Nakuru is the fourth largest city in Kenya. Here’s a quick guide to help you find your way around.
Public transportation can be found almost everywhere. Here are the options.
Matatu – mini bus for public transport, cheapest option (KSh20) from Melon or your home stay to town, but on going back from town its (KSH30) circulates every few minutes, a good way to go into town.
Boda boda – bicycle taxi, KSh30 from Melon or your home stay to town, good for when not in a hurry, good for going from town to Melon Mission, good for traveling from one place to another on Kenyatta Avenue (main high street).
Piki piki – motorcycle taxi, the fastest transportation option because they are on most street corners, good for short trips, KSh50 takes you to town from Melon or your home stay to town, you can ask the driver to slow down (“pole pole”), some drivers have umbrellas for you to use when it rains,their cost increases at night to KSh100 for a ride home to the house.
Tuk tuk – three wheeler taxi, a more expensive option, safer, shelters you from rain, in shorter supply, costs r KSh150 to take you to town from Melon or your Home stay to town, but make sure you get a driver recommendation from Joyce. In town you can find a tuk tuk quite easily and only have to pay KSh150 to get home.
Taxi – regular car taxi, costs can be up to KSh500 to go into town from Melon or your Home stay to town.Safest but most expensive option. Less expensive to use a trusted piki piki or tuk tuk driver.
Barclays Bank – in the centre of town, has one guard during the day and two guards at night for safety.
Chase Bank – located on Kenyetta Avenue.
Equity Bank – located on Kenyetta Avenue.
KCB, Imperial Bank and I & M Bank – local banks on Kenyetta Avenue.
Nakuru can be dangerous if you do not know what to expect and how to act. Don’t walk around town after dark and instead by piki piki or tuk tuk for safety, especially with a driver you know personally. Drivers have been known to take passengers to areas where a group of people are waiting to rob them, therefore, if you need a taxi we highly recommend that you call a driver who we have used frequently and trust.Only carry the money you plan to spend and don’t carry debit/credit cards.Do not hand out money on the streets because you may become a target for thieves or a large group of street children may accost you. Avoid telling locals where you are staying. Don’t wear expensive jewelry.
Don’t use personal electronics (camera, phone, etc.) on the street. Carry electronics in a bag that can’t be pickpocketed. Avoid group photos while in town unless you are with a trusted guide or are in a hotel or restaurant. Taking photographs of the locals may offend them because they may feel that you are gawking at their poverty. Try to grant them privacy and keep the image of what you see in your heart, rather than in your camera. If you politely ask to take someone’s picture, they may appreciate having their picture taken if you promise to send them a copy. Sometimes they will ask you to pay them in order to take their picture.
Gilanis Supermarket – grocery, near Barclays Bank, use cash.
Nakumatt – grocery, Westside mall, permits debit/credit cards with passport for ID.
Woolmart – grocery, main high street/Kenyetta Avenue, use cash.
Tuskys – grocery, main high street/Kenyetta Avenue, use cash.
Westside Mall – to purchase non-grocery items visit the small shops along Kenyetta Ave (high street).
Shops are generally ‘fixed-price’ but many Kenyans will see a “mzungu” (white person) and see how much they can get out of you! Bargain aggressively for a good price and don’t be surprised if you pay half the price of what was originally asked (this does not apply to grocery stores). If you want, you may talk to other volunteers or the Melon staff to get a good idea of what something should cost.
RELAXATION & RESTAURANTS
Fun Fact: In Kenya, a “hotel” can be the name for a restaurant or a place to sleep. Main courses generally cost 2-3 GBP, a coke 25 pence, and a beer about 70 pence.
Merica Hotel – popular with volunteers, restaurant, free wifi, swimming pool (once = KSh300, monthly = KSh3,500-4,500), gym and massage parlor. Be careful not to abuse the free wifi otherwise you will be asked to leave. Gym and pool access = KSh6,000 for 1 month, or KSh5,000 to KSh10,000 for 2 months.
Waterbuck Hotel – a luxury hotel located near Westside Mall, good for eating out with friends.
Sisima Café – at the spike centre, free wifi, western style food, good for socializing and drinks, next to an internet café with fast internet. The internet costs KSh120 per hour.
Taidys – good for socializing & drinks on second floor.
Gilanis Bar and Restaurant – fastest service, friendly, best prices, pool table, next to Gilanis supermarket, good for watching football/soccer, good for socializing and drinks.
Guavas – across from Merica hotel on 4th floor, good food, cheap pizzas.
Java – Westside Mall, western style menu, fast service, friendly, good value, delicious cake.