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Road Safety

Sunderland, United...
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81 posts
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Road Safety

Thinking of hiring a motor bike on holiday in Mtwapa, what are the roads like and is it safe to drive at night.

Newcastle upon...
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1. Re: Road Safety

Road safety and Kenya should not be mentioned in the same article. They are the worst drivers in the world and renting a bike I would not advise anyone, especially at night. If your experienced on a bike your probably in all accounts going to be fine but I cant advise someone to hire one there if i wouldnt myself or one of my friends.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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2. Re: Road Safety

Hi,

I spend most of the year in Mtwapa and have a motorbike, the standard of driving here is absolutely appalling, and conformance with traffic rules and road etiquette non-existent. Many drivers have had no lessons and have no licence. All my friends advised me not to get a motorbike, since the government removed import tax on motorbikes to stimulate business there are thousands of them around, and there are fatalities daily. But I had got used to having a bike to run around on in Thailand, and here it is easier and faster to get around the bumpy, potholed dirt roads of Mtwapa and it saves a great deal in fuel as you are in low gear most of the time in a car because of the state of the roads.I also know the traffic here as I have been driving here for a couple of years. However on the very day I bought the bike two Germans were killed on bikes on the main road in Shanzu, and the very large bloodstain stayed on the road for weeks after as a reminder

Apart from the standard of driving, car, truck and particularly the insane matatu drivers seem incapable of seeing motorbikes or if they do they expect you to get out off the road to make room for them as they do their kamikaze overtaking manoeuvres.

I ride the bike during the day in the Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, Mtwapa, Kikambala area but exercising extreme caution and treating everyone else on the road as a potential lunatic (which most are). Several times I have had to swerve off the main carriageway as a matatu has headed straight for me at very high speed on my side of the road. At night I will ride the bike around Mtwapa on the dirt roads and on the main road through Mtwapa itself because traffic is always very slow through Mtwapa, but I won't ride it on the Shanzu - Bamburi beach stretch of the main road at night.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Road Safety

Hi Shian

Please listen to the Doffcocker, it would be absolute madness, Paul is used to the roads and it even scares him. Often we have came across accidents where a matatu has hit a motorbike, there is no 999 ambulance service so if the worst did occur it could prove to be fatal.

We have been coming to kenya for 12 years, my husband an experienced driver over here only drives at night when necessary !!!

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Road Safety

I have no expereince of Mtwapa but lots elsewhere in Africa. Don't do it!!

After many 1,000s of miles as a front seat pax I still cannot understand the mindset of my drivers where bikes are concerned. They do see them and blast on the horn but if the biker does not immediately clear onto the soft shoulder it seems to be their fault not the drivers. I ask about this and am told "The road is for cars! Bikes can use the bush!"

My regular driver now knows my feelings and is more considerate (when I am with him anyway) so if you meet us you will be fine.

With everyone else out there?? No way. And this is in daylight.

Darkness brings its own risks such as animals and people wandering around and even lying in the road.

plymouth england
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for Kenya
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5. Re: Road Safety

Excellent advice ......... but I bet there`s one who will say "I have ridden for years and never had an accident ?

Come to Mtwapa -stop- look and then say - Thank you TA members for your sound advice... because Life is very cheap here ... bad accident?

one in Kikambala last Christmas well -after all his belongings were stolen off his broken body - a couple of tourists took their ghoulish pictures and a Doctor arrived that poor chap was pushing those pearly gates open ....... now if you insist on hiring a bike? just as you cross the bridge there is a shop selling wonderful Coffins very cheap -Red Green and ( right Mary ?) Blue Velvet .... ... Heed the advice Please. xxx

Shanzu, Kenya
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1,173 posts
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6. Re: Road Safety

Last Monday the father of a good friend (Kenyan) was on the back of a Piki-Piki (Motorcycle Taxi) on the Highway going from Kikambala to Mtwapa. Car hit the back of the Piki-Piki and as he was thrown off was run over by the car. Died on his way to Hospital. Burial is today.

DO NOT DO IT !!!

Nairobi, Kenya
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3,755 posts
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7. Re: Road Safety

One word: don't.

Sunderland, United...
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8. Re: Road Safety

Thanks for your advice , will get a taxi next time we go to Monsoon

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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9. Re: Road Safety

Sorry Folks, this is a wind up at my expense which I swallowed hook, line and sinker! Althougfh I didn't recognise the screename, I met Shian at Monsoons twice, the second time when i was bearing the wounds of coming off my motorbike on the very rough and bumpy dirt (actually hard coral) road between Monsoons and the main road.

Shian,

even though I'd forgotten your screen name, I should have twigged from the unusual references to renting a motorbike in Mtwapa and riding at night, and your Sunderland location.

Nyeri, Kenya
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2,339 posts
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10. Re: Road Safety

Hello,

I have driven extensively on Kenyan roads, for several years, but never on a bike. I would hesitate to ride one, or go on a 'Boda boda' (motorcycle taxi). A Kenyan friend of mine recently sustained a serious head injury when he came off one of these, on a speed bump (of which there are many). There are a high number of road deaths/serious injury from motorbike accidents - mostly versus cars, matatus and lorries. Hosptal wards are being opened in some areas, just for the victims of such accidents.

I have to say that the standard of driving in Mombasa area is significantly better that in Nairobi, which isnt saying much. Kenyans are only in a hurry once they get behind the wheel and drivers will pull out, turn without indicating, refuse to give way, overtake, undertake, and so on. Motorbikes and small cars are usually 'ignored' by drivers of larger vehicles, who assume 'right of way'. Added to this is the tendency for people to just cross the road in front of your vehicle.

Hiring a motorbike should not be considered until you have a 'feel' for the road conditions here.