All Nairobi Matatu Routes and Stages: Everything You Need to Know

Navigate Nairobi easily with our comprehensive guide to Matatu routes and stages. Discover landmarks and become an expert on the city's unique public transport system.

Jul 19, 2023 - 22:07
All Nairobi Matatu Routes and Stages: Everything You Need to Know
All Nairobi Matatu Routes and Stages: Everything You Need to Know

Cities are often likened to mazes, and nowhere is this comparison more accurate than in Nairobi. A bustling metropolis, Nairobi's streets teem with activity, from the hum of businesses to the swirl of diverse cultures. However, the most distinctive feature of Nairobi is its public transport network - the Matatu system. It is an adventure filled with routes and stages that can often confound the uninitiated. Whether you are a newcomer seeking your way around or a resident brushing up on your city knowledge, this guide comprehensively looks at all Nairobi Matatu routes and stages.

Understanding the Nairobi Matatu System

The Matatu system forms the backbone of Nairobi's public transport, with its intricate network of routes threading through the city's diverse neighborhoods. Familiarity with this system is a must for navigating the city efficiently.

A unique number represents each Matatu route, which is how Nairobi residents have learned to find their way. Matatu Saccos, or cooperative societies, run the routes, providing a sense of order amidst the chaos. Nevertheless, comprehending the Matatu routes can be daunting for newcomers. Fear not. This guide has got you covered.

Unfolding the Matatu Map: Routes and Stages

The matatu routes crisscross through Nairobi, each leading to distinct destinations or overlapping at standard stages. Below are the details of Nairobi's main Matatu routes, stages, and the landmarks they cover.

Route Number 1-4

The first four matatu routes (1, 2, 3, 4) are a great place to start. They all begin at the General Post Office (GPO) or Kenya Bus Station (KBS) in the city center and wind through Ngong Road, Adams Arcade, and Dagoretti Corner.

Route Number 6

Matatus for route 6 frequent Eastleigh area, Pangani Girls, Pangani Shopping Center, and Kariokor Market. You can board them from Accra Road along Tom Mboya Street.

Route Number 7C

The 7C route services the Community, Doctors Plaza Silver Springs Hotel, Kenyatta Nairobi Hospital, and the Upper Hill. Catch these matatus at Citi Hoppa or KBS buses at Kencom, adjacent to the Hilton Hotel along Moi Avenue.

Route Number 8

This route services Ngong Road, Kibera slums, Adams Arcade, and Toi market. You can find these matatus at the Railways bus station.

Route Number 9

The 9 matatus serve the Eastleigh area, Ngara civil servants housing scheme, KIE, Pangani roundabout, and the Fig Tree Trade Center Ngara. They can be boarded at Tom Mboya Street or the entrance of Accra Road.

Route Number 11

These matatus operate along the South B, Bellevue route and can be boarded at the Railways bus station.

Route Number 15

The number 15 matatus traverse an extensive route covering the Nyayo Stadium, Carnivore Simba Saloon, Nairobi West, Madaraka, T-mall, Wilson Airport, Langata Shopping Center, Langata Cemetery, Barracks, Uhuru Gardens, Otiende, Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi National Park, and Nairobi Animal Orphanage. Catch these matatus at the Afya Centre or near the main stage opposite Afya Center.

The list continues, with each route offering a unique path through Nairobi's diverse neighborhoods. Whether heading to the commercial hubs along Thika Road with matatus on Route 17B or exploring the local markets of Baba Ndogo via Route 25, there is a matatu route for every journey.

