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Transportation in Nairobi, Kenya is very basic. Despite being a major African city, transportation in Nairobi is far from advanced. One of the consequences of such a dilemma is traffic which can be very bad at times. That said, the help of a local tour guide and your own common sense can be extremely useful if you need assistance to get around Nairobi
In Nairobi transportation, one available option for tourists is a car hire or rental. You can either hire a car with a driver or rent a car to drive on your own. Companies offer safari, 4x4, and salon cars for rent. Before signing a contract, read the fine print and check for liabilities in case of car theft or vehicular accident. The two trusted companies for car hire and rentals are Central Car Hire and Nairobi Car Hire. Both are affordable options for transportation in Nairobi.
If you arrive from the airport, you can hire a car to get to the Nairobi proper. Expect police checkpoints along the way due to previous incidents of car-jacking. To be safe, make sure that you arrive in the airport during daytime.
A Nairobi transportation alternative is to ride a taxi. It is not a cost-effective option for travelers on a budget. Taxis in Nairobi may not come cheap but they can make getting around easier and safer, especially at night. Taking a taxi can also help you waste precious time on traffic. If you choose to ride a taxi, agree on a price before the trip and only pay once you reach the destination.
Taxis in Nairobi are normally parked near hotels or around popular tourist spots. The Nairobi taxis have yellow markings along the sides. When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask around at your hotel or a local for help in getting a taxi.
You can also get around Nairobi by foot. Nairobi is a small city and you can reach many destinations just by walking. However, some parts of the city are not safe for walking around. Walking at night is also deemed unsafe since thugs are common throughout Nairobi.
A public transportation in Nairobi is the "matatu". It is a bus used by locals and tourists alike to travel between the suburbs and downtown area. Matatus vary in size and could range from 14-seater minibuses to large 50-seater buses. While they are usually safe, it is worth noting that matatus have a high incidence of accidents.
The matatus in Nairobi are typically crowded with passengers. Since they don't have seatbelts, accidents prove to be dangerous. Still, riding a matatu can be a fun experience for any tourist and is considered a great way to experience the local transportation in Nairobi.
Each matatu will have a barker or conductor that calls out for prices. Listen carefully to barkers before riding a matatu because they will yell out the destination of the bus. Barkers call out prices and the location right outside matatus. Matatus are the cheapest transportation in Nairobi, Kenya with prices ranging between 10ksh and 40ksh.
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