Riding in a matatu in Nairobi can be a thrilling experience you’ll never forget and is one of the things you must try if you’re visiting Kenya’s capital city.
But to make sure you’re experience isn’t terrible, you need to be prepared for what you might expect.
First off, a matatu is basically a minibus or similar transportation vehicle that crams in travelers (and sometimes animals) for a a few shillings (less than $US1) to take them where they are going.
To catch one, you just need to find out the locations where they stop, which are often listed on the side of a van.
You can also see where they stop by looking for a crowd of people waiting on the corner of most of the main streets in Nairobi.
An even better way to find out where they go is to print out a map from Digital Matatus of all the routes and stations.
There is no exact time table for when the routes run, or when they will get there, so make sure you have a bit of patience.
Many of the matatus now have a cashless system as well, and there are places to top off the cards at various locations in the city.
Once you find a matatu, leave your claustrophobia at the door, as you will likely be packed in like a sardine.
Upon getting it, you might need some ear plugs as the sound systems inside often blast loud music.
You should also be prepared if you have motion sickness, as the ride can be quite bumpy and fast.
So sit back, relax (if you can) and enjoy the thrilling experience of riding in a matatu.
For more information on Kenya’s matatus, see Matatu: The Kenyan Rollercoaster Ride.