Car Hire Nairobi, a leading online car hire Nairobi service provider, offers convenient alternatives to help you move around the country. This post is a detailed guide on how to travel to Kenya.
- Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO IATA)
Also referred to as JKIA, this is the largest airport in Kenya and lies 15kms southeast of Nairobi. Since the unfortunate fire incidence that brought down the main terminal building, the airport has undergone a massive facelift with terminal 1A now linked to Terminal 1C by walkways.
A food court is located on Terminal 1A with Nairobi Java House located between it and Terminal 1C. The latter has just 10 small souvenir shops although a better selection can be found at the two shops in Terminal 1A.
- Wilson Airport
Just 11km south of the capital, it handles domestic flight as well as general aviation.
Top airlines in Kenya
Kenya Airways (KQ)
This is the national airline and among the top and most reputable airlines in the continent. KQ boasts of vast connections from major international cities such as Amsterdam, London, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Accra, Bangkok and many more.
Kenya Airways is set to begin a direct flight to New York JFK from October 2018, a 15-hour flight.
Other dominant commercial airlines flying to Nairobi include: Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airline, South African Airways, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Air, Mauritius, Egypt Air, Swiss International Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Air Arabia Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Rwanda, and KLM Royal Dutch.
Airport Transfer Services
If you opt for a taxi from JKIA, go for a reputable cab company. Fortunately, there are endless options right outside the conveyance. A trip to the capital will cost you about Kes 1,500 (USD 15) or more as you venture further west from the city.
An official Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) taxi desk can be found right after exiting the customs area. Here you can purchase a fixed-price voucher and you will be escorted to a waiting taxi
Alternatively, you can always take an Uber for about Kes. 1000 (USD 10) to the city centre. Avoid taking accommodation recommendations from the taxi guys.
Car Hire Nairobi offers self-drive car hire in Nairobi allowing you to get to the hotel in a convenient manner. With Car hire services in Nairobi, you can always stop an take photos of the landscape without worrying about extra charges.
- Airport Bus
From the city, you can take a public Airport Bus (route no.34) for just Kes70 to the Airport. These buses can be board right outside the Ambassador Hotel along Moi Avenue.
The buses are not as safe as taxi and car hire services in Nairobi and caution is called for especially if you have never boarded a public bus in Kenya.
Wilson Airport does not have an official taxi desk as each airline runs its own terminal. Finding a reputable taxi can be a challenger. Fortunately, you can always go for Car Hire Nairobi for the ultimate car rental Nairobi experience.
Nairobi is becoming more accessible with rail. Recently, Kenya Railways launched a newly built railway connecting the coastal town of Mombasa and Nairobi. This has cut the travel time from 8hours to just 4 hours.
The express train departs Nairobi at 2.00pm while the slower services depart at 8 am, stopping at several intermediate stations along the way. A first-class ticket costs about Kes3000 and Kes1000 for a second-class ticket. The difference is just the size of the seats.
The newly built Nairobi Terminus is located 10km S.W of the capital.
To get here, you can either take a connecting train from the old Nairobi Central Station or simply call Car Hire Nairobi for car hire services in Nairobi.
Keep in mind that the new train locally known as the Madaraka Express is extremely popular and booking must be done as early as early as a week before.
From Mombasa, the train departs from Mombasa Terminus at 3.15pm and arrives at 8.15pm.
Nairobi has a diverse bus system featuring tons of different bus companies serving different regions of the country.
Nairobi – Mombasa
Fares range from Kes 1500 to 3,000 for an 8-10 hour trip. Notable and comfortable buses are Mash Poa, Crown, and Oxygen by Modern Coast. Some buses have VIP seats, business class, and normal seats. Booking beforehand is the only way to get the VIP seats. Fortunately, you can easily book online.
Other bus services include
- Nairobi-Arusha (Kess 1500) Modern Coast bus company
- Western Kenya Easy Coach Buses
- Kampala-Nairobi by Modern Coast, Mash Poa, Easy Coach, and Dreamline
Caution is a must when getting around Nairobi as traffic can be extremely bad.
By Car Hire
Hiring a car is extremely convenient and gives you the freedom to explore new places at your desired pace. Almost all leading car rental Nairobi companies offer self-drive car hire services as well as chauffeured services.
