Nairobi’s fascination with Subaru

Last November, I had the incredible good fortune to spend a week in Kenya, Africa. I spent my days out on safari with my husband and a guide watching elephants, impala and lions and various other creatures as they went about their daily business. It was truly an incredible experience and something I will never, ever forgot for as long as I live.

Along with the countless 4,357 photos of various animals and landscapes loaded on to my laptop from my husband’s Canon DSLR are quite a few images of something interesting that both my husband and I noticed almost immediately while we were in Nairobi.

While we did spend the majority of our time in the planes (Amboseli, Nanyuki, Masai Mara), we started and ended our journey in the bustling city of Nairobi. Culturally, it was quite shocking. Neither my husband nor I had ever been to Africa, and seeing the people walking on the streets and driving on the road with us felt like something out of a movie. Nairobi is both heart wrenching and fascinating — fascinating to my husband and I for reasons I’m sure most people wouldn’t notice.

We landed quite late at night, around 10 p.m., and were shuttled from the airport to our hotel. Even on that ride to the hotel my husband and I exchanged glances more than once as Subarus zoomed past our windows — lots and lots of Subarus.

They were everywhere! Foresters, Imprezas, Outbacks, Legacys; everywhere we looked another Subaru would appear. And while most were looking a little worse for wear, there were quite a few “rare” Subies I didn’t think I’d ever get to see in my life as they came straight from the streets of Japan,like the B4 Legacy we spotted parked outside Carnivore restaurant where we had lunch.

Is it sad that we were as blown away by the Subies as we were by the cows being herded through downtown Nairobi?

Thankfully, my husband has a faster shutter (insert sexual innuendo here) and was able to catch a few of these incredible Subies on the road as we zoomed through Nairobi (and zoom we did — I’m not sure I could handle driving in Nairobi, it stressed me out just being a passenger).

Check the painted brake calipers on this one... rockin'

If we weren’t discussing the day’s events, my husband and I were trying to figure out why Nairobi had such a love for the Subaru. Was it the all-terrain ability of the Forester? Maybe the rally history of the Impreza, ideal for back roads and farms? But it wasn’t like these were standard, base models we were seeing. Every Subaru was special; modified, unique. These were not your average Subies, these were cars with attitude, character and power. Clearly a choice to own, and not just for practical reasons. But why? We never really came to a conclusive answer other than: Just like Vermont, Kenya has a love for the Subaru.

Since coming home from Africa, I’ve had time to reflect on what we saw and experienced. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done in my life, and my husband would agree. Africa is a hidden gem far too many people in the world fail to take notice of. While it is by no means a cheap vacation, it is a vacation you should save for and take at least once in your life; if only to see the multitudes of Subarus in Nairobi and the honeymooning lions.

There is a Subie in this picture ... in fact, there might be more than one ...

Drive on,
– M.

Oh, and just for good measure, I present to you the lion sex you may or may not go to Africa to see:

~ by drivingmsmiranda on July 5, 2010.

9 Responses to “Nairobi’s fascination with Subaru”

  1. […] goodness I have my manual Subie WRX to keep me from being just another woman behind the […]

  2. Great pictures! The lion not so much haha

    • Hey North York Chev,

      Thanks so much for the read – glad you enjoyed the pictures!

      Come on now, the lions are just doing what comes naturally …. I happened to catch it on film too. Check back for that post i the future. šŸ™‚

      Drive on,
      – M.

  3. They’ve got good reason to have a fascination!

  4. Representing +254!!!
    We love the boxers here.

    Wish I could post you a picture of mine. Impreza spec c

  5. nice article……….great pics as well

  6. as a former Subaru owner living in Nairobi I can give you one reason, at least for those who venture out of the city on a regular basis: they have “all-wheel-drive.” Surely you must have noticed some of our rural roads are a bit challenging …

  7. Hi, gla to see someone come to enya and notice more than just the wild part of it. As a Kenyan subie fan I am honoured that you saw our passion for it. you shuld come again when we holding our fifth hill climb/time attack event. Too many subarus for that Canon DSLR to handle šŸ™‚

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