Nairobi Transport

Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
You do unless you want to take a taxi. It is recommended to have your own vehicle in Nairobi, preferably a 4-wheel drive with high clearance, as the paved roads are usually full of potholes and pretty hard on the vehicle.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
When you buy a car it should be registered with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles at Nyayo House. For registration, you need the vehicle logbook, insurance cover, certified copy of vehicle owner’s National Identity card or a valid passport, and your own Personal Identification Number Certificate card.

Among the most reliable local insurance companies are: Alico Kenya, Gateway Insurance, Kenindia, Pan Africa Insurance, and United Insurance.

Kenyan law requires that motorists carry a valid driver’s license with them at all times. You will need to change your license for a Kenyan license.
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What side of the road do people drive on?
In Kenya, people drive on the left side of the road.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
The public transportation in the major cities is based on buses and mini-buses (called matatus). Both kinds of buses have numbers and follow certain routes. Buses come around approximately every 20-30 minutes and stop at designated bus stops, whereas matatus go when they are full of passengers and will stop to pick you up/drop you off wherever you like along the route. There are also several taxi companies around the city, and any vehicle with a wooden sign "taxi" on it can be used as such. Matatus are known to have many accidents, though, and so you are advised to travel only with reputable taxis.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
The best way to get around is in your car, or hire a taxi for the day to drive you around.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
You can drive all around Nairobi, but certain areas should be avoided if you really don't have any business in the area. At night, it is especially advised to be careful. Carjacking is a real security risk you need to be aware of. Keep the following recommendations in mind when you drive in Nairobi:

  • Establish several routes to locations you frequent often, i.e., office or a school. Vary your travel time along these routes.
  • Pay particular attention to routines that cannot be changed. Be aware of the opportunities for potential exposure to risk created by such predictability.
  • Learn to identify local routines, such as regular community events (sporting, concerts) that may negatively impact your own driving routines.

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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
You pay the fare directly to the driver.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.