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Riverside Shuttle

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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
148 posts
116 reviews
Riverside Shuttle

I took the Riverside Shuttle from Nairobi Airport to Arusha recently. I booked in advance over their website and paid by credit card.

As promised there was someone to meet me at the airport and escort me to the waiting/rendevous area.

First I was taken by a shuttle bus, together with clients of the competitor, to a gas station 10/15 minutes away from the airport to await the bus coming from Nairobi city.

When the bus arrived it was full. I was given a folding jump seat in the aisle, extremly uncomfortable and without any support whatsoever for the upper back and neck in an emergency situation.The other seats were high enough to offer such protection.

I filed a complaint by email with Riverside, at the first opportunity. It turned out that the website is not run by Riverside at all, but by a Kilimanjaro trekking company in Wales. They forwarded my complaint, and request for at least a partial refund to Riverside, but when the reply finally came back, denying my claim, The booking agency washed their hands of the whole matter.

Anyone who joins the bus at Nairobi airport will run this same risk. You have NO idea of the passenger load until it is too late to make alternative arrangements. If you were taking the morning departure, you could perhaps wait until the afternoon one, but, if like me, you are taking the afternoon shuttle, the only possible alternative is to overnight in Nairobi and try the following day, which quite possibly is not an option because of other arrangements, as was my case.

I do not mind paying a premium price, which one way $35 is, if everything is as anticipated, but to pay nearly double the price paid locally, AND get an unsafe seat, is too much.

Riverside claimed that all foreigners pay the higher price, but my own research in Arusha disproved this. I was offered a seat at the local price, which means paid locally not just for local residents.

I would warn anyone considering using the Riverside Shuttle with Nairobi Airport as their pick-up point, to get some guarantees in writing from the booking agency before commiting themselves to this service. I would expect that joining in Nairobi city, at the starting point would not enounter this problem.

nyc
Level Contributor
14,023 posts
1. Re: Riverside Shuttle

It's been years since we first (and only time*) we took the shuttle bus. Unlike you, we were able to have regular seats, the two on either side of that middle seat they turn down in the aisle.

When we saw them do this as the last pick-up point, we were horrified as how uncomfortable these seats would be for the passenger, but more so how unsafe this was.

* after arriving Arusha, we made arrangements with our tour operator for a private vehicle transfer for the return trip to NBO. Cost was more, lots more, but felt though the first trip was an adventure, the return would be torture.

Sorry to hear of your experience especially knowing that these buses still have that pull-down aisle seat.

This is an important "things to know" beforehand for any who choose this option for transit between Nairobi/Arusha/Nairobi.

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
367 posts
74 reviews
2. Re: Riverside Shuttle

jambo travgran

so sorry to read about the poor way in which you were handled.

atleast you know better now - but in future, always be very careful when paying for travel online(bus, train, shuttle, flights) within the east africa region, as this is usually through a third party that really only want their commission.

also travel within the east africa should be the same price whether you are a resident or not (for accommodation and safari-park entrance fees this is ofcourse very different).

sw

3. Re: Riverside Shuttle

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