Navigating Kenya as a tourist

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So after about a week in Mombasa I had to go to my next destination which was Kisumu. There are three types of affordable modes of transport that I would suggest when navigating around Kenya. The train, Bus or Flight.

The SGR Mandera express Train: ( http://krc.co.ke/madaraka-express-rates/)

The first option that I would recommend that is both cost effective and safe is using the train and  Kenya Railways have launched an online booking website for people who wish to travel between Nairobi and Mombasa. However this must usually been done way in advance, so about 30 days before you plan to travel. This is because if you try and do it last minute all the sits will be booked so please keep this in mind.

 

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There are currently two trains running between Nairobi and Mombasa which can be booked from the SGR website. These trains are Madaraka Express in the afternoon and the Intercounty train in the morning. The trains will leave around 07:00 am and you will arrive at your destination at around 13:30 am for the moring slot and for the evening slot it will leave between 14:00-15:00 pm and you will arrive at your destination at about 19:30-20:00 pm. The costs of the train depends on whether its economy or business class, but the approximation of the costs should be around 1000 shillings(economy class) and 3000 shillings( for business class).

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The next option is to take a flight to your destination. This is very costly but the quickest and safest option.  Based on my experience these were the various local flights that I saw when traveling across the various cities. I used the following airline: Kenyan airways, Flight 540 and Jambojet.

Flight 540  and Jambojet was the most cost effective. ( https://www.fly540.com/ ) & ( https://booking.jambojet.com/) There are flights eveyday from the early hours of the morning, so as early as 06:00 up until late at night. So this option allows  you have options as to what time you want to travel during the day. The cost from nairobi to mombasa was about 11000 shillings for one way and it can go higher if its a last minute flight.

The more expensive option is to use Kenyan airways (https://www.kenya-airways.com/za/), and because this is mainly an international airline its very costsly. For my trip from Kisumu to Nairobi it was about 16600 shillings one way, but that was a last minute flight. So when you are planing your trip please consider and book your domestic flights in advance.

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This is probably the cheapest option but it might not be the safest as East africa faces major challenges in regards to transportation and the roads are not the best as much more must be done regarding the infrasctructure. The good news is that kenya has a good bus system and you get to enjoy the  beautiful scenery during your trip. Various companies have introduced buses that are fairly priced, and reliableand this is a good mode of transportation if you are on a budget.

You must either book online or by going to the head offices. I would suggest booking way in advance. I found that when you call most of the companies they never pick up. So the best thing that you can do for yourself is to book online or go their directly if you cant reach them. This is something that I found very fustrating about using the various companies.

The costs range from about 1600 shillings (economy seats) up till about 3000 shillings or more if you upgrade the seat. All in all its very cost effective and like the train option must be booked well in advance. The many bus companies is presented in the list bellow for you to choose from:

 

  • Coast Bus (Msa) Limited (most prevalent)
  • Blue Horizon Travels
  • Arusha Shuttle Bus (most prevalent)
  • Blue Line Shuttle Company
  • Bustrack Limited
  • City Hoppa Limited
  • Crown Bus Service Limited
  • Dolphin Coaches
  • Dream Line Bus
  • Easy Coach Limited (most prevalent)
  • Eldoret Shuttle Sacco
  • Esteem Companies
  • Forward Travellers
  • Gateway Business
  • Grand Bus Service Limited
  • Guton County Link
  • Kampala Coach Limited
  • Kenya Bus Services Limited
  • Mash Bus Services Limited
  • Modern Coast Express Limited (most prevalent)
  • Matunda Bus
  • Mololine Prestige Shuttle
  • Mombasa Liners Limited
  • Nyamira Luxury Express
  • North Rift Shuttle
  • Nyaugenya Buses
  • Otange Bus Services
  • Queens Coach
  • Randa Coach Limited
  • Royal Star Bus Limited
  • Simba Coach
  • Starways Bus Service
  • The Guardian Coach
  • Vanga Express Limited