Replies: 14 - Last Post: Feb 20, 2013 6:08 PM Last Post By: dgreensl
Feb 11, 2013 6:20 AM
I with my girlfriend need to get from Mombasa to Nairobi at first half of march, wanted to ask about best options...Train and bus will be cheapest, but takes a lot of time, than I thought maybe go by plane, 90$ per person isn't very much and it's a lot of time economy...but question is, maybe somone knows how much will be to get to Nairobi by car and driver, and fact is that we need to go only one way and we're just two, because if we were 3 or 4 IMO it was definetly cheeper than go by plane.... Thnx....
Feb 11, 2013 8:09 AM
1The bus is just as fast as a hired car - about 8 hours. You can take a day or night bus, and lines like Coast Bus have first world standards, including air conditioning.
Something else you need to consider is that the election will be held on March 4. There will be increased police checks on the roads during the period you mention. These checks could slow traffic significantly. Especially at this time, I would take a bus and let someone else do the driving - and deal with the cops!
The train leaves Nairobi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only at 7 pm.
Feb 11, 2013 8:30 AM
2after I agree with Christopher's very experienced advice, I will throw one simple thought....
althought the overnight train is slow (14-15 hours) and very bumpy (not for the easily seasick), it is a great and fun experience riding the rails on a train from an era gone by. Cost as of August 2012 was 4405 KES.
Feb 11, 2013 8:43 AM
3Thnx for information about elections, but I found local airplane company Flight 540, for 80$ per person, has anyone personal expierence with domestic flights in Kenya, is it safe, because it's faster alternative despite going by bus....
Feb 11, 2013 11:11 AM
4" Arviic: I don't really understand your last post. Are you asking if The TT Community members have found flying safer (or unsafer) because it is faster than going by road?
In any event, I do remember an occasion where the plane was travelling at 20 miles per hour, We kept on taxiing all the way to our destination, and were constantly overtaken by cars, bicycles, joggers, dog walkers and old ladies with zimmer frames.
But it felt very safe...
Feb 11, 2013 1:40 PM
5Arviic if you are worried about being safe then you really need to think about travelling in Kenya during the elections.......
Feb 12, 2013 5:20 AM
Feb 12, 2013 2:51 PM
7I don't know how to send private messeges, but I'll ask here.... As I read in other treads about Kenya, this march war is starting in this countrie in case of elections... But as Latvia is one of poorest countries in Europe, and I've already bought plane tickets I'll go there anyway at 2march till 16.... :D So, we go not with organised trip but by our own, with matatus, tuktuks and so on....Plan is spent few days near ocean and than go to kakmega forest, Nakuru and baringo, also 3 days in Nairobi...so if it revolution will start, maybe to stay all days near the coast and go to Lamu for example and go to Nairobi only last day when need to back home...Also read, that someone said that violence will start only in april, when be second round of elections (as I understood) so maybe all is'nt so bad?? Also question about smoking, I was in Kenya 2 years ago, they allowed me to smoke whereever I wanted, now somethink is changed? I can smoke on the street or in the beach? (It's important for me, I smoke 2 paks a day...) Thnx.....
Feb 13, 2013 8:04 AM
8Well take care and keep an eye on the Foreign Office websites for warnings and advice. In the UK we use this one:
You need to avoid rallies and parks and the very poor areas. Avoid travelling around the country if trouble does flare up. It might well be a good idea to head to Lamu for the duration of your trip. Best just see what happens, hope for peaceful elections and be sensible while you are there.
And no you can't smoke anywhere in Kenya now. This is what the Foreign Office website says about smoking:
Smoking in all public places (except in designated areas) is prohibited throughout Kenya. This applies to areas such as hotel grounds, lounge areas and entrances. If you wish to smoke in your hotel room please confirm first with hotel management that it is permitted. Smoking outdoors in any public street or on the beach, is not banned under the Act However, it is advisable to check before doing so or, if in doubt, to refrain from smoking. Offences attract fines ranging from 50,000 to three million Kenya shillings and/or imprisonment for six months to three years.
Feb 13, 2013 10:25 AM
9Let's not alarm this guy too much! The town centres are the only places where you really need to worry about being caught smoking by the police. Hotels, restaurants and bars would just ask you to stop smoking if it was against their policy. I have never heard of them having a guest arrested - that wouldn't be too good for their reputation, would it?
Beaches rarely if ever have police patrols, so it is not like you have to worry much while there. On safaris, where fire warnings could be in effect, ask your driver if you can smoke - but again, the police aren't going to rush out of the bushes to arrest you.
Smoking is prohibited at the airports, so do watch out there. A British friend of mine was caught doing it and the cop asked for money, but she simply told him she had no Kenyan currency. Petty by-law offenses are one department where foreigners do get easier treatment. In Nairobi the by-law enforcement officers (called "askaris") have vans where they confine Kenyans until they agree to pay the fine for whatever offense they committed (even if imaginary), but I have never heard of a foreign tourist being caught up in this abusive scam.
Feb 13, 2013 10:34 AM
10Arviic, you sound like a tough and resourceful person, so don't let the election put you off your plans. I don't think you need to confine yourself to Lamu. Any trouble that happens is likely to be felt most in the big towns. Just minimize the time you spend there. Also allow extra time to get around the country and be sure to allow lots of time to get to the airport when you leave.
The two big problems for tourists during the last election crisis in 2008 were a shortage of supplies (including beer in some places!!!) and temporary blockages of roads and highways. At the height of the problem, KLM stopped its flights to Kenya. They tend to be the first airline to stop flights to any trouble spot. I don't know if you are flying with them.
Feb 13, 2013 11:04 AM
11Thnx for comments...So all be ok I hope...I fly with Turkish Airlines... :) So about smoking, when I arrive in Mombasa after 8 hours flight, it's not allowed to smoke near airport? Police can fine me? And fines for smoking in public places is 500 Eiro??? Almost average year income for Kenian??? :DDD Quite strange law actually in country where 60% is HIV infected so big care of health.... Thnx for advices....
Feb 13, 2013 12:50 PM
12Good point Christopher - didn't mean to sound alarmist. Its just that Arviic sounded worried in earlier posts. To be honest I'm there at the beginning of April when the second round of the presidential elections are set to take place. So Arviic you could be fine and I could have problems. Lets hope for peaceful elections.......Kenya needs them.
Feb 13, 2013 11:58 PM
13To reiterate, Arviic, don't smoke at the airport (inside or outside the terminal), on transport or on the city streets of Mombasa, Nairobi or the other towns. Those are the public places where you could have a run-in with the law. On private property you can just ask if smoking is okay. As for beaches, they are actually too windy these days to light your cigarette.
By the way, the national HIV infection rate here is around 6%. It peaked in the 1990s at around 10-12%.
wigstan, I'll be here for both rounds! I forgot to add one piece of advice for any foreign visitors here during that time, which is to carry about double the amount of cash you normally would. This is in case the ATMs don't get promptly refilled. The voting day itself should go smoothly, but I think people will be stocking up on cash just beforehand and the line-ups could be long.
Feb 20, 2013 6:08 PM
14In downtown Nairobi there are 4 public smoking areas (I can only remember 2 at the moment). Again this is refering only to downtown.
- Public smoking cage near the intersection of Koinange & Standard St.
- Public smoking in Jevanjee Gardens
You can also buy a drink and/or dinner at the Hilton Hotel restaurant (middle of downtown) and they have a smoking area for customers.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$104.54 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.67 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$158.55 per night