Renting 4x4 in Kenya





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  1. #1
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    Default Renting 4x4 in Kenya

    Anyone has any experience with renting 4x4 in Kenya? So far I have contacted the following, but haven't received any acceptable offer yet:

    1.
    4x4-Kenya http://www.4x4-kenya.com
    Tough Trucks Kenya http://www.toughtruckskenya.com/carhire_kenya.htm
    Jeep kenya http://www.jeepkenya.com
    Adventure Upgrade Safaris http://www.adventureupgradesafaris.co.ke

    These seem to be all the same company under different name/brands (they all share common address). I've found some very bad reviews about most of them, but those were all from more than 5 years ago. Have found some very positive feedback about most of them on TripAdvisor from last two years, though. I have send inquiries to all of them, have got only one vague reply.

    2.
    Sunworld Safaris http://www.sunworld-safari.com

    Found some very positive feedback about them, however their offer was ridiculously expensive, way over my budget.

    3.
    Roving Rovers http://www.rovingrovers.com/
    Erikson Rover Safaris; http://www.roversafari.com

    Seems that Erikson Rover Safaris has taken over RRs fleet of Rovers. haven't received their offer yet.

    4.
    Easy Go Safaris http://www.easygosafaris.com/car-hir...p-tent-camping
    Concorde Car Rental http://www.concorde.co.ke
    Hire 'N Drive Kenya http://www.hireddrive.com/kenya-car-...in-camper.html

    Have found some very positive (relatively recent) comments about all of those three on TA, but none of them have replied my inquires yet.
    Last edited by ortelius; 2016/09/14 at 10:54 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Renting 4x4 in Kenya

    It is not so easy renting 4x4s in Kenya - and then it is "renter beware". Very few will have roof top tents if that is what you want, and none will be like you have rented out of South Africa.

    I have heard of Sunworld and they do have a good reputation, and also Roving Rovers. It is essential that a vehicle is roadworthy and has all the necessary documentation and licensing which makes going with a reputable company all the more important.

    What about contacting Chris Handschuh at Jungle Junction (the overlanders campsite in Langata, Nairobi)? He stores vehicles for people and MAYBE someone who stores their vehicle with him might be prepared to rent it to you. A long shot, but worth asking. Or he might know of a reputable more affordable company.

    I will ask around my Kenyan friends. We have hired vehicles from a friend's son in the past, but he stopped hiring vehicles due to all the red tape involved in being in the safari business.

    Good luck. I am working on an "essay" for you...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Renting 4x4 in Kenya

    For anyone interested in this topic in the future, here are my experiences:

    Seems that 4x4 renting business is more or less dead in Kenya. Of all the above companies that I have contacted, I only got any meaningful reply from:

    - Sunworld Safaris (very expensive, way over my budget)
    - Easy Go Safaris (not cheap either, have Landrovers with RTT, but they stopped responding when I asked about insurance cover details)
    - Concorde Carhire (have Mitsubishi Pajero available, acceptable price, but can't provide any camping equipment)

    Luckily I found another company that rents 4x4 while searching the net: "Roadtrip Kenya" https://www.roadtripkenya.com . This is a spin-off from mother company "Roadtrip Uganda" (they also have a sister company Roadtrip Tanzania). We have been using their car (Rav4) in Uganda two years ago and were extremely satisfied with their services. I hope they will deliver similar quality also in Kenya. We will be renting Landcruiser this time. BTW, their prices are more than competitive compared to others.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Renting 4x4 in Kenya

    Very interesting, Ortelius. The photos of their vehicles show Ugandan registrations. I wonder if they bring them down from Uganda? If they are bringing a vehicle down from Uganda, make sure it has COMESA (or Kenyan) insurance and there is a sticker on the windscreen with the insurance details. The police love to stop and check the insurance.

    Also, all hired cars in Kenya are classified as Public Service Vehicles (PSV) and the maximum allowed speed is 80 kph. This applies to tourist safari vehicles, taxis and buses.

    Ensure that the vehicle has all the legal requirements - First Aid kit, warning triangles, Hi-Vis vests, and a fire extinguisher. Some people say that all those items need to have a Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) sticker on them, but I haven't argued the case with a policeman. In fact, we are lucky and very rarely get stopped by the Kenyan police - and more often than not just get a salute. We do wonder if it is because we drive a black Land Rover and, from a distance, we look like a Kenya Police Land Rover. But, if we do get stopped, we shake hands, ask how they are, comment on the rain or lack of rain, and our friendliness and courtesy is reciprocated.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Renting 4x4 in Kenya

    Excelent points, WW, as always. I noticed Ugandan plates on the photos, but I assumed it was only because of unavailable photos of their Kenyan fleet (my assumption was also based on their vehicles from Roadtrip Tanzania that I have met last year in Tanzania and which were Tanzanian registered). Anyway, I have asked them about this and they confirmed your speculations: they indeed bring their vehicles from Uganda to Kenya. They assured me they have proper Ugandan insurance stickers and COMESA card, as required in Kenya. And vehicles also have all legaly required items (triangles, fire extinguishers, ....).

    I would be happier if I would be driving vehicle with Kenyan number plates, but I hope we would be fine also in Uganda registed one. Appart from sticking out for the police, are there any other major drawbacks in driving foreign registered vehicle in Kenya? As far as I understand, vehicle charges in National parks (KWS) are 350 KSH, regardless of being Kenyan or foreign registered. What about other reserves that are not under KWS management?
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Renting 4x4 in Kenya

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post

    I would be happier if I would be driving vehicle with Kenyan number plates, but I hope we would be fine also in Uganda registed one. Appart from sticking out for the police, are there any other major drawbacks in driving foreign registered vehicle in Kenya? As far as I understand, vehicle charges in National parks (KWS) are 350 KSH, regardless of being Kenyan or foreign registered. What about other reserves that are not under KWS management?
    There is no differentiation between foreign registered vehicles and Kenyan vehicles in any of the National Parks or reserves as far as I am aware. Although, the fee is KShs 400 per vehicle per day in most parks and, certainly, both the Mara Conservancy (Triangle) and the Masai Mara Game Reserve. I am not sure about Samburu Game Reserve as it is owned and managed by the local county council.

    Furthermore, Uganda is a full member of the East African Community and when we went to Kidepo NP in Uganda in January this year, we were thrilled to discover that we only had to pay EA Community fees for our Kenyan registered vehicle instead of "foreign" fees - which was a considerable saving.

    The Kenyans like the Ugandans, but I wouldn't tell a Kenyan policeman that the vehicle was hired out of Uganda - just be vague and let him presume that you had driven into Kenya from Uganda. The hire company, I would hazard a guess, is attempting to circumvent stringent Kenyan regulations about hired and safari vehicles - and the safety of transporting tourists.

    But great that you have found a more affordable solution. Karibu Kenya!

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