The Matatu Experience – Nairobi, Kenya

Riding a Matatu in Kenya is no easy task.  It can be one of the most horrible experiences in Nairobi or it can be one of the most unique things to do in the city. Figuring out exactly which Matatu to take is in a league all by itself.  There aren’t official bus stops and many of the times you can flag a driver down when you see the one that you need to take.

Most of the times the locations where the Matatu is driving will be listed on the side of the van.  The only problem is there so much dirt on the side of the Matatus that you can’t read the route number.  Throw in roughly 10-15 years of wear and tear and enough dings on the side of the vehicle to make Geico Car Insurance salivate and you have a seriously problem trying to figure out where you are going.

My favorite things to see is how they try to get people in the Matatus.  When there are a group of vehicles together you are a like cake to a fat kid!  They come up to you and try to get you in their vehicles no matter where you are going.  If you say no once they will leave you alone.  If you try and ask what route number they are driving they will simply say yes to get you in the van.  Later you will realize they didn’t know you were going some where else.

Happened to me today when I purchased my 3g internet

I plan on putting up a guide on how to take a Matatu shortly as I started building both the Kenya and the Nairobi mini sites here on WanderingTrader.  In the video you can really see how taking a Matatu is a party on wheels.  In some cases you have collectors that jump off the vans and do flips.  I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to catch that unfortunately.


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