The 3 Top Challenges with Driving in Nairobi, Kenya

    Dec 03, 2019 @ 02:00 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

    Nairobi, Kenya Road Conditions

    A view of roads in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo taken by AIRINC Surveyor Samuel Pearl Schwartz.

    Changing road and traffic conditions in Nairobi, Kenya

    On my last survey, a five-week trip across Africa, I visited Lagos, Nigeria and Cairo, Egypt, two cities with notorious traffic conditions. These locations lived up to their hype, and I spent a lot of time sitting in traffic. However, I was surprised to find that Nairobi, Kenya’s traffic was almost as bad despite lacking the same level of notoriety.

    Nairobi’s three main issues are a shortage of stop signs and traffic lights at intersections, poor road quality, and incredible amounts of construction that disrupt traffic routes. These factors typically exist to some extent in developing countries, but in Nairobi it felt like all three issues were layered on top of each other in the same areas, creating an immense gridlock.


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    Paralyzing construction in one of Africa's fastest growing cities

    Nairobi is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities, so the number of construction projects far exceeded what I typically see on survey. On the way to my hotel in the Central Business District, I saw many people covering more ground walking than I could in my rideshare. The situation was the same in expatriate areas near major shopping malls. Many expats in Nairobi drive themselves rather than hire drivers, so assignees should be prepared for long, difficult, and stressful commutes.


    Global Transportation: Want to learn more?

    Many factors, such as traffic conditions and security environment, impact transportation options for expatriates. If you’d like to learn more about expatriate transportation in Kenya or anywhere around the globe, click below:

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    Topics: Cost of Living, On-site Insight, Hardship, Cost of Living Surveys, Cost of living data, Transportation, Insights and Experience, Transportation Data, Nairobi, Kenya, Transportation Reports

    Samuel Pearl Schwartz

    Written by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

    Sam joined AIRINC in 2018 as a surveyor and analyst. He has conducted cost of living and housing surveys in more than 40 cities across 30+ countries. He also assists in the production of AIRINC publications. Sam received his B.A. in history from Tufts University. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish and intermediate Portuguese. Sam is based in Cambridge, MA.