Kenya by Train - Somak Luxury Travel
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Kenya by Train: Unveiling Modern Marvels Aboard the Madaraka Express

Why not explore Kenya by train! The SGR, (Standard Gauge Railway) also known as the Madaraka Express, is a passenger train service that operates daily between Nairobi and Mombasa carrying up to 1,678 passengers.

“Madaraka” means freedom in Swahili and the Madaraka Express will bring you the freedom of a speedy and relaxed train travel experience that is relatively affordable compared to flying or driving.

The Madaraka Express

The high-speed trains boast spacious seating, luggage compartments with no baggage restrictions, panoramic windows, and Wi-Fi, making every journey a delight whilst it whistles through at at up to 75MPH, cutting travel times in half.

The train travels over 98 bridges, and also has numerous underpasses, viaducts and embankments along the route, which help to keep the train elevated above potential wildlife crossing areas. These designs were implemented to allow for wildlife to safely pass underneath the train tracks, adding to the environmentally friendly appeal of the train, compared to road travel.

Views from the Madaraka Express

Traveling from Nairobi to Mombasa takes approximately five to six hours and the train snakes through the Great Rift Valley and skirts the majestic Tsavo National Park. The train journey also often offers glimpses of wildlife in regions sight seldom seen from a road transfer or flying. How amazing to spot Elephants and Zebra from your window during the journey!

The Madaraka Express isn’t just a scenic ride; it’s also a very convenient gateway to iconic destinations. Disembark at various stations to explore the rich tapestry of Kenya’s offerings from Nairobi, Mombasa and Voi, which is convenient to access both Tsavo National Park and Amboseli National Park.

You can choose from First Class with plush seats and a VIP lounge, or the comfortable and affordable Economy Class. The seats have nearby charging stations too which is very handy!


Nairobi SGR Terminus

Nairobi Terminus

Kenya’s bustling capital pulsates with culture and history. Dive into vibrant local markets overflowing with fresh produce and handcrafted souvenirs. Explore the National Museum to delve into Kenya’s fascinating past. Don’t forget to savour a cup of Kenyan coffee, a national treasure, roasted and brewed to perfection at a local cafe.

Mombasa Terminus

Kenya’s prime coastal city entices with pristine beaches and turquoise waters. Relax under the warm sun or partake in water sports activities. Explore the historic Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and wander through the narrow, winding streets of Mombasa Old Town, soaking in the Swahili culture and vibrant atmosphere. Sample the region’s unique blend of cuisines, with fresh seafood and aromatic spices taking centre stage.

Voi Terminus

Amboseli National Park

For the ultimate wildlife encounter, disembark at Voi to experience  Tsavo and embark on a thrilling safari adventure. Tsavo is a vast haven for wildlife enthusiasts, boasting a diverse array of animals, from majestic elephants and graceful lions to cheetahs sprinting across the plains and zebras grazing in large herds.

Amboseli National Park is also easily accessible from Voi and here you will see the iconic backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the famous Amboseli elephants.

Top Tip: On the return journey book a left-hand seat so you can watch the sun set over Mount Kilimanjaro.

Food and Drink

At the boarding lounge at the station, there are cafes or canteens where one can grab snacks such as burgers, cakes, and hot dogs and beverages such as coffee, fruit juices, and sodas and bring them onto the train.

Aboard the train similar snacks and beverages including local beers are available for purchase. Passengers can also order hot meals like bean or chicken stew with chapati. Kenyan shillings, US dollars and credit cards are accepted.

Travel Tips


Dress comfortably for the train journey, with layers for potential variations in temperature. If continuing your exploration to Tsavo National Park, pack safari essentials like khaki clothing, a hat, binoculars, and sunscreen.


Ensure you have the proper travel documentation, including a valid visa, for entering Kenya. Visa requirements can vary depending on your nationality, so check with the Kenyan embassy or consulate in your home country beforehand.

Currency Exchange

The Kenyan Shilling (KES) is the official currency. Consider exchanging some currency before your trip or using ATMs at major train stations and cities.

A train journey aboard the Madaraka Express offers a unique and alternative perspective on Kenya’s breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural tapestry as well as a wonderful way to see wildlife. So, ditch the ordinary and embrace a new adventure.

Planning a trip to Kenya? Be sure to chat to your Somak Luxury Travel reservation consultant about adding a train trip into your itinerary and get ready to be enchanted by the magic of Kenya!



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