-Unforgettable matatu ride around town
-Behind the scenes look at how matatus are made
-Meet a graffiti artist
-Local lunch at a mall
In Kenya, matatu or matatus (known as mathree in Sheng) are privately owned minibuses used as shared taxis. Often decorated, many matatu feature portraits of famous people or slogans and sayings. Likewise, the music they play is also aimed at quickly attracting riders. Over 70% of commuter trips are taken using matatu in cities like Nairobi.
They may ply set routes and run both inter and intra-city. They stop along said route to purchase or collect money from passengers. In addition to a driver, matatu may be staffed by a conductor, locally known as a makanga or manamba or donda.
As of 1999, they were the only form of public transport available in Nairobi, Kenya, although in from 2006 this was no longer the case. Over the years, stiff competition is being experienced from transport-sharing applications such as SWVL or Uber.
Who This Experience Is Good For
Everyone that enjoys immersing in new cultures and experiencing what locals live on an every day basis.
- Transport from Westlands to town and way back
- Gratuity for the Artist
- Matatu Fees
What's Not Included
- Meals (bring your own snack on board the matatu - optional)
Know Before You Go
- Minimum Needed: 10 people - Maximum Capacity: 32 people
- Booking Deadline: 3 days in advance
- Weather Dependent: No
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- Special Clothing Required: No
- Special Dietary Restrictions: Self catering
- Extra Cash: None
- Accommodation: N/A -
-Transportation: The matatu is a very local affair and can be loud. The seats are comfortable.
- Additional Information: n/a
Frequently Asked Questions
After a loud but energetic ride around town in the matatu, we got to meet a few local graffiti artists who are renown for their artwork on matatu buses. It was a very casual ride around and meet up with the artist where got to see different parts of the city and ask questions about their work as a matatu artist. After a failed attempt to tour the matatu factory, we headed to lunch. The choices were limited but the local food was good. A great way to experience Nairobi as a local and see different parts of the city.