Seriously, commuting from place to place literally is just plain NUTS, UNEXPECTED, and DANGEROUS in Kenya. I kid you not, I have traveling stories that would make my mother faint.
The matatus you already know much about. They need no explanation.
Tuk-tuks are just hilarious. They don’t have much speed, but with the wind hitting your face, and a fragile metal frame, who knows when it will flip.
Boda-Boda (AKA motorcycles) are incredibly useful for the back roads of Kenya but did you catch that—the BACK ROADS. Uneven dirt roads cluttered with humans, goats, and chickens. No helmets. No goggles. Rain pouring down. Not sure if your driver is going to take you where you requested. So scary. I was known as the girl who held on too tightly to the driver. Embarrassing.
The buses in Kenya are incredibly cheap. You can get to Mombasa (an 8-10 hour drive) for about $15. Uganda was about $20. But let me tell you… they are so unreliable. Regardless of how much research you do, and you think you’ve found the most reputable bus service, know that it is never going to be a Greyhound. The bus to Uganda was about 11 hours, stopped once for bathrooms (though they never advertised this fact), no food, no water, and they forgot to drop us off at our stop in Jinja. The bus back to Kenya was 11 hours, NO bathroom break, jam packed with passengers sleeping in the aisles, no food, no water. Then there’s the roads! My god, bumpiest ride of your life! Oh, and the worst part—crossing the border. You’re dropped off at the border of Kenya-Uganda at around 3am and you have to walk across, get your visa stuff taken care of, then find the bus on the other side and hop on. By the time you get back, your bags may have been looted, your bus may have left you behind, and in complete darkness, you have no idea what the hell is going on!
Safe travels to all of you in Kenya! It’s a fun but bumpy ride!
Random Fact of the Day:
1) Due to an incorrect date written in my passport at the Nairobi airport, I almost wasn’t allowed entrance back into Kenya from Uganda. So scary! With some explaining, phone calls, and tears, things got sorted out. This occurred days before my departure to America.