Getting Around and About
There is no public transport to any of the parks or reserves, although there are daily minibus services provided by hotels and tour operators.
Most tour firms use the mini buses to transport tourists around the country, given their high ground clearance, good manoeuvrability and excellent all-round vision. Because the passenger is much higher than he would be in a saloon car, the prospects of good game viewing are enhanced, especially where the grass is long. To further improve photographic possibilities, tour operators add “pop-up” roofs and sliding windows on the vehicles.
These vehicles are offered on the basis of utilisation of all available seats or on a ‘guaranteed window seat’ basis. Given the great price difference between these two methods of hire, it is advisable to establish from the outset on what basis the vehicle is hired.
Almost all cars are right-hand drive, and drivers keep to the left on the road. Both local and international car hire companies are available in main towns. Drivers require a recognised international drivers licence or their own national licence. Some companies offer chauffer-driven cars only. Those offering self-drive cars may require the driver to be aged between 23 to 70 years, and to have held a valid driving licence for a minimum of between 12 months and 2 years. Other requirements may include insurance, identification documents and health certificates. Rates may be worked out on monthly, weekly or unlimited mileage terms.
Taxis, Buses and Matatus
Taxis are available at the airport, and in all main towns. Confirm the fare before setting off.
Several bus companies serve the urban centres and the country side. Their services are supplemented by the often noisy and overloaded matatus. There are also public bus services to Uganda, and to Tanzania.
Dhows, Steamers and Motorboat
These serve the coastal areas of Mombasa, Kilifi, Malindi and Lamu.
Kenya Railways Corporation offers comfortable sleeper services between Nairobi and Mombasa, and Nairobi and Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria, with lake steamer connections to most ports on the lake. The overnight Nairobi-Mombasa service is popular with visitors. There are simultaneous departures daily offering first and second class options.
Internal Air Services
Kenya Airways, the national carrier, flies daily from Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi and Kisumu. The Nairobi-Malindi-Mombasa route is popular in either direction. Book well in advance.
Several smaller companies operate scheduled flights between Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu (Kiwaiyu), Nanyuki, Nyeri, to the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu. Nairobi’s Wilson Airport has several air charter companies. Light aircraft are also available for charter out of Mombasa and Malindi.
All the principal lodges and many tented camps have their own airstrips suitable for light aircraft. Where a lodge or camp has its own airstrip it will also provide a limited number of vehicles for hire by visitors arriving by air.
While every effort is made to ensure that the above information is accurate and up-to-date, things change. Please consult the relevant authorities, or any airline that flies scheduled services to Kenya, for an update on health, immigration and Customs.