Nairobi, the City

Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is cosmopolitan, lively, interesting and pleasantly landscaped. Its central business district is handily compact and it's a great place to tune into modern urban African life.

Originally little more than a swampy watering hole for Maasai tribes, Nairobi grew with the advent of the railway and had became a substantial town by 1900. Five years later it succeeded Mombasa as the capital of the British protectorate.

Getting there & around

Unless you're coming overland from Southern Africa, flying is the most convenient way to get to Nairobi. Nairobi is a major African hub, so flights between it and the rest of the content, plus many other destinations in Europe are frequent and relatively cheap. Coming overland, Nairobi is easily reached by bus and minibus from various destinations in Tanzania and Kampala in Uganda. To arrive from Ethiopia, you will have to get on a truck (which will be part of an escorted convoy) from the border at Moyale and swap to a bus at Isiolo.

Within Kenya, Nairobi can be reached from Mombasa by either train or bus, while long-distance buses and minibuses run to many destinations including Isiolo (via Nanyuki), Eldoret (via Nakuru) and Kisumu (also via Nakuru).

Getting Around

The airport shuttles runs every half hour between the international airport and city centre hotels. Better - and reasonably-priced if you're good at bargaining - is a taxi. Once in the city, buses are a cheap way of getting around, but they can be very crowded during peak hour. Matatus (minibuses) are much the same, although they tend to be more frequent and their drivers often in a hurry. Taxis are somewhat expensive, but vital for night travel for safety reasons and often well worth the extra money during the daytime as well. The main part of town is easily traversed on foot.

For a detailed guide, please download and make use of our International Student Handbook or get in touch with our student affairs office using the address provided below.

Student Affairs

United States International University

P.O. Box 14634 00800

Thika Road Kasarani

Nairobi, Kenya

Phone: 254-730-116000 Ext. 269/274

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