Transportation


Traffic

In Kenya, people drive on the left side of the road.
Kenya boasts of newly constructed and maintained highways and bypass roads that ease traffic jam. Nairobi is notorious for traffic snarl-ups during peak hours; morning and evening hours. We recommend you stay away from the major roads at these times.
Some paved roads in Nairobi have potholes. Thie use of 4WD cars may ease movement across the city. These cars also come in handy during traffic jams because you are able to push your way through, thanks to high clearance that they provide. You can opt for long term car hire while you are in Kenya for a short stay.
You can drive all around Nairobi, but certain areas should be avoided, like dingy places, if you really don’t have any business in the area. Especially at night it is advised to be careful.

Car hire companies >>

Bikes

Getting around major cities in Kenya, especially Nairobi on motorbike is possible and could be an option during traffic jams thanks to their ability to push through traffic. They are convenient when you want to reach your destination; a short distance of travel, faster.
Mondo Ride, an application based car hire company, provides such services. This app can be downloaded on your smartphone and you’re good to go.
Avoid using bikes during late evening hours in unsecure areas. Bikes are not highly recommended because sometimes you will find yourself onto curbs, while riding on narrow roads in the city.
But definitely this is for short distance trips around the city.

 

Public transportation
You can never miss transport means to all destination cities in Kenya. The main mode of transport in the major cities is land, yeah, road transport. This is mainly based on the use of buses. Connection to different parts of Nairobi relies on the use of mini-buses, commonly known as ‘matatus.’
‘Matatus’ are far much cheaper but their transport fees are determined by the time of the day. They tend to be expensive during peak hours (early mornings and late evenings).They are a social trend nowadays, thanks to graffiti displayed on their bodies, free WI-FI on-board and entertainment. If you are a first time visitor to Nairobi, I advise you to avoid them because of their noisiness and rowdiness.
Transport fees of ‘matatus’ and buses are charged depending on the distance of travel. A trip from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to CBD (Central Business District) will cost you about ksh 100.

For convenience; we would recommend the use of online taxi-hailing platforms which are common in Nairobi, such as, Uber, Little Cab and Mondo Ride.

Taxi
Use of taxis is a convenient means of transport in Nairobi and other major cities, Kisumu and Mombasa.
Recently, there has been an upsurge in taxi companies operating in Nairobi. Things have gone technological, with most of these companies migrating to online platforms. You just need to download the taxi apps on your smartphone and a taxi will be all yours by just a click.
US online taxi hailing platform, Uber is popular in Nairobi. I recommend you to try this. Other taxi applications are Little Cab, Pewin Cabs and Mondo Ride.
The prices depends on the time taken and the degree of traffic jam during your time of travel.
You can also get taxis parked around town, the ‘TAXI’ sign on display. These one-car enterprises tend to be expensive and reliable.
To be on the safe side, we recommend downloading a taxi app of your choice on arrival at the airport.

Taxis in Nairobi >

 

See the Expat advice on buying a car >>

 
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