Wednesday, 12 June 2019
KENYA: SGR Madaraka Express Train, How To Get On It.
Like its name, the Madaraka Express does not make a stop during the course of the journey and takes 5 hours to reach its destination. The inter-county passenger train, on the other hand, makes a stop at respective stations including Athi River, Email, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Miasenyi and Mariakani county stations.
The train takes 5 hours 55 minutes to reach its destination and if you would like to see the exact schedule, click here to find out more on arrival and departure times, between Mombasa and Nairobi and vice versa.
When it comes to booking, there are three options.
- Either going to the station of departure and booking manually,
- Booking online through the website or
- Dialling the USSD code (*639#) and following the prompts. This service is available 24/7 and you can buy a maximum of 5 tickets in one transaction. You can book 7 days in advance and a return ticket as long as it is within 7 days window period.
The advance ticket-booking window is 30 days, your options depending on availability. You can book the train 30 days to the date of travel, any day in between the 30th day and the date of travel or on the date of travel itself. For group bookings, use these contacts to make your reservation. You can also opt to visit the respective terminus any day between 6.30 AM to 4.00 PM.
After you have received confirmation (a text/email with a unique code pertaining to your booking), pay for your ticket through Mpesa. Similar rates apply if you are purchasing the ticket over the counter. In this case, you will find the pay bill number in use at the station, to facilitate your purchase.
After completing the purchase, you will get an Mpesa confirmation and account number. This information will be useful when printing out your ticket at the terminus on the day of travel or any day at your convenience.
For international travellers with no Mpesa here’s a Kenyan alternative method you can use to buy a ticket.
Below are the rates for the tickets depending on the coach type you prefer and the age of the traveller.
On the day of departure, it is recommended you arrive at the terminus an hour before your departure time to avoid missing the train due to delays at the security check.
In Nairobi, the main terminus is at Syokimau while in Mombasa its at Miritini.
Take note of these ticketing terms and conditions to avoid any possible delays at the terminus.
However, in case you miss a train you are entitled to 80% of your ticket fee as refund only if you had alerted the train attendants before the train left.
Note that refunds are not issued after the journey has commenced or if the ticket is lost/damaged. You are also required to keep your ticket safely throughout the journey for it serves as your only proof of the right to be in that particular train.
The SGR train hosts 1260 passengers with cabin crew services and other essentials like comfortable seats, and a place to charge your phone for first class travellers. It is currently the only direct train that ferries passengers between Nairobi and Mombasa.
When it comes to travelling Here’s what you need to know when you’re travelling with a big family.
Travelling with a big family can be its own version of hell if not handled well. Coming from a big family myself, I know that even something as simple as getting ready to get to church takes hours of preparation ( and we rarely get there on time).
So what should you do when you want to take the family on a road trip?
Leaving things until the last minute is asking for disaster when it comes to a large family. You should start planning for your trip at least a week in advance.
That gives you time to sort out everyone’s clothes, find missing shoes trust me, there are always missing shoes, sort out any disputes about who gets to wear what and divide up the responsibilities.
The ideal setup is that you are all set to go two days before the actual event. Know exactly where you’re going and have an itemized itinerary, whenever possible, during the trip to avoid nasty surprises on the way and to make the best use of your time.
It may seem obvious, but this is a step that is sometimes overlooked when one family member feels like they can shoulder the whole burden.
It is best to get everyone in the family involved in planning the trip from start to finish as each member will feel a personal responsibility to make sure that the trip is a success. This is also the best way to find out what everyone thinks or if anyone is opposed to going for the trip.
Even if you’re guaranteed food when you get there, always have some edibles and water with you for the trip.
It could be each person favourite snack but stay away from fatty foods as these may trigger motion sickness. Always ensure you have antacids and sweets, just in case. Health: Things to consider before you travel
Road trips can be fun, but when you’re in a big family they can also get loud and annoying. Playing simple games helps keep everyone distracted and the younger children from asking the dreaded, Are we there yet?
Things may not always go according to plan but always make sure you have a camera to help you remember and keep the memories. Travel: 18 Tips For Taking Great Holiday Photos
Don’t leave anyone behind, speaking from experience, and also from watching Home Alone movies, I know how easy it can be to lose count and leave one or two family members behind.
Establish a buddy system within the family so that everyone is looking out for someone and it will be easy to keep track of everything.
It may be crazy trying to keep everyone busy and on the same page, but make having fun a priority.
With a large family, a road trip is a perfect opportunity to create new family memories and rediscover all the beautiful and fun things you love about each other.