It is a fact that we can’t always afford fancy dinners at the grand regency or an afternoon dining at the Tribe. Especially for those who are just heading out of college and learning how to navigate life on their own two feet and just beginning to establish themselves as an independent being in the working world.
Others may be married with little ones, just starting to grow their little families into something worthwhile. They can’t afford to spoil themselves all the time with something super fancy because they know that there are other priorities like saving up for school fees, groceries, and basically taking care of the family.
What tends to happen is you end up staying at home with movies for fifty bob and a kawaida meal, because it is so much more cost effective not realizing that there are so many options out there for those who would like to save a few bucks, yet still spend some bonding time with le bae. Below is a list of a few of the places you can enjoy yourself at less than 1,000 shillings.
1. Karura Forest
We recently did a post on this explaining why Karura Forest is a fantastic destination! Firstly entry fees are 100ksh only! The scenery is beyond gorgeous, and absolutely serene. Carry a few snacks and drinks from home, a blanket and comfortable walking shoes and there you have it. A romantic spot for two with a hiking trail by a waterfall and birds singing out a harmonious chime as you walk, almost as if they were a part of your love story.
I honestly have always thought the cinema is a perfect first date setting because if you have nothing else to talk about after you can always talk about the movie. Though it’s also a bonding experience for longstanding couples as well, being able to diss some bad graphics or appreciate some good acting is very fun. Almost every day of the week there is a different offer at a different cinema. I have literally experienced the incredible offer you can get at IMAX at 200 shillings to watch a movie; the downside is that is only for the 7 a.m movies. They have other pretty cool deals. Sarit Centre also has an offer every Tuesday for a discounted price on their tickets. Junction’s Cinemax has an offer every Monday for discounted movie tickets and/or free snacks on the side –usually a drink, hot dog, and popcorn. The Nakumatt cinemas based at Westgate and Prestige also have great offers.
3. Visit the top of The Kenya International Conference Centre (KICC)
Do you know how many people don’t even realize we have such a glorious view at our disposal even though it is a household name? This is probably the best place to get a 360-degree view of the city of Nairobi in all its sun-bathed splendour. It’s one smart way to watch the sunset and if the fog’s not too heavy you can see all across the outskirts of the city, from the slums to the National Park; entry can cost Ksh. 400/200. It is a brilliant, breath-taking, adventurous idea that is at your disposal.
Spend an afternoon visiting mamba village and watching the caretakers feed the huge and majestic crocodiles, then walk around a bit in the snake park as an excuse to hold your man’s hand because you are scared of the snakes. One of the coolest places to go would be giraffe centre! The Giraffe Centre breeds the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and has education and conservation programmes for children as well as plenty of information on giraffes. Part of their program involves feeding the giraffes and you have the option to kiss a giraffe in the process. With the way our planet’s going, this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity. As citizens, we get the mwanachi prices so all of these options are less than 500ksh. If you love Elephants you need to take your date to David Sheldrick to see the cute baby Elephants. It costs Ksh. 500 per person but its worth it as the money goes towards the upkeep of these vulnerable orphaned baby Elephants.
You may not always have the desire to go out at all and sometimes it can just be a quiet romantic dinner at home if you still don’t feel like cooking there are ways around that. Be smart about it and look for the days where there’s a ‘buy one get one free’ offer, or ‘buy two for the price of one.’ Restaurants try to outdo each other because that the one with the best deals get the most customers. So why not benefit from their little Sparta? At Pizza Inn the deal comes on their Terrific Tuesdays, at Debonair it would be Friday, and at Steers they have a special Wednesday offer. You can also use a service like Hellofoods to order in. If you do feel like going out to get a bite check out some great places to eat in Nairobi.
If you have any more affordable date ideas feel free to share in the comments below.
*Note: Prices are subject to change at the discretion of proprietors
Shingai is an upcoming writer with a passion for words and expression through writing. She lived in Zimbabwe as a child and has traveled to over ten countries. She craves adventure and hopes to be an inspirational writer. She is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature with a minor in Psychology at Daystar University.