Travel Information


Transport

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

There are a range of types of public transport in Kenya ranging in price, quality and safety standards.

While the local transport network is amazing and cheap, you need to be a little cautious about the buses and matatus (14-seater minivans) that you choose. Some have better safety records than others, and it is better to pay a bit more and arrive at your destination safely. On routes where there is no ‘large bus’ service you may need to catch a matatu. Watch your belongings carefully on all public transport. 

In recent years, low-cost air travel has changed travel in East Africa, as this time saving travel becomes more appealing. 

Please understand that while we do try to select the best companies based on current safety and reliability – however ultimately we will not be held responsible whatsoever for anything that goes wrong.

MATATU 

These are 14-seater minibuses and so should only have 14 people in them (although we have been in one with 36!) The drivers can drive like maniacs and some of the worst traffic accidents have involved over-full matatus. It is difficult to know if one is good or bad before you get in, but if you do not feel safe, get out at the next major stop.

The cheapest and most flexible, matatus don’t operate to a timetable. However they do operate on set routes but will stop anywhere along the designated route. Not the best safety record – but with new laws, things seem to be improving. They are common both in town and cities and longer haul trips. We cannot book matatu seats, this is on a first come basis.

Resources:

BUS

Again these buses can vary greatly in quality and safety although are also improving because of new laws. Buses often operate on longer trips and should only stop at designated stops and major centres. Major routes booked are:

Nairobi – Mombasa
Nairobi – Kampala
Nairobi – Dar es Salaam

Prices and timetables vary greatly, so we cannot list all of the details here, but are happy to assist with any enquiries. Laws sometimes change at short notice, but currently it is not possible to travel by bus in Tanzania or Kenya. We are happy to make any bus reservations for you. We charge a 800/- per ticket booking fee (because we have to send someone to the actual office to buy the ticket/s). 

SHUTTLE SERVICES

Operating between Nairobi and Arusha, then Moshi, this 24-seater coaster bus is a comfortable and safe way to travel. The shuttle operates direct between these destinations and is almost exclusively used by tourists. At the Namanga border crossing the bus will cross, and you will cross on foot and process your visa, then reboard on the other side.

 

NAIROBI – ARUSHA
Departure days: Every day
Departure time: 08:00 & 14:00
Arrival time: 13:00 (approximately)
Departs from: Silversprings Hotel & JKIA
Cost: $35 per person

NAIROBI – MOSHI
Departure days: Every day
Departure time: 08:00
Arrival time: 15:00 (approximately)
Departs from: Silversprings Hotel & JKIA
Cost: $40 per person


NAIROBI – MOMBASA
Departure days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 
Departure time: 19:00
Arrival time: 10:00 (the following morning)

MOMBASA – NAIROBI
Departure days: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 
Departure time: 19:00
Arrival time: 10:00 (the following morning)

CLASS OPTIONS
First class: A two-berth cabin which has two beds. These tickets include dinner, breakfast and bedding. 
Second class: A four-berth cabin which has four beds. These tickets include dinner, breakfast and bedding. 
* Literally the only difference between the cabins is the option for 2 or 4 beds. All other details, meals etc are the same. There are no cabins with private bathrooms. 

PRICES
First class adult: $ 
First class child: $
Second class adult: $
Second class child: $ 

* Please note that these prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices often change at short notice, and without is being notified. Use these prices as a guide, and we will advise of the correct prices at the time of booking.

If you do not book all of the beds in a cabin, it is possible that you will be booked with other passengers. Only passengers of the same sex can share a cabin, so if you are a couple and wish to travel together, then you must book two first class tickets. The cabins do not have locks, so ensure that your luggage is lockable and you take your valuables to the dining car with you.

Originally built by the British when they settled in Kenya, not much has changed since. The train is old and travels at a pretty slow pace, so there is plenty of time to get through that book you have always wanted to read. There is currently only one track between Nairobi and Mombasa so if there are any problems, this can cause lengthy delays. We would recommend the train for anyone who has a lengthy itinerary and can afford to be delayed by an additional 12+ hours without it upsetting their itinerary. We recommend all travellers take plenty of water, and snacks in case of delays.

Although the train travels along the border of the Tsavo National Park, it is at night, so you will not see any game - so we would not book this train trip for its scenic value.

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