Taking the shuttle bus is the most budget-friendly way to travel from Arusha, Tanzania to Nairobi, Kenya. As a result of the Namanga immigration border stop, it can take about 4 hours with a private car and about 6 hours with the shuttle bus. The journey didn’t feel as long as I expected probably because I slept through most of the journey. While I was still awake, I saw some lovely scenic views along the way.
How to purchase your bus ticket?
You can purchase your bus ticket at Riverside bus station in Kijenge near the impala hotel. You will see a couple of bus companies. Riverside shuttle and Marangu are the most popular shuttle bus companies you will see here. I purchased my ticket with the Marangu shuttle bus as I was told by locals that they were very reliable and have comfortable seats. Both bus companies provide private hire and shared shuttle bus services. The shuttle bus companies can provide hotel drop-off as well.
Cost of bus ticket: 50000 Tsh (£15)
Travel Smart Tip: It’s a good idea to buy your ticket at least a day before you travel.
The bus leaves at 8:00 am from Riverside bus station which is the meeting point. It’s important to note that the reporting time to arrive at the meeting point is 7:30 am. The estimated arrival time in Nairobi is 2:00 pm at Parkside hotel in Jevanjee. The shuttle bus companies can provide hotel drop-off as well.
What do you need to do before travelling to Kenya?
It’s important to check your country’s travel advisory for Kenya as entry requirements into Kenya will differ from country to country. If you are travelling from the UK:
- You will need to have proof of a covid negative PCR certificate. All negative COVID-19 test results must prove that they have been taken no more than 96 hours before travel to Kenya and be verified digitally through the Trusted Travel Initiative.
- If you travel to Kenya you will also need to complete a COVID-19 Travellers Health Surveillance Form.
- You can either get a visa on arrival or apply for an e-visa online before your departure.
- You may need a yellow fever certificate when entering Kenya from certain destinations.
What happens at the Namanga border?
Travelling during pandemic times has made some changes in the way the officials at the Namanga border operate. Face masks must be worn at all times and your temperature will be checked. You will go through security checks and bags are checked and sniffed by dogs. You will then need to fill in a departure form and health forms with the correct information. Your negative covid test results should be printed out and will need to be given to the health officials to be, stamped, signed off and a copy will be kept. There is a printer available to print your test at an extra cost.
You need to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate and they ask to see this.
The Tanzanian immigration officer will stamp your passport. Then you will need to take a printout of your visa and COVID test certificate to Kenyan immigration. If you have not got an e-visa, you can get a visa on arrival depending on which country you’re a passport holder. Kenyan immigration officers will ask you a few questions, such as why you are in the country. Kenyan immigration will also require proof of return ticket. When you have cleared Kenyan immigration, your luggage will go through security checks again, and you will be free to leave and enter Kenya.
Would you do a road trip to cross the borders to another country?