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The Time I Took a 19-hour Bus Ride Across East Africa, Because Why Not.

August 12, 2016

 

 

My work visa in Tanzania was about to expire, and I needed to do a quick trip out of the country in order to renew it. I couldn’t be gone for too long, so it made sense to go somewhere nearby, like to one of the neighbouring countries, like… Kenya. Plus, I had a friend in Nairobi whom I haven’t seen in years, which also meant free accommodation...

 

Okay, Nairobi, Kenya it is.

 

I did a bit of research, and found out there were multiple ways to get to Nairobi. Flying in was ridiculously expensive, as the route was monopolized by one airline. Driving in wasn’t an option as I neither had an International Driver’s Licence nor a car to drive. Taking a bus though…

 

I decided to refer to the wisdom of a native Kenyan director in the company who made frequent trips back to Nairobi every other weekend to visit his family.

 

“Henry, should I take a flight or a bus to Nairobi?”

 

He said: “Don’t ever take the bus to Nairobi.”

 

I carefully thought about what he said, and came back to him the next day. “Henry,” I said happily, “I’m taking the bus to Nairobi!”

 

***

 

I even managed to convince my colleague, Jehan, to come along.

 

“It’ll be an adventure!” I said. “We’ll get to see the local villages, we’ll pass by Mount Kilimanjaro, we may even get to see wildlife! Giraffes! Elephants! Hyenas! It’ll be fun!” I said.