The other day I had an opportunity to travel to Mombasa. Transportation and accommodation require the most planning. I had accommodation sorted out by a friend staying there, who offered me a place at her house. This was after spending a considerable amount of time going through accommodation choices in Airbnb. The next thing to sort out was the means of getting to that house in Mombasa. I was travelling on a budget so a flight was not an option. I would have afforded Jumbo Jet, which was going for about 4000 Ksh at the time but I wanted to have enough money left over for booze and other goodies that I would find there. I was to travel by bus.
Obviously as any normal person does nowadays, I pressed the power button on my phone, unlocked the screen, opened the browser and did a number of Google searches,
‘nairobi-mombasa bus travel’
‘best bus to travel to Mombasa’,
‘best, safe bus to Mombasa’
‘best and cheapest bus to Mombasa’
I have to say I was disappointed at the end of all those searches. There is no much information online about bus travel in Kenya. I hoped that I would be able to see reviews and probably even make a booking online but I just did not trust the online bookings I came across.
Here is what I found out on Nairobi-Mombasa Bus Travel
- Modern Coast has the best website. I could actually make a booking online; book the seat I liked just like flight bookings, and make payment online. This is a BIG plus to Modern Coast. Other websites only had the bus schedules and prices. This is not enough in this age. I should be able to do most of the things online.
- Coast Bus had the best reviews online, that is among the few reviews I could find. I never used it so I cannot confirm that. However, the bus I saw on my departure day that was to leave at 1300 Hrs was so old. I could not imagine myself travelling for over 8 hours in that. On the other hand,
Modern Coast was high on bad reviews especially with customer care and speeding issues. I guess they must have damn good drivers if they over speed and we never hear accidents from them.
- There are a couple of online booking companies, which I came across. That is booknow.co.ke and busbud.com. They both seemed legit though so I called coast bus to inquire about booking via an online company. The representative I spoke to did not seem to have any clue what an online booking is let alone booknow or busbud. This is not to mean that they are not legit companies, I am sure some people have booked through them successfully as I saw on their Facebook pages. Maybe they just have not yet made a big impact in the bus industry.
More tips you could use.
- If you want a new bus, book a late night bus. The old buses usually travel during the day and early night. If possible, take a late night bus that is from 2200 Hrs.
- Apparently, Mash Poa does not accept payment via credit card. That is from the booking I made to travel back to Nairobi from Mombasa. Mash, I really liked your buses and drivers but you are being left behind. Modern Coast is already accepting online payment. You should up your game.
- If you are in a hurry to get to the coast or back, there are mini vans that offer those services. Mainly Toyota Voxys and Noahs carrying 7 passengers and some 5. They can be a bit uncomfortable for the long journey but be sure to get to your destination 3 to 4 hours earlier than a bus departing the same time.
There are bus companies I have not touched on since getting any info about them online was hard. They are however, considered good. These are Spanish Coach, Tahmeed and Bus Car.
Hope this info on Nairobi-Mombasa bus travel was helpful and you can always contact me here for any queries.