Japanese cars including Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Nissan among others characterize the industry. Car Hire Nairobi allows you to choose between manual and automatic transmission. Note that all vehicles are right-hand drive.
If you are in Kenya for the first time, hiring a chauffeur is highly recommended given the low standards of driving and poor road conditions across the country. With Car Hire Nairobi, chauffeur services further reduce the cost of hiring a car in Nairobi since no deposit is required.
Here is an overview of the standard rates per vehicle in Nairobi:
- Saloon car i.e. Toyota Axio, Nissan Wingroad, Toyota Fielder: Kes 4,000 / day
- 4 X 4 compact cars e.g. Rav4, Xtrail, Vitara: Kes 8,000 per day
- Large 4X4 i.e. Prado, Pajero, V8, Jeep: Kes 16,000 per day
- 7 Seater minivans i.e. Voxy, Alphard, Noah: Kes 10,000 per day
- Safari Van i.e. Toyota Hiace with a pop-out roof: Kes 10,000 per day
- Safari Jeep i.e. Land Cruiser J70 with a pop-out roof: Kes 14,000 per day
With car Hire Nairobi, rental rates are determined by the duration of hire and mileage per day. Some car rental companies give rates as low as 50% but with a clause in the contract limiting the location to visit an old car or huge deposits.
Hiring a car for a week, month or on a long-term basis will attract cheaper rates. Most car rental rates will include a PSV comprehensive insurance, unlimited mileage, theft, and damage waiver.
Driver and fuel are considered as extras and therefore charged separately. Most companies will demand that you hire a driver when hiring large 4WD vehicles such as Toyota Prado, Land Rover Discovery, Land Cruiser VX / V8, or Land Cruiser j70. Hiring a driver will cost you Kes 2,500 per day covering meals and accommodation.
While most of the car rental Nairobi companies are reliable, you are advised to take a photo of the car before leaving the parking lot. Carefully note all the scratches and dents on the vehicle and let the company representatives know.
Equally important, read the contract to see all the rules on insurance and liabilities in case of theft or accidents.
Leading car hire companies
- Car Hire Nairobi offers reliable car rental services especially for compact vehicle and safari vans.
- Kenya Finest Tours & Safaris is renowned for remarkable serveries specializing in Land cruiser and Safari Vans
- Nairobi Car Hire Services by Hire N’ Drive Kenya Limited is yet another top car rental Nairobi company. The company accepts online payments with a refund processing system.
- Avis Rental is a representative of the global car rental agency in Kenya offering reliable car rental services with a vast range of self-drive vehicle options.
- Hertz Car Hire is also an international car rental agency with services in Nairobi offering pick up and drop off services at the airport in Nairobi.
- Central Car Hire is based in Nairobi offering 2WD and 4WD car rental services with a fleet of well-maintained vehicles.
- Nairobi Car Hire offers all categories of cars for hire in Nairobi.
Taxis in Nairobi are neither cheap nor reliable. In fact, negotiating prices beforehand is always advisable. Cash payment is done afterwards. Note that change is always limited and that you should plan accordingly.
Unfortunately, unless you are conversant with local rates, approximating ideal rates can be daunting. Taxis can be found near hotels, malls, and tourist areas and are marked with a yellow line on each side. You can ask a local or the hotel for recommendations.
Ride-hailing services such as Taxify, Uber, Mondo Ride, Little, and MaraMoja are also extremely common in Nairobi. Compared to regular taxis, they are convenient, affordable, and offer a better quality of service.
Nairobi Commuter Rail Services
Nairobi has a commuter rail service running from the Central Nairobi Railway Station to Syokimau Railway Station where you can also boat the newly built Mombasa train. The trip takes 45mins and the train runs from 6.40AM and 7:40 am, Noon and 5:50 pm, and 7:50 PM. Off-peak tickets sell for Kes 110 with peak time rates being Kes 120.
Another commuter train runs from Nairobi to Kahawa and runs from 7:40 AM and from Kahawa to Nairobi at 9 Am.
A new railway line is set to be built linking Syokimau to Nairobi Airport.
Car Hire from the airport is seamless with friendly rates that are in line with other countries in the region. However, cases of car-jacking are common although an increase in police checkpoints has seen these case reduced. Travelling during the day is safer given that most carjacking incidences are recorded at night. Be on the lookout for undisciplined drivers with little regard for safety.