sunscreen
– There are toilets, you just have to pay 10c to use one
– Buy a map, it’s worth it