All posts tagged: driving

Driving to the Coast

Once again, we spent Christmas in Kenya. I’ll write more about the holiday itself in an upcoming post. This post is about the drive down. J. had gone via car with his family when he lived in Kenya in the 1980s. This was our first time driving together and it was his first time driving the car down himself. We researched it. We got lots of advice. We were prepared for everything. Mombassa Highway is a decent enough road as far as how well it’s paved. The issues about driving it have to do with traffic and idiot drivers. Luckily, we made it without a hitch. Much of that is luck. We didn’t have too many idiot drivers in the way. There weren’t any big accidents. But part of why the drive went well was planning. First, we left early, just as dawn broke. We wanted to beat the traffic. The two places where there are major chokeholds are Athi River and Machakos. Leaving super early really helped because we beat the traffic. Once we …

Driving up to the Saruni Samburu

A few weeks ago, we decided to go up to Samburu again. This time around, we were going mostly to experience the Saruni Samburu—will have a review of that later. Also, this time, we drove. Altogether, it took about five hours. Timing included a lovely stop at Barney’s, a cafe next to the Nanyuki airfield. I don’t have too many pictures from that, but here are some: That was about three hours into the drive. The road was excellent the whole way up to Nanyuki. Actually, the road was excellent all the way up to the Kalama Gate at Samburu. That’s where you turn off to head up the rough road to the Saruni. That’s when our Land Rover Defender really got to be used. Word to the wise, and they will advise you at the gate, you cannot make it up to the Saruni without a proper SUV. It’s can’t be any car that is a 4×4. You need high clearance off the ground. A proper SUV or truck will work fine. Leave the …

Another New Family Member

Driving in Kenya has been an evolution for me. I started out not really wanting to drive. I’m from New York. I don’t do that crap. Then I realized the freedom a car would give me. I needed to drive. Indeed, you do need a car to get anywhere here. Soon, we got to a point where we needed a second car, sorry, vehicle. Sure, we could manage with one. But, it was getting harder and harder. And so, our newest addition to the family: a Land Rover Defender. It’s J.’s baby. I think it feels like you’re riding in a tractor, but apparently that is the appeal. J. loves his Landy. (Just don’t call it a car!)  

Driver’s License for Expats in Kenya

I did say I’d keep posting any new tips. Here are some relating to driver’s licenses. Getting a License Okay, here, I can’t help much. The U.N. did it for us. I don’t know the process if you are not with the U.N. or an embassy. If anyone reading knows this information, please feel free to add it in via the comments section. Renewing a Kenyan License This part I know and it’s super easy. For anyone who is a resident and has an Alien ID card, you can just go online to eCitizen web site and renew it online. You fill out the form online, pay online, and print your renewal slip which you tuck into your license. However, if you have diplomatic status (e.g. are with an embassy or the U.N.) then you can’t do this. You won’t have an Alien ID card. Your license will need to go through the Foreign Ministry first. BUT…and this made my entire year…you don’t have to go through the ssslllloooooooow process at the U.N. or at …

I Used To Be Driven

Now, I’m driving. I’m taking the car a few days a week. I pretty much only need to hire a driver for one-off trips. This is a very new thing for me. I like it. I never really understood the sense of freedom people felt with having a car. Living in New York, why would I need one? It’s a maintenance. You have to garage it or move it every day (every other day?) because of street cleaning. It was a pain to have a car. Now, I’m loving it. I’m comfortable on the road. I still hate parking lots but I’m fine with them. I love being able to go where I want, when I want, without having to plan every single excursion. I’m all about the car. I even want us to get a second car. We don’t need one. I can drop off J. and pick him up from school work. It’s not necessary for us to have two vehicles. But, I want my own. Actually, I want the one we have now …