Complete List of All Nairobi's Matatu Routes and Stages

Route Number Bus Stops Stage
1 Ngong Road, Citam/N.P.C. valley Road, the Junction Mall, Dagoretti General Post Office (GPO)
2 Ngong Road, Citam/N.P.C. Valley Road, Junction Mall, Dagoretti GPO or KBS stage
3 Ngong Road, Adams Arcade, Dagoretti Corner GPO
4 Ngong Road, Adams, Dagorreti Kencom or G.P.O
6 Eastleigh area, Pangani Girls, Pangani Shopping Center, Kariokor Market Accra Road, along Tom Mboya Street
7C Community, Doctors Plaza Silver Springs Hotel, Kenyatta Nairobi Hospital, Upper Hill area Citi Hoppa or KBS buses at Kencom, adjacent to Hilton Hotel along Moi Avenue
8 Ngong Road, Kibera slums, Adams Arcade, Toi market Railways bus station
9 Eastleigh area, Ngara civil servants housing scheme, KIE, Pangani roundabout, Fig Tree Trade Center Ngara Tom Mboya Street or the entrance of Accra Road
11 South B, Bellevue Railways bus station
15 Nyayo Stadium, Carnivore Simba Saloon, Nairobi West, Madaraka, T-mall, Wilson Airport, Langata Shopping Center, Langata Cemetery, Barracks, Uhuru Gardens, Otiende, Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi National Park, Nairobi Animal Orphanage Afya Centre or near the main stage opposite Afya Center
14 Langata Road to T-Mall, Strathmore University, Nairobi West Bus station behind Afya Centre
17B Thika Road, Roysambu, Kasarani, Santon, St Francis Hospital, Mwiki, Thika superhighway Kenya Bus Station or outside BS near the St Peter Claviers Catholic Church
23 Kangemi, Westlands, Uhuru Highway, Kangemi, A.B.C. Place, Safaricom House, Uhuru highway Odeon Cinema / Latema Road off Tom Mboya Street
24 Karen Shopping Center, Hardy, Bogani, Bomas of Kenya, Galleria Shopping Mall, Catholic University, Kenya School of Law, Nairobi Academy, Hillcrest international school, animal protection, Co-Op Bank Training Center, Giraffe Center, Karen C School, all Langata routes KBS, Mfangano Street or Kencom House
25 Baba Ndogo, Thika road to GSU flyover Timboroa lane
33 Ngumo Estate, KNH, Mbagathi, Masai Market Opp St. Peter Claviers Catholic Church, near OTC or Salvation area
33 Embakasi route, via Jogoo Roads, Donholm, City Stadium, Pipeline, Tumaini Estate, Fedha Estate and Avenue Estate Muthurwa Market or along Tom Mboya Street opposite National Archives
34 Langata area through Mbagathi Road, K.N.H., T-mall, Wilson airport, Carnivore, Langata Shopping Center St Peters Church opposite OTC
34 JKIA, Jogoo Road, Embakasi, Fedha, Donholm, Pipeline, Utawala Kencom or Ambassador Stage
35/60 Umoja Inner Core, Umoja 1 and Umoja 2 Ronald Ngara Street, Mfangano Street intercept, opposite Naivas Supermarket
44 Kahawa West, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Zimmerman, Githurai 44 Roysambu, USIU, Farmers Choice, Northern Bypass Along Ronald Ngara Street to Ring Road Ngala Street
45 Thika Road, Thika Superhighway, Githurai 45 Nakumatt Ronald Ngala Street opposite poster
58 Buru Buru Tom Mboya Street opposite National Archives
100 Kiambu town, Kiambu Road, Sharks Palace, Kiambu Road, CID, Center, Ridgeways, Rock City Kiambu road, Muthaiga roundabout Ronald Ngala Street to Ring-road Ngara or opposite St. Peters Claviers Catholic Church
102 Kikuyu Township, Dagoretti, Ngong Road, Junction Mall BS or Kencom
105 Kikuyu via Uhuru Highway, Westlands, Kangemi, Uthiru, Kinoo Tom Mboya Street near National Archives or railway station
106 Banana, Mucatha, Village Market Koja Mosque stage
110 Kitengela, Mlolongo, Athi River Railways Entrance, near the station
111 Ngong, Ngong Road, Dagoretti Corner(at times Kiserian) Kencom, Railways bus station
125 or 126 Catholic University, Multimedia University, Nairobi National Park, Safari Walk, Langata Barracks, Galleria, Brookhouse International Schools, Langata Hospital, Langata Police Station, Langata Cemetery, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai Railways station
146 Ruiru, Thika Road, Kahawa Wendani, Kahawa Barracks, Kahawa Sukari, Kenyatta University, Ruiru bypass Mumbi Road off Ronald Ngala Street
237 Thika town all routes on Thika Road, Kahawa, Ruiru Fluctuation of fare prices for Nairobi matatu routes is also inevitable. The morning and evening hours are crucial moments, and the rate is always high due to people going to work and going home, respectively

