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Traffic in Kenya

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Kenya, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Kenya?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

According to something that I read recently, Nairobi traffic has created as the second worst in the world!

Its awful, with regular gridlock which can last for hours.  Roads tend to be very busy all day.  Rush hour starts around 5:30 to 6:00am and lasts until around 9:30.  After about 3:30 until 7 or 8 at night. 

Car ownership has increased rapidly with prosperity and has certainly increased more rapidly than the infrastructure has been developed.  Transport is all road based - there are no urban trams or light rail systems.  So cars, trucks buses and matatu (minivans) are all jostling for the same limited space. 

Driving standards are generally very poor and inconsistently enforced - drivers won't give way, ignore traffic signals, create extra traffic lanes, undertake, drive on the footpaths, overspeed - anything to 'get ahead', which actually just makes the situation worse than if they drove in a more disciplined manner.  Drunk driving is common and almost seen as 'acceptable'.  Accidents are common and create even more gridlock - its not unknown for people to be stuck in traffic jams for the whole night.

Getting around quickly;  apart from walking, there are motorbike taxis (boda boda).  Although they can nip through the traffic, their drivers are often poorly trained (no test required) and have an equal disregard for other traffic, combined with poor observation and planning (for example, will generally ride up the inside of traffic attempting to turn left), so are very high risk, often getting hit by other vehicles.  Injuries are inevitably severe.

Parking in Nairobi is frequently difficult.  On street parking is limited and public car parks fill up rapidly.  In Kenyan terms, parking in Nairobi is expensive and rigorously enforced.  Many city centre offices have underground car parks, for workers.

The best way to avoid spending too much time in traffic is to live close to your place of work!

I have focussed on Nairobi, as this is where the majority of expats will go.

Hi Priscilla,

There are many place where you can find houses like Parkland, Westlands, etc..  It all depends on which place you work. The traffic starts from 5:30 am to 10:00 am, 12:30 pm to 2:30pm & 4:30pm to 7:30 pm. The traffic all depends on weather and private transporter as well as accident/breakdown (if happens).The road route and residence depends on where you work.

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