In 2011 I traveled to Eldoret (Kenya) with two good friends for an internship in their university hospital. Before our trip, we searched the internet for information about Eldoret, but unfortunately we couldn’t find much. Therefore, Bunch of Backpackers would like to present this ultimate Eldoret guide!
Introduction to Eldoret
Eldoret is a busy, prosperous university city in western Kenya. It also referred to as the ‘home to running’ since many olympic medal winners were born in this area. Eldoret is dominated by Moi University, which also incorporates a large teaching hospital. In 2008 Eldoret was one of the many Kenyan cities who were affected by the post-election violence. During these violent tribal riots hundreds of people died, got injured or lost their home.
How to get from Nairobi to Eldoret?
– Fly with Jetlink or Fly540 for about 70 euro’s. 30 minutes flight.
– Bus (Easycoach or Kampala Bus or Akamba Bus) for about 8 euro. Recommended.
– Matatu (> 14 passengers in a minibus) for about 5 euro. Quite uncomfortable, esspeccialy with luggage.
– Shuttle bus (7 passengers) for about 3 euro. Better than a matatu.
– Taxi: about 120 euro.
Transportation in and around Eldoret
There is a matatu and Peugot stop near Ugnada road / the market. These leave when there are enough people.
– to Kisimu is Ksh 250 (2,5 hours)
– to Nakuru is Ksh 200 (2-3 hours)
– to Nairobi is Ksh 400 (6 hours)
– to Kitale is Ksh 200
– to Kisimu is Ksh 300 (2,5 hours)
– to Nakuru is Ksh 400 (2-3 hours)
– to Nairobi is Ksh 700 (6 hours)
A Lakamba bus
– to Nairobi is Ksh 500 and leaves at 10.30 and 21.00 via Nakuru (Ksh 250)
– to Kampala is Ksh 1000 and leaves at 12.00 or midnight (6 hours)
Where to stay in Eldoret? (these are cheap and recommended hotels)
Our number one. Bubbles Inn has a central location between the city center and the hospital. The rooms are simple and small, but very clean with hot water. There is 24 hour security. Staff is friendly and reliable. Bubbles Inn has it own busy restaurant and breakfast is included (fruit, tea, egg, bread and yoghurt). Prices per room: 1500 Ksh/night and for a long stay 1100/Ksh/night. Cental Plaza, Oginga Odinga St, Eldoret. Tel: +254-532060992. Mobile: 0729633442.
Friendly cheap guesthouse with spacious rooms and a restaurant/bar. Prices per room: 650 Ksh/night. Tel: 053 2062259
Comfortable option. Relaxed atmosphere at Oloo Rd. Prices per room: 800 Ksh/night. Tel: 05322093
Although we only ate at the Klique a few times it seemed a reliable and fancy option in the middle of the city center of Eldoret. It is actually right across the street of Bubbles. Many western tourists seemed to stay there.
Probably the most famous hotel in Eldoret. The Sirikwa hotel is a big fancy hotel just outside the city center of Eldoret. It has a beautiful garden and swimming pool. We ate there a few times, and saw one of the rooms, but did not think it was worth the extra money to stay there.
Where to eat in Eldoret?
This a list of our favorite restaurants and cafe’s!
– Arcade: Foodcourt with a Swiss Restaurant (pizza), Paul’s bakery (sandwiches) and Spree club (disco)
– Sunjeel Palace: Best Indian food in town
– Baker’s Yard: In Juma Hajee’s Arcade with pastries and cakes
– Will’s pub: At Uganda Rd. Good for a pint and pubmeal.
– Cafe Delicious: Simple, but as the name implies delicious Kenyan meals
– Freddies: Freddies has the best burgers in town in an American-like bar.
– Mamma Mia: Best pizza in town with an outside dining option in their garden!
– Siam’s Palace: Best (but only) Chinese restaurant.
– Klique hotel: Good, but more expensive food. Visited primarily by expats and Kenyan business men.
– Eldoret Club: Fancy club with swimming pool and golfclub mainly meant for Western expats or business men. Some parts are members-only.
– Cleopatra’s: At Odinga Oginga road, in the building at the gasstation on the first floor. Good icecreams and coffees.
Where to go clubbing in Eldoret?
The best clubs listed:
– Spree: Place to be (especially on thursday night aka studentnight). Always busy and the best dancers in town can be found in this club.
– Places: Uganda Rd, Fancy club with good DJ’s, Sometimes Western music.
– Sam’s discotheek: In het White Castle Motel, mixed crowd. Often busy, but only opened on friday and saturday night.
– Will’s Pub: Good place to have a beer and a snack. TV’s for sports.
– Black Balls: Sketchy name, but a nice bar to have a drink.
Where to go (grocery) shopping in Eldoret?
– Nakumatt Supermarket – Oginga Odinga Rd.
– Kip Keino Sports and Bookshop – Oginga Odinga Rd
– Uchumi Supermarket – behind Total Station
– Eldo Supermarket – in Juma Hajee’s Arcade
Tip: Buy your souvenirs in Eldoret (near Uchumi supermarket are some souvenir stalls). Prices are low compared to other places in Kenya.
Best drivers in town to arrange your rides and tours
– Taxi Max: Experienced and reliable. Excellent and punctual guide. We arranged our masai mara trip through him. +254-‑721-904-578
– Taxi Jeff: Experienced (although less than Max) and reliable. Friendly and cheap. Comes often too late. We went to Lake Baringo/Lake Bogoria/Kakamega and Kapenguria wih him. +254-726-056‑546
– Eldoret Travel Agency – Kenyatta St T 053-‐‑2063588 (BoB does not have experience with this tour agency, if you have please let us know)
– Elgeyo Travel and Tours – Uganda Rd T 052-‐‑2062006 (BoB does not have experience with this tour agency, if you have please let us know)
TIP: ASK AROUND FOR RELIABLE TAXI DRIVERS. Once you found one you can trust note his telephone number. Never use taxis you don’t know. Rather call one you know and wait a bit longer. Both taxi Jeff and taxi Max are highly recommended (see above)
What to do around Eldoret?
– Lake Victoria
– Lake Baringo
– Lake Bogoria
– Kampala (Uganda)
– Jinja (Uganda)
– Lake Nakuru
– Lake Naivasha
– Kericho country side
– Kakamega forest
– Saiwa Swamp National Park
– Masai Mara
If possible I would save Masai Mara for last (save best for last). Also, if you’re student make sure you apply in advance for student discount through the Kenya Wildlife Service (send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Student discounts can be pretty steep. For Lake Nakuru, Hell’s gate, Tsavo East and West Masai Mara you have to apply seperately via ‘maratriangle.org’. You will need a written prove from your university and your student ID card.