Kenya — Transportation
Kenya Taxis and Car Rental
Kenya’s main cities tend to have at least one reliable taxi company, with Universal Cabs (+254-20-444-0950) and New Jambo Taxi (+254-20-822-011) two of many firms operating in Nairobi. Catching a licensed taxi is generally a safe, comfortable and efficient way to get around. Matatus are privately run minibuses (often decorated) that are much cheaper and more common than cabs. However, they are often badly over-crowded and not well driven. Most Matatus follow set routes, picking up passengers along the way. The price and exact destination should be negotiated before entering. Recent government regulation has improved their safety, but visitors should still wear their seatbelt to avoid a fine if the vehicle is stopped by traffic police.
It is possible to rent a car through one of the international or local firms at the airport. For long distances or any out of town driving, it is best to get a jeep or 4x4 due to the poor state of the roads. Driving in Kenya is generally difficult, not only because of the condition, but also the lack of signage and the speed limit of 49 miles per hour makes crossing long distances very slow. Car-jacking, theft and accidents are all common occurrences which may put-off many travelers from renting a car. However, traveling during the day and taking precautions can make it a positive experience as it can facilitate access to special places not well served by public transportation.
Kenya Trains and Buses
Kenya has a railway that runs from Mombasa via Nairobi or Kisumu, near the Kenya/Uganda border. Trains to Nairobi usually run three times a week, while the Kisumu route is only offered once a week. The train is slow and often delayed. Tickets can be bought from the station.
Buses are the most common form of public transportation in Kenya. Most towns have privately run local buses that are clean, cheap and safe. Overcrowding is not an issue because the law prohibits standing passengers. Several private coach companies operate between cities although the state of the roads and low speed limit often make long distance travel by bus uncomfortable, dusty and time-consuming.