Rail Travel In Kenya; What You Didn’t Know

Recently, a colleage in our busy office confided in me that he wanted to take a Railway travel in Kenya. What he did not know is the fact that i have visited Kenya five times for the last five years i have had a vacation. I knew he was making the best decision to tour the action packed country. Unlike in Europe or USA the Kenya railway system is not expansive and does not contribute much to the development of the this Country. Almost all Passenger and Cargo transport is done through the dilapidated road network.

One thing that you should not miss though is the Railway travel From Nairobi to Mombasa. The Railway Line is operated by Rift Vally Railways, a private company that only took the operation of the the extensive Mombasa to Kampala Railway system only recently after Kenya and Uganda ran it down for donkey years bringing cargo and passenger transport to a halt.

Most of this Railway line traverses through the Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest national animal park, Famous for its wide range of wild animals especially elephants, rhinos and Zebras. You will experience the spectacular views of the Great Rift valley as the Railway line winds through the escarpment down to the base of Mt. Longonot, Fresh water Lake Naivasha, Mashrooming flower farms and the Flamingo inhabited Lake Nakuru. As You reach Kisumu you are treated to the Kakamega Rain Forest Reserve, A hub for beautiful bird life and indigenous trees.

Currently, the Rift Valley Railways company Ltd. operates an overnight express train service between Nairobi and Mombasa. Unfortunately you will not be able to watch wild animals but you will sure be treated to one of Kenya’s mushroom spores greatest travel experiences. The train is divided into three classes. A seat only 3rd Class compartment which i would not advise you to book since it is pubic and not very secure and a comfortable 1st and 2nd Class compatment where you can get Dinner, Breakfast and refreshments in the form of alcoholic drinks, mineral water and Soda. Make sure to swallow a pint of Kenyas’ Favourite beer ‘Tusker’, It comes as cold as you ordered it, though locals prefer it warm.

The train to Mombasa leaves Nairobi every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1900 hrs. From Mombasa to Nairobi, it leaves every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. It would be important to book your compartment atleast a day or so before departure time to avoid last minute frustrations since in Kenya the train stations are not computerised and virtually everything moves at snail speed.

It would be prudent to make an arrangement with your travel company in Nairobi or Mombasa for their staff to do the railway travel kenya booking for you, otherwise if you decide to do it yourself beware of conmen and cheats who will readily offload your backpack with impunity. You will be able to pay for your railway travel kenya with the Kenya Currency, US Dollars

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