Getting around in
Train service is available to most parts of the country on Kenya Railways. The night trip offers private compartments and quality meals. Tickets
can be purchased at the train stations. The main railway line runs from Mombasa to Malaba via Voi, Nairobi, Nakuru, and Eldoret. Branch lines run
to other areas. The rail network is fairly large with about 1700 miles of track and 137 stations. First class offers two berth compartments with
a washbasin, drinking water, a wardrobe and drinks service. Second class consists of four berth compartments with a wash basin and drinking water.
Third class is seats only. In first and second classes sexes are separated unless you book the whole compartment. Most trains have a dining car
which serves dinner and two sittings of breakfast.
Road (Public Transportation)
Public Transportation is very extensive in Kenya, perhaps more so than many other African Countries. Some form or public transportation leaves every hour
to major cities, and even several times daily to rural areas. There are several types of public transportation. These include buses, the train, and matatus.
Matatu is the general name for smaller forms of public transportation, i.e., mini-buses, vans (called "Nissans"), or box matatus, which are simply a 2-wheel
drive pick-up with a shell on the back. People are then crammed inside and you're off to your destination.
Buses are comfortable, some what reliable, and fairly cheap. They are quite slow, however. Buses usually leave every morning from major cities such as Nairobi,
Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. Night buses are also available to some cities. Good bus companies will not overload their buses will not allow passengers to stand.
The best, safest and most reliable bus companies are
EasyBus (only Kakamega or Kisumu to Nairobi), Eldoret Express (the most, newest and quickest buses to western Kenya), Coast Bus (Mombasa to and from Nairobi,
Nakuru, Kisumu and Kakamega, only nicght buses), Stallion Bus (Nairobi-Mombasa), Akamba (almost anywhere in east Africa, but it got so old and slow now),
Kenya Bus Service (the public bus servis is very o.k., but oftly late) and Stagecoach (not everywhere). Buy your tickets in advance at the ticket office near
the bus stage.
Matatus are by far the most common means of transportation in Kenya. Matatus leave from designated spots called stages. Passengers get seated, then the matatu
leaves when it is full. Matatus can also be caught from the road. If one is passing, stick out your arm with your palm down. This is the sign you want to be picked up.
If the vehicle is not full, the driver will pull over to let you in.