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LyndaS Feb 27th, 2006 10:09 PM

Car & Driver for Nairobi
Hi guys-
Can anyone recommend who I might contact for a day hire for a car and driver in Nairobi? We are arriving a day before the group is to get together, and we'd like to see and do a few things that day out around the Nairobi National Park area.

kimburu Feb 28th, 2006 02:10 AM


This may not be what you were looking for, but unless you need professional guiding too you are just as well getting a taxi. Generally it is going to work out cheaper and the taxis which queue outside the better hotels are generally in good condition and have reasonably polite and friendly drivers. You can bargain a good price for a half day or whole day,etc. Both doormen we dealt with were happy to help us with this and did not attempt to take advantage. In addition, Nairobi taxis do not generally charge for waiting - even if it is 2 hours or so. If you wanted to do that I am sure we can all give you a good idea of what a fair price will be between us; so you don't need to haggle.

I would never have imagined this would be a good idea before I went, but am pretty comfortable recommending it now as a not at all "adventurous" option.

Otherwise, most car hire firms offer a "with driver" option which is only about $15 (or thereabouts)more expensive than car alone.

If you need a guide too I don't have anyone I can really recommend since the only time we hired a car and guide in Nairobi (not from Mr G!) we wished we'd just got a taxi.

sandi Feb 28th, 2006 06:08 AM

Hi Lynda -

Your hotel will have a Tour Desk with whom you can arrange for a driver/vehicle for a few hours, half-day or more. The charge will include any entrance or donation fees. Of course a tip is suggested at the conclusion.

Then there is the taxi option, as suggested above, who can probably provide just your transportation and any fees (admittance or donation) to be paid directly by you. If you have the driver wait while visiting the park or if you stop for shopping, and though the driver will probably offer to wait at no extra charge, it is suggested you tip or pay him for the wait time - it's not a lot.

As a comparison, you may want to contact your tour operator to see what they would charge for the same service.

As a guideline, if choosing your tour operators, the cost will range between $75/$100 for the day to take you wherever, do whatever (you'd pay your own entry fees, though some may include these in the cost). Others, may offer a reduced rate (few will offer this comp) since you've already booked the balance of your itinerary with them.

Calo Feb 28th, 2006 06:43 AM

Hi Lynda,
I have arranged for a day hire through WildTrek. We've booked our Tanzania safari through Roy's ... Wild Trek is their counterpart in Kenya. The driver will be picking us up at our hotel in Nairobi and taking us to:

Collectors Den 9-10
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 11-12
Blixen Museum - 12-13h00
Lunch at Carnivore 14-15h00
Giraffe Center 15h15-16h15
Kazuri beads/shopping 16h30-18h30
Banana Box as it will fit in between excursions
evening transfer to airport

We are paying US$120pp which includes all entrance fees and lunch at the Carnivore - we chose where we thought we'd like to go and Wild Trek put the day together. The only thing not included is dinner.

I'm sure WildTrek would be able to accommodate your plans to be out and around the Nairobi National Park area.

Patty Feb 28th, 2006 08:33 AM

I use Eastern & Southern Safaris in Nairobi and I'm pretty sure they can provide you with just a vehicle and driver for the day. This should cost around $100 not including any entrance fees. You don't need to decide on any specific itinerary now. Just let the driver know where you want to go.

Or the taxi route would be cheaper and perfectly safe if you get one from your hotel. The last time I checked (about a year ago) with the Hilton staff, it was about $50 to hire a taxi for the day.

Leely Feb 28th, 2006 10:29 AM

We just used the guy who picked us up from the airport. This is NOT a problem to arrange (people want work!) and can be done upon arrival at your hotel as noted above whether taxi or private car/driver.

It will be fun.

ShayTay Feb 28th, 2006 04:03 PM

I was in Nairobi last year for 3 days, shopping for products for an African imports website. I used a car & driver from Mission Tour & Travel. I think I paid about $35 a day, but the rate was negotiated by a mission organization based in Nairobi and probably got a better rate than if I had done it myself.

They have an office in the US in Greenwood IN (317/888-1395.) Their e-mail address in Kenya is [email protected]. The 2 drivers I had were really nice and knew their way around. The vans were in good shape, as well. You could contact them and see what kind of rate they'll give you.

Treepol Feb 28th, 2006 09:54 PM

I can recommend Jimmy Kamau who is based at the Fairview Hotel. However, he collects passengers from other Nairobi Hotels. Last September Jimmy charged me $66USD for Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, Kazuri Beads, Karen Blixen House and the Giraffe Centre. It was an additional $40USD to visit Denys Finch Hatton's grave. Contact Jimmy through the Fairview Hotel,

Pumbavu Mar 1st, 2006 04:18 AM

Can I recommend a driver? His name is Kaparo and I use him a lot when I'm in Nairobi. I'm sure he would give you a price and you can SMS him on +254722345370

LyndaS Mar 2nd, 2006 11:39 AM

THANKS everyone for the replies - first, I will check with our operator as Sandi suggests, see what they charge and, as well look at some of the other options that you guys mentioned here!
was that 120.00 pp per day, or 120.00 for two?
Sandi - was the guideline 100.00 per person, or for two together as well?

sandi Mar 2nd, 2006 12:18 PM

Lynda -

Calo broke down their days activities - a full day at $120/person which includes all their entry fees, if applicable and dinner.

My range of numbers was also for a full day, but without the entry fees and no lunch or dinner.

So, they're comparable.

