ナイロビをHACK #3


Street view – Ngong Rd.


So TICAD VI is over, but the real business starts now… It’s actually amazing to be able to get out the red-taped zone of KICC (and not have to see all these identical-looking people in their perfect suits to be honest). It is quite amazing how the city looks different overnight without all these security people: My friend even told me that there were barely security control at the airport (although I believe they actually still do have security control, obviously).

Today, I want to briefly talk about different modes of transportation in Nairobi. There are six types that I personally went through. There are:

  1. Chauffeur services / Regular cab
  2. Uber
  3. Local (mini) buses – Matatus
  4. Bike taxi – Boda-boda
  5. Personal car
  6. Walking

As I shared in my past blog post, I basically did what general locals did in Nairobi last time I was there, but this time, I also have to choose other options because I was with other people. The most foreigner-friendly option would be a chauffeur service where you have a specific driver that comes with a nice car that drives you around wherever you want to go. To be on the safe side, the best way is to get a reference from someone you know or hotels.

Another well-known and most convenient service is Uber. I actually didn’t use it last time because I didn’t have a smartphone(!), but this time I have used quite a lot. The minimum is 200 Kenyan shillings bob as they call it) which is about 2 bucks, and you could pretty much go anywhere in the city in less than 5 bucks. GPS works pretty much everywhere and drivers are generally “sympathique”. (The trick is to directly negotiate with and hire a specific driver you like if you plan to have a longer journey or want to visit multiple places at once).)

Matatus are the local bus that most locals use, and actually, I prefer Matatus over Uber when traveling alone. The cost could range from 20-80 ksh (in my experience) depending on how long you go or the time of the day. They oftentimes play loud music (that I’m okay with) or little less pleasant/sexist radio station (that I’m not okay with).

Bike taxis, or boda bodas, are for short distances when you go from point A to B off large streets. I’ve taken it few times, and they are convenient as well. (My Kenyan friends says it is too cold to take boda bodas in the autumn/winter — read 20 celsius.)

Personal cars are probably the best if you settle here and need to move around (or if you are not the driver!). It is always great to have some local friends take you to places…

In my general travel especially when traveling small European cities, my favorite mode of going to one place to another is by walking, but in Nairobi, unfortunately, I cannot do very much. I actually tried to take a walk for some short distance, but bare sidewalks kind of kill my shoes and drivers also tries to help and “hitchhike” me… lol  Nah, not working very well…

TICAD VIが終わったのですが、リアルビジネスはこれから!厳重に警備されたKICCの外で自由できるのは素晴らしいです!(ついでに、ダークスーツのクローンたちを見ることもありません!!)一夜にして街が一変したような気がしています。知人は、空港の警備も軽くなっていたといっていました!(実際は、厳重な警備だと思いますが。)


  1. 専用運転手・タクシー
  2. ウーバー
  3. ローカルバスーMatatu(マタトゥ)
  4. バイクタクシーーBoda boda(ボダボダ)
  5. 自家用車
  6. 徒歩




Boda bodaとよばれるバイクタクシーは、路地などをさくっと移動する際に使います。便利なサービスで私も何度か使いました。(ケニヤ人の友人は、今の秋冬は(といっても20度とかですが)寒すぎるので、使いたくないといっています。)