Where Africa and Technology Collide!

My Bodaboda Motorcycle Excursion

I had a couple free hours this afternoon and decide to take advantage of it.

(higher quality version here)

Bodaboda’s are motorcycle taxis in East Africa (getting their name from the original bicycle taxis near the border of Kenya and Uganda). I decided to ask a guy if I could rent his for the day. 500/= Kenya shillings later ($7), and I was on my towards the Nairobi game park, to a reserve where one of my old school teachers now lives.

It didn’t go very fast, being 125cc and a cheap Chinese contraption, but that wouldn’t be advisable on these roads anyway. I got dusted a few times by a big lorry or bus, but was okay once I got beyond the main roads. There were quite a few animals around as I got closer to the reserve, nothing exciting, but fun none-the-less: giraffe, wildebeest, monkeys, ostrich and a bunch of Masai cows.

Best part: cutting the bike off in the middle of nowhere and listening to the wind blow through the bush. This is the Africa I miss.


  1. Awesome, Erik! Looks like a ton of fun! I’m wondering how you got this guy to hand over his bike to a random stranger? 🙂

  2. The “dash-mounted” radio = ingenious 🙂

  3. What an adventure! I see you’ve lost none of you bartering skills. 500/= for the day?!
    …cutting the bike off in the middle of nowhere and listening to the wind blow through the bush.
    That line right there took me back!

  4. come ride some senkes with me in Juba. although its not actually recommended. too much dust, debri, and deadly car drivers.

  5. Patrick from USA

    December 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I agree with Caleb. Tres cool. What a great adventure!

    This is a great site. Keep it up.


  6. Speaking of boda boda’s, I recently interviewed a Ugandan boda boda taxi driver about his job hacking on the streets of Kampala. Amazing how happy he is with such little money.

  7. KICK @$$ Hers! Nice wheels (i usually get the non-motorized boda boda when I’m in town). Next time I come into town, we’re painting it red in that!


  8. Ahh, these beautiful little scenes bring back so many great memories.

    Hash, no helmet?!

  9. @E-nyce – No helmