Kenya Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Kenya
Kenya drives on the left hand side of the road in mainly right hand drive vehicles. Main roads are generally in fairly good condition but minor roads will be poorly maintained. During the rainy season some roads will become impassable-you should check with locals on the state of roads before setting off.Incidents of armed car-hijackings are more prevalent in Nairobi and Mombasa but can occur in any area of the country. In particular avoid high crime areas of Nairobi such as Kibera, Mathare, Huruma, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Korogocho, Kariobangi Kangemi, Mwiki and Kawangware . You should also remain vigilant at night wherever you’re driving and on the roads that link Nairobi city centre to residential areas. You should use the Mombasa road between Jomo Kenyatta Airport (JKIA) and Nairobi city as there have been incidents of car-jacking on the old airport road (Airport South Road) and Jogoo Road.
If you’re planning a self drive safari, its important to let the rental company know what your plans are before you arrive in Kenya. They can then make sure you have the correct vehicle and equipment. You should decide which type of camps you intend to stay in and plan an approximate route before departure, and check that your route is feasible with the rental company. In many of the larger camps, especially in the Masai Mara, its possible to hire a Masai guide to travel with you. This may seem counter intuitive-the whole aim is that you’re self driving with no guide, right? In my experience, you will see a lot more if you hire a local guide , even if its just for one day. They have an uncanny knack of spotting wildlife that you would otherwise have driven right past. I’m a committed ‘no guide’ traveller but on safari’s I do have to say its well worth having someone with you who’s an expert on the local area.
This is a Nairobi based company who can arrange 4X4 rental –
There are also a number of companies who offer self drive safari in Kenya (most will allow vehicles to cross into Tanzania too)
This company offer self drive safaris in Northern Kenya –
This company offer self drive safaris in restored Land Rovers, some with roof tent, so you can enjoy the wildlife but it can’t enjoy you!
This company offer self drive safaris in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania –
This company don’t provide vehicles themselves but have links to 4×4 rental companies. They do have some good advice and guidance for driving in the Masai Mara though.
Kenya Self Drive Rules
Cars will generally be allowed to be driven into Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. They may also be allowed to be driven in the COMESA countries of Southern and Eastern Africa but there is likely to be an additional charge for that. If you intend to drive the car outside Kenya you should advise the rental company at the time you make the reservation.