Be careful getting around Nairobi. Traffic is very bad like any other major city, but if you use common sense and a local or guide you should be able to get where you want.
Car Hire And Rental
Car hire and rental options available are valid. You can hire cars with a driver(Chauffeur driven) or on self drive basis. Nairobi car hire companies offer salons, 4x4 and safari cars.
Carefully read the rental contract to check for rules on insurance liabilities in case of accident / theft of the vehicle.
Nairobi Car Hire offer good services for 4x4 and other categories of cars.
Central car hire are a reliable, trustworthy and helpful rental company based in Nairobi. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles are available and are well maintained.
Taxis are not very cheap, but will make city life easier, and safer, at least at night. Prices should always be set before the trip, and paid afterwards. They can be found parked around hotels and tourist areas. The taxis tend to be marked with a yellow line on each side. Your best bet is to ask a local or at your hotel.
Matatus (public minibuses/commuter buses) are generally used for travelling between downtown Nairobi and the suburbs. Matatus vary in size, between the van sized 14 seat Matatus and the larger 50 seat buses. While generally safe, you should be aware that matatus are involved in a high number of accidents every year. Matatus are often overcrowded with more people than seatbelts and therefore can be dangerous if involved in accidents. Because there are no licensing requirements, matatus are often poorly driven, with drivers passing on curbs, speeding, or passing in oncoming lanes while cars are oncoming. On each bus is a conductor who will hang out of the matatu and call out a price (usually between KES10 and KES40) and location the matatu is driving. Recently, the government has decided to ban the 14-seat matatus inside Nairobi, effective January 2011 in hopes of reducing traffic and accidents in town. The best choice is probably the City Hoppa bus service and of late the revived Kenya Bus Service. Beware of traffic jams on the large motorways, not only in the rush hours.
Walking around Nairobi is fairly easy since the city is small and places are easy to get to. However, there are some areas within the city where tourists should not go, and walking around at night should be minimised. Thugs are rampant in many areas.
Car hire from the airport is possible, and fairly painless with prices in line with other African countries. In the recent past Nairobi had a severe car-jacking problem, but because of increased police check-points it is marginally safer these days. Travelling during the day reduces your chances of getting car-jacked as most car-jackings occur after dark, but even so, carjacking can still happen at any time of day, even with a strong police presence. However, do watch out for undisciplined drivers, as they take little regard for safety.
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