Are Matatus safe?

Matatus are generally safe for travel. However, like all forms of public transport, it is essential to remain vigilant about personal safety and belongings. Matatus have faced criticism for reckless driving, but measures have been implemented to improve safety standards.

Learning the Matatu culture and understanding the unique Matatu system of Nairobi can provide a fascinating insight into the city's rhythm and lifestyle. The Matatu network is more than just a transport mode- it reflects Nairobi's vibrant and dynamic spirit. So, here is to mastering the Matatu maze and discovering the city's essence along the way!

Tips for Choosing the Right Matatu Route

You should keep a few things in mind when choosing a matatu route. 

  • Your destination: The first thing you need to consider is your destination. Where are you going? Once you know your destination, you can start to look for matatu routes that go there.
  • The time of day: The time of day can also affect your decision. If you travel during rush hour, choose a less crowded matatu route.
  • The amount of luggage you have: If you have luggage, choose a matatu route with more luggage space.
  • Your budget: Matatu fares vary depending on the route and the time of day. Choose a less expensive matatu route if you are on a tight budget.

Safety Tips for Riding Matatus in Nairobi

Here are some safety tips for riding matatus in Nairobi:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. When you are riding a matatu, be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for anything suspicious. If you see something that makes you feel unsafe, speak up to the driver or other passengers.
  • Keep your valuables close to you. Leave your valuables at the right place, especially on crowded matatus. Keep your money, phone, and other valuables in a secure pocket or bag that you can keep close to you.
  • Avoid eye contact with strangers. Matatus can be crowded and chaotic, and avoiding eye contact with strangers is essential. This can help to deter potential thieves or muggers.
  • Not ride matatus late at night. Matatus are generally safe during the day but more dangerous at night. If you must ride a matatu at night, take extra precautions, such as riding with a friend or family member.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the driver or other passengers. If you see something suspicious, such as someone acting suspiciously or trying to steal from someone else, report it to the driver or other passengers.

READ ALSO: List of all sub-counties in Nairobi county and their wards


The Matatu system in Nairobi, as complex as it may seem, is a well-oiled machine. It sustains the city's public transport and adds color and vibrancy to Nairobi's streets. This guide to the Matatu routes and stages seeks to unravel the complexity and guide you through the city's bustling network of roads. So whether you are a long-time resident or a new arrival, strap in and enjoy the ride!


What is a Matatu? 

Matatu is a privately-owned minibus used as a mode of public transport in Kenya, especially in Nairobi.

What are Matatu Saccos?

 Matatu Saccos are cooperative societies that manage and operate different Matatu routes in Nairobi.

Where can I board a Matatu in Nairobi?

 Matatus can be boarded from various stages in the city, including the General Post Office (GPO), Kenya Bus Station (KBS), and many others depending on the route number.

Do Matatus operate at night?

Yes, matatus do operate at night, albeit with less frequency. Some routes may have limited service or not operate at all during the night, so it is advisable to confirm the schedule if planning to travel late.

What should I be aware of when using Matatus?

When using matatus, be aware of the following:

  • Rush Hours: Nairobi's rush hours can lead to crowded matatus and traffic congestion. Plan your travel accordingly.
  • Pickpocketing: Like any public transport worldwide, be mindful of your belongings.
  • Fares: Matatu fares can fluctuate based on the time of day, weather, and traffic. Always ask for the fare before boarding.
Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.