Bus from Nairobi to Arusha

Jan 9th, 2010, 01:32 AM
  #1  
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Bus from Nairobi to Arusha

Hi all, my friend and I are are travelling to Tanzania in August 2010 and I would like to hear from anyone who has caught the bus from Nairobi to Arusha, ie which company, what the trip was like and would you recommend for 2 females? Thankyou in advance
donna66 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 08:08 AM
  #2  
 
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http://www.riverside-shuttle.com/

Just fine, worked well for 1 female alone. I took it both ways. The website shows photos inside and outside the bus.

Have a great time in Tanzania.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 09:15 AM
  #3  
 
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As Lynn above, easy enough and safe for females. Try to get on bus early so you get regular seats; some buses have middle fold-down seats which aren't very comfortable.

There is construction on the road, so expect trip time to take 5-6/hrs with stop at border for procedures. You can purchase TNZ Visa here, AND MUST have a Yellow Fever inoculation and proof of same for entry to Tanzania coming from Kenya and for return to Kenya. Though don't be surprised if it's not asked for... better to have proof than not and have someone there insist they jab you.
sandi is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Don't know where you're departing from, but if applicable and if you're just going to Tanzania, you could look into flying into Kilimanjaro airport (JRO) on KLM and avoid a long bus trip (it's less than an hr from JRO to Arusha) and Kenya's visa fee.
sdb2 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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My DH and I completed that bus trip this past August - only in the opposite direction - from Arusha to Nairobi. The 6-hour drive was the trip from H**L! You couldn't pay me to do it again. Most of the route was under construction and it was incredibly rough and dusty. We had booked well in advance (with the Impala shuttle from the Impala Hotel) and had two seats in row 2. However, at the last moment, they combined two buses and we (and our fellow passengers) were booted off our bus onto the other bus, where we grabbed what seats were left. My DH and I ended up in the second last row, over the wheels. Luggage was stacked in the last row (just behind us) and several times we had suitcases come down on our heads. Normally, the luggage is put on the roof, but for some reason they didn't do it for our bus - all of the luggage was in with us - stacked floor to ceiling in the last row. As two females, you will certainly be safe as far as your fellow passengers and any locals are concerned, but watch out for flying luggage, lunatic drivers and a decrepit bus. I would avoid it at all costs - FLY!!! If you must take the bus, try Riverside - avoid the Impala shuttle!
Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 06:35 AM
  #6  
 
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canadian_robin - was laughing so hard reading your description.

When we did this trip (many many years ago), felt likewise driving from Nairobi/Arusha and at that time there was no road construction. On arrival at Arusha we immediately discussed with our tour operator to arrange a private vehicle transfer for our return Arusha/Nairobi. When asked why? Our response, "the one way was an adventure (uck!), the return would be pure punishment... no thanks."

Nowadways, I'd either arrange to arrive JRO or if coming in at NBO, then flights between the two.
sandi is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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canadian_robin, your encounter with Impala Shuttle brought back horrific memories of my ride with them from Arusha to JRO.

Here's my post from last year:

"I stayed at the Impala and had their shuttle ($15, a good price) pick me up from JRO. The traffic was very light at ~9:30 pm, and the driver kept a moderate, safe pace. The return with the shuttle (different driver) was hair-raising. There was very heavy traffic in both directions at the time (~6 pm) and the road sat under a pall of gray soot from exhaust fumes. These conditions did not keep the driver from attempting to attain Warp Speed whenever possible. The minivan had neither air conditioning [all the better to savor the exquisitely polluted air] nor safety belts, and repeated requests to slow down were either ignored or not understood."

"I'm not normally squeamish about cab/shuttle drivers, but that trip to JRO was the ride from hell."

So, donna66, try to be very selective about your transportation to Arusha.

Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 09:56 AM
  #8  
 
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Donna, I did this with a friend several years ago, one-way only (we're both women, at the time early-30s)--don't remember which company because we had our tour operator arrange it. No problems whatsoever.
Leely2 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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We took the shuttle 4 years ago. Originally it was to save $$ and experience a bit of local culture and scenery, and although it was quite an adventure (which I'm glad I did at the time), I have chosen not to repeat it again. The flight is my first choice now for getting from Nairobi-Arusha-Nairobi. The views of Kili from the air can be spectacular.
Calo is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 06:32 PM
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Sandi - my husband and I still laugh when we think of that bus trip - although we weren't laughing at the time. Thankfully, my DH has a good sense of humour and is a patient man, otherwise he might have fired me as his travel agent after that experience. Like Calo, we opted to take the bus so that we might "experience a bit of the local culture and scenery" - ironically, we couldn't see a thing for the dust. At least we survived to tell the tale - at times I thought for certain we were doomed. Like Steve, we had a driver who cared little for the safety of his passengers and more about keeping to the schedule. It was terrifying! Steve - I wish I had seen your posting - I would have followed your advice and been a little more selective. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 05:04 AM
  #11  
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Oh thankyou, you guys are amazing your stories are fantastic and greatly appreciated. Sounds like a adventure to die for,, or NOT!!!! anyway whilst I have your attention, could anyone please recommend a hotel to stay in overnight at Nairobi?
donna66 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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Fairview or Fairview Country Lodge in downtown NBO opposite the Israeli Embassy (the safest place in town) or Macushla House in Karen. However, if taking the bus, would suggest being in city center... Fairview.

On the Riverside Shuttle site, they do mention a number of hotels from where they meet/pick-up. Most of the majors are listed, of which Fairview appears. There are others, but prices might be higher.
sandi is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 03:58 PM
  #13  
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Thankyou Sandi Greatly appreciated
donna66 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 06:10 PM
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I second the Fairview. Have stayed there very happily on 2 different occasions.
Calo is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 10:58 PM
  #15  
 
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hi fodors member,
if you want to take bus from airport so i would reccommend riverside shuttle they have an office at the airport other bus that you can search via google i.e impala shuttle,scadinavian bus, akamba bus service you can try this its safe to travel with this.

HAPPY 201000000......
wildcat1 is offline  

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