We've found with travels just about everywhere in the world, a full days activities/tour can range between $85 to $150/day which includes fees and a meal.

Let us know what information you find and your decision.

Patty Mar 2nd, 2006 12:29 PM

Just to clarify, the numbers I listed were per vehicle not per person.

LyndaS Mar 2nd, 2006 06:32 PM

OOPS - I can't believe how blind I am - missed that pp in Calo's post!
My wonderful patient-new-best-friend at Micato (Fran, she has been INCREDIBLE these last three years answering all of my endless questions) got back to me today about the cost to do it with them, it's more than what I see here (200.00 pp), so I emailed her back, and told her it was a little pricey. I wanted to be up front with her, and I do want to be loyal, but at the same time I do want to save $ where I can.
As it is only to two places, plus a lunch, I will think seriously about Paul and Leely's suggestion as we really don't need a guide at either of the animal orphanages. But, I will also check out Wildtrek and Eastern & Southern and a few of the others that were suggested, as I am not a very 'spur of the moment' person - I always feel the need to pre-book things. I just always feel better doing it beforehand, although thinking back, we have had some great adventures on the fly over the years!
So, off I go to check out these suggestions - I will get back to everyone and let everyone know what we decided.
PS - Pumbavu - is SMS text messaging? (sorry, this a 50+ (only a little +) person talking here....)

sandi Mar 3rd, 2006 05:19 AM

lynda -

Interesting price from Micato.
Glad I told you to check and I'm sure you're glad you did.

As you see, there are other options for a lot less costly.

Leely Mar 3rd, 2006 08:20 AM


I love it when Sandi says things like "interesting price"--gotta read between the lines on that one. ;)

I found the card of the guy who toured us around Nairobi; can't believe I still have it. Anyway, you can add to your growing list Kennedy Muthoka of Waymark Tours and Hotel Services. 254-2-788273 or email at [email protected].

I don't know if he's still around at these numbers, but as suggested above, this is a very easy task to arrange when you arrive. Your hotel will definitely have recommendations/cards at their desk and you could also just get a taxi.

LyndaS Mar 4th, 2006 06:30 PM

Thanks for the email address for Waymark Tours. I am going to email him and find out if he is available and how much along with the others I was checking; should I ask for Kennedy in particular - ie did you guys find him a good guide?

Leely Mar 4th, 2006 07:29 PM

I called my friend to doublecheck: "Would you recommend Kennedy for a day in Nairobi?" She said, yes, no problem, he's reliable.

He is quite friendly and chatty. Loquacious, even, but I think part of that may have been our "vibe"; people seemed to see us as two happy-go-lucky sorts. Even though we aren't.

We ended up going out drinking with him. I don't necessarily recommend this! But it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience--or so we thought.

Back to the topic at hand: Yes, for a day or half-day of sightseeing in Nairobi, I recommend Kennedy. I don't know what his role at Waymark is; he may even be part owner. Do know, however, that his car is comfortable but not brand-spanking-new. It's not a Micato tour. ;)

If you do end up connecting with him, make sure you ask him the story behind his first name.

LyndaS Mar 15th, 2006 06:01 PM

The deed is done - I started with Kennedy (Leely's bar-buddy! - I do want to hear that story Leely) and Wildtrek. I was going to try some more, but then thought I didn't want to trouble too many people and have too many choices! Both gave good prices, but I just really liked Kennedy's emails - so we will be going with him. I think we shall have a great time with him!
Leely, he wanted to know who reccommended him - I told him when you went and where he took you - is there anything else I can say so he will know who you are? (you see, I couldn't give him a name....)

Leely Mar 16th, 2006 10:02 AM

Hi Lynda,
I'm glad Kennedy seems like he'll work out for you. He may not remember me (2 years ago!) but he may remember my friend whose name is Karen and he of course made a big deal of visiting the Karen area, the Karen Blixen museum, etc. He's a bit of a ham. ;)

We couldn't really go downtown because there was a big political demonstration re: ratifying the amendments to the constitution that day, so we visited the Sheldrick orphanage, the Blixen museum, the Carnivore (which I'd skip if I were to do it again), some bead store of course, and then a roadhouse. He was the first of a number of people who would ask us "Do you want to go to a tourist place or a REAL African place?"

Well, when it's put that way what are you going to say? :))

We had planned to see a few more things with him on our way back to London as we had a scheduled 6 hour layover in Nairobi. Due to flight troubles on Zanzibar we didn't get to Nairobi until about an hour or so before our flight was scheduled to leave. We also had accidentally changed too much USD into TZ shillingi so I don't think we could have paid him anyway. Oops.

LyndaS Mar 30th, 2006 08:11 PM

Leely -
Just wanted to say that Kennedy and I are getting on famously. We have been emailing back and forth, I think I have been keeping him very busy!
He does remember you now, he said THANKYOU very much for recommending him, and he also said he had a real fun day with you guys!
He is very enthusiastic, and lots of fun to correspond with - he's even teaching me a bit of Swahili by email. We started out with booking him for 4-5 hours, then I extended it to 8 hours or so - there is so much we want to do, and I just immediately liked his responses to my emails. Right now he is working on trying to get us in to hug the cheetahs at KWS orphanage - I would LOVE to do this again, we did it SA and it was truly our highlight!
Quick question though - I have a little trouble with accents (just can't seem to catch what people are saying sometimes), is his English fairly good, and does he speak with a heavy accent? It's not the fault of the person who is speaking, it's mine, I just can't seem to understand some accents!

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