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Getting Around In Mombasa

The Famous Mombasa Tusks

There are three main methods of traveling around Mombasa – Tuk-Tuk, public transport, or taxis. Tuk-Tuk is the most popular form of short travel within Mombasa. Over the last few years Tuk-Tuk has soared in numbers and can literally take you anywhere you wish. Simply flag one down and you’re on your way. It is best to negotiate a rate before you board to ensure you know the cost before arriving. They are cheap and effective for short trips.

For longer ventures or a vehicle more secure than a Tuk-Tuk, you have the option of using Mombasa’s public transportation system. The city has a more extensive public transport system than any other city in Kenya. The city has a large system of buses and other forms of public transport, including mini vans and rickshaws (a two-wheeled cart pulled by a person or bicycle), referred to locally as Matatu. Mombasa’s buses and other forms of public mass transport are generally cheap and reliable, though many complain that they can be slow. The city’s public transportation system does not have a central governing body or a website; visitors can get information about schedules and fares from their hotels or guides.

If you are taking Matatu you usually buy your tickets from the operator before departing. People are also expected to wait until they are full, as operators do not like to leave without a full vehicle. People wanting rides can also often flag down Matatu on the side of the road; buses pick up only at designated stops.

It will cost you more but when in Mombasa you can also take the local taxis. Do not expect an up-to-date car, the taxis here are reliable but not necessarily top of the line. Haggle with the driver over the price and you can get good deals. You can get further discounts if you stick with the same driver throughout the duration of your trip. They are willing to drop off and pick up if you plan your schedule with them.

Hiring a car is not recommended. The roads can be treacherous when you’re not used to navigating them. If you must have your own car, it is advisable to hire a driver. Your driver will be there when you need them; just be sure the company your hire your car from allows them to be driven everywhere you need to go. Also be aware that these companies do not typically allow their cars to go on safari.

Either hire a car specifically for your safari or make sure you advise the rental company of your plans. They should give you authority, in writing, if you are allowed to take the car on safari.