Getting around Kisumu

A Cheap way to get around, but also a way to test your negotiating skills. So, in my previous blog, I mentioned how easy your life will be if you become short-time “bff” with a bodaboda man. Having a trusted bodaboda guy will save you the hassle of negotiating prices anytime you go out. Just tell them your agenda for the day and when you would like them to be available. They are easily reliable.

Bodaboda stand

I have made friends with some of them, however, calling them and making arrangement is bothersome on my part, so, I just hop on any bodaboda, but before I do, I ask for the price. From Dunga (where I stay) to work is 50ksh. If I don’t go with my regulars, I get charged 70-100ksh. I look at the man and tell him straight up, “I am paying 50, don’t think I don’t know you are trying to do.” I say this all the time, so they just smile and tell me to hop on and off I go. Usually from home to town is 50, but if going further it can be 70-100ksh. You just have to negotiate if you believe the price to your location is unreasonable.

Bodaboda man

From work back home, the bodabodas try to charge me 70-100ksh and that’s due to the fact that my work is located in a richer suburb, so they assume I should have the money. Even though, I made friends with all of them, as they greet me by my nickname every morning I come to work, they still insist I pay 70ksh. If they keep insisting I pay 70 instead of 50, I walk to either a different bodaboda stop or just walk home (an hour walk- I need to lose weight anyways. Hehe). It is not about the money, but sometimes, the bodaboda charge more than they should just because. So, you just have to be smart and stick to a strict negotiating manner, or you get ripped off.

Tuk-tuk rider

There are other ways of getting around. Hopping in on a tuk-tuk (three-wheeled bike) which is a little bit more expensive, about 200ksh can take you to places that are a little bit farther. I haven’t taken a tuk-tuk because my personal travels are within town.

Tuktuk stand
Tuk-Tuk stand

Another form is a matatu (bus). This is when you are going to places farther than town. I use this when I am going to the field, but hardly. It depends on where you are headed, but the price usually ranges from 100-200ksh. You just negotiate with the conductors. If you don’t speak Swahili or Luo (Kisumu is mostly Luo tribe), then just pay the amount  because the conductors are harder to negotiate with.


Lastly, a bicycle is an option to get to your nearest destination. They are the cheapest form of transportation, but sometimes, they charge the same price as a bodaboda. Anyways, if you don’t have a car, these are the options of getting around. If you are super rich, you can board a taxi and call it a day. Otherwise, live like a local and enjoy the adventure.

Passenger on a Bodaboda and a Bicycle

Till then,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s