Mombasa by train on Jumbo Kenya Deluxe

August 11, 2011 – Next time you decide to take a trip down to the coast, instead of taking the bus or plane, try giving “The Iron Snake of Africa” or now known as the “Jumbo Kenya Deluxe” a try.

“The Iron Snake of Africa”, formerly known as the Uganda Railway, which was transformed into the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation after WWI, ran through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Kenya Railways (KR) has since taken over the Kenyan portion of the East African railway network, and even though parts of the railway system have been neglected over the years, the main line, “Jumbo Kenya Deluxe”, which connects Nairobi and Mombasa is still operational.

Passing through the scenic Tsavo National Parks, passengers of the “Jumbo Kenya Deluxe” are treated to a magical Kenyan experience.  For tourists that long for a colonial Kenyan experience, the train is definitely a must-try.

From the distant past of an era when colonialists ruled supreme in Kenya, the unique KR train will transport you back into Out of Africa, the famous autobiographical book written by Karen Blixen, which was later adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by Sydney Pollack.

From the 1960s wallpaper to the sun-bleached red leather seats to the pristine white tablecloths and uniforms to the charming silver cutlery; the 13 to 15 hour journey from Nairobi to Mombasa on the KR train, is as poetic and lyrical as Out of Africa itself.

Travelling at no more than 60km/hour, which definitely requires patience, passengers will be able to leisurely experience the giraffes and other wildlife in Tsavo, and all of the charming train stops in between.



From Nairobi, departure time is usually 19:00 every Monday and Friday, arriving in Mombasa at 08:30 the following day.

1st class includes dinner and breakfast and your train bunker sleeps 2 comfortably, and will set you back approximate $65USD each way.

Simply book your ticket at the Nairobi Railway Station, and then you’re off.


PHOTOBLOG: All aboard!

Photo Credits Susan Wong © All rights reserved





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