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Getting about in Kenya can be thrilling, exciting, wondrous but never boring! There are varying modes of transport depending where you want to go to and the distance you travel and how quickly you want to get there.

Kenya has three major international airports; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Moi International Airport in Mombasa (MIA) and Eldoret International Airport in Eldoret (EIA). The Wilson Airport in Nairobi handles light aircraft and quite a number of schedule and chartered domestic flights. There are about 250 airstrips located country wide connecting all parts of Kenya to Nairobi. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport handles major airlines such as Kenya Airways, KLM, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Emirates, Swiss Air, South African Airlines, Egypt Air and Saudi Airlines among others.

Estimated flying time to Nairobi from:

Europe 8-10 hrs

North America 16 hrs

The Gulf 4 hrs

The Far East and Australia 16 hrs.

Mombasa 50 mins

Kenya has only one train service run by the Rift Valley Railways (Kenya) Ltd. There are three classes in the train, 1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class. The first two have self contained sleepers and have a restaurant offering meals, alcohol and beverages. Prior reservation is required for both classes. The third class has a shared washroom per coach. No prior reservation is required. The train travels from Nairobi to Mombasa every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm and travels back from Mombasa to Nairobi every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7 pm.

There is a coastal ferry which takes commuters and vehicles from Mombasa to the South Coast. This operates 24 hrs although during the night there may be an hours wait between each crossing as they tend not to go if there are not sufficient customers. Commuters travel free but there is a small charge for vehicles depending on the size of the vehicle.

Kenya has an extensive road network making the road the most used mode of transport. Matatus (small vans and mini buses) are the most common public form of transport serving all major cities and most upcountry routes. Travel within the city is by the matatu and mini buses run by well established companies and private individuals. Transport between towns and cities are by well established bus companies. The buses leave early morning, late afternoon and in the evening and require advance booking. Private cars and tuktuks are also plentiful in the cities. Renting or hiring a car is pretty easy in Kenya. It is a good and convenient way of getting around the country at your own pace. There are many car hire services in all major cities and towns and at all the major airports. Don't forget you will need an international driving permit obtained at certain major post offices in the UK.

If you ever visit Malindi you will notice that there are a lot of bicycles there, some of them are taxis; these are as well as the more usual form of taxi that we are used to.

Major international credit cards are accepted in Kenya and most Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) accept international Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards. ATM's can be found at airports, bank branches, shopping malls and petrol stations. Travelers cheques are probably the best and safest way to take money with you to Kenya and most hotels and service providoers accept them though your exchange rate will not be as high as what you would get at a bank.

Currency can be exchanged in foreign exchange bureaus or banks. Banks in Kenya operate between 9 am and 3pm weekdays and a Saturday morning. The main currency accepted are US Dollars, Sterling Pounds and the Euro.

Local currency is the Kenyan shilling. If you exchange money here you won't get a shilling note less than 200/=.  1,000/= is worth approx 8; 9.5 or $13.5 depending on the exchange rate at the time.

If you would like to ask any question about travelling in Kenya or anything else please don't hesitate to ask. Please contact Wilma at Wilma@ekeasafaris.com or Emma at info@ekeasafaris.com or just fill in one of our enquiry forms and we will get back to you.

Nairobi, Kenya

19 C
Light Rain

Feels Like: 19C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: NNW at 11 km/h


Some useful sayings when in Kenya

Greetings (and other basics)
Hello             Jambo
         No problems         Sijambo (response)
How are things?               Habari?
Fine, etc.            Nzuri (response)

Goodbye to one/goodbye to many       Kwaheri/Kwaherini
Come in       Karibu
Thank you                      Asante

Mr. (respectful- adult man)       Bwana
  Mrs., Miss (respectful-adult woman)  Mama
youth/youths           kijana/vijana
child/children          mtoto/watoto

What is your name?   Jina lako nani?
My name is...               Jina langu...
What are you called?       Unaitwaje?
I am called...                Nina itwa...


1     moja
2      mbili
3       tatu
4       nne
5      tano
6       sita
7     saba
8     nane
9       tisa
10      kumi
11    kumi na moja
12-19 kumi na (mbili, tatu, etc.)
20    ishirini
21-29 ishirini na (moja, mbili, etc.)
30    thelathini
40      arobaini
50      hamsini
60           sitini
70         sabini
80    themanini
90           tisini
100      mia moja
121   mia moja na ishirini na moja
1000       elfu moja


What time is it?         Saa ngapi?
three o'clock     saa tisa
quarter past                   na robo
half past                       na nusu
quarter to                   kasa robo
minutes                          dakika
 early              mapema
yesterday                         jena
today                               l eo
tomorrow                       kesho
daytime                     mchana
night-time                        usiku
dawn         alfajiri
morning     asubuhi


Monday           jumatatu
Tuesday       jumanne
Wednesday     jumatano
Thursday          alhamisi
Friday          ijumaa
Saturday         jumamosi
Sunday         jumapili


Note that "ku" is the infinitive and generally separable.

to be able
  (can) ku-weza
to be,
  to become ku-wa
to bring ku-leta
to buy ku-nunua
to come kuja (irregular)
to come from ku-toka
to drink ku-nywa
to eat ku-la
to give ku-pa
to go kwenda (generally irregular)
to have ku-wa na
to hear ku-sikia
to know ku-jua
to like,
  to love ku-penda
to look ku-tazama
to think ku-fikiri
to be tired ku-choka
to say,
   to speak ku-sema
to see,
   to meet ku-ona
to sleep ku-lala
to stay ku-kaa
to want ku-taka


Me, I Mimi, Ni
You Wewe, U
Him/Her Yeye
He/She A
Us, We Sisi, Tu
You (plural) Ninyi, M
Them, They Wao, Wa


present   -na-
past   -li-
future   -ta-
immediately past
  or continuing   -me-

Useful words

yes ndiyo
no hapana
expensive ghali sana
cheap rahisi
right kulia
left kushoto
up juu
down chini
friend rafiki
Pardon Samahani
Where is? Wapi?
here hapa
when? lini?
now sasa
soon sasa hivi
why? kwa nini?
because kwa sababu
who? nini?
what? nani?
which? gani?/gapi?
true kweli
and/with na
or au
(it) is/
  (they) are    ni

Useful phrases

I don't understand           Sifahamu/Sielewi
I don't speak Swahili       Sisemi kiswahili
How do you say in Swahili?                Unasemaje kwa kiswahili...?
Could you repeat that?     Sema tena
Speak slowly      Sema pole pole
I don't know      Sijui
Where can I stay?      Naweza kukaa wapi?
Can I stay here?      Naweza kukaa hapa?
How much?      Ngapi?
How much is...?      Pesa ngapi...?
What price?      Bei gani...?
I want...      Nataka...
I don't want...      Sitaki...

Come down a little
  (in price)      Punguza kidogo
Bring me...      Nilete...
Where are you going?      Nenda wapi?
I'm going to...      Nenda...
When does it leave?      Inaondoka lini?
When will we arrive?      Tutafiki lini?
I want to get off here      Nataka kushuka hap
Let's go (carry on, etc.)    Twende
straight ahead      Moja kwa moja
Excuse me (let me
  through)      Hebu

Full name: The Republic of Kenya

  • Population: 34.3 million (UN, 2005)

  • Capital: Nairobi

  • Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq miles)

  • Major languages: Swahili, English

  • Major religion: Christianity

  • Life expectancy: 48 years (men), 46 years (women) (UN)

  • Monetary unit: 1 Kenya shilling = 100 cents

  • Main exports: Tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products

  • GNI per capita: US $540 (World Bank, 2005)

  • Internet domain: .ke

  • International dialling code: +254





Tel. +44 (0) 7886093371  +254 (0) 710188295

E-mail info@ekeasafaris.com