10 tips on Surviving Traffic Jam in Nairobi

Have you ever experienced traffic jam in Nairobi during rush hour or paydays?  It’s one of the most nauseating things Nairobians have to encounter. Imagine getting stuck in traffic for more than three hours without an idea when you will reach your destination. Imagine students getting late to school and people missing important meetings all due to Nairobi’s traffic. Imagine missing your flight and terminally ill patients losing their lives because the ambulance could not reach hospital in time.

A recent report by numbeo.com ranks Nairobi as the second worst city in the world on traffic congestion after Kolkata.  A big population and an increased number of public and private cars make the situation worse day by day.  So, what would you do to survive a heavy traffic jam in Nairobi?

  1. Get Entertained

We all hate traffic jam and if you are caught up in one, cheer up yourself up by listening to your favorite music or radio show. You can also watch YouTube videos through your phone or tablet. If music and videos aren’t your modes of entertainment, grab a book or a magazine or a newspaper just to distract yourself from the traffic woes.

  1. Use Trains

Even though commuter train services aren’t up to standards, you can still avoid Nairobi’s traffic jam by catching a train to and from town.  The Kenya Railways Corporation operates daily commuter services in a number of areas including Kibera, Kikuyu, Ruiru, Makadara, Embakasi and Syokimau among other estates. The downside with trains though is commuter congestion; sometimes you may fail to get a seat and thus stand all the way to your destination. However, the good news is-there are plans by the government to upgrade the commuter rail service for Nairobi and its environs.

  1. Check Social Media Updates

Thanks to social media, you can get updated on the latest incidents and status of traffic across all major roads. @Ma3Route is particularly very reliable in providing real-time Nairobi traffic news and advisories on Twitter.

  1. Ride a bicycle/Motorbike to work

That Nairobians hate cycling is not news. In fact, many would rather walk to work than be seen riding a bicycle. There’s a common stereotype that those who ride bicycles are poor. This is one of the very reason we can’t manage Nairobi’s traffic jam. Cycling has tremendous health benefits apart from being friendly to the ecosystem compared to cars. With a bicycle, you will be able to slither your way through traffic and attain physical fitness at the same time. A motorbike is a great alternative if you can’t cycle.

Nairobi County Women Rep. Esther Passaris proudly rides her bicycle to office.

  1. Get Some Sleep

If you are not the driver, you can kill time by taking a nap. This is especially good if you woke up early and barely had enough time to sleep well.

  1. Leave One Hour earlier

You can always avoid Nairobi’s traffic problems by leaving at least one hour earlier. When you reach your destination, you will notice how calm, relaxed and productive you are compared to the days you are held up by the gridlock.

  1. Leave your car at home

If you have no problem with using public transport then leave your car at home and hope into a Matatu. Not only will you be able to spend less but you will experience less stress compared to those who drive to work.

  1. Get your Snack

It is always good to have snacks with you. Snacking is great especially if you are hungry and stuck in a heavy afternoon traffic jam in Nairobi.

  1. Drink Water

Don’t get stressed by the traffic-Nourish your body with water. Compensate the loss of fluids in your body by rehydrating.

  1. Phone a friend

If you have been yearning to call an old friend, the traffic jam provides you an opportunity to do so. You will get ample time to enjoy a long conversation good enough to cheer you up or augment your relationships with friends and family.

In the meantime if you want to know how we can solve Nairobi’s traffic jam problems then Arjen Jaarsma’s article is perfect for you.

Do you have any traffic jam experiences and tips? Please do share them on the comment box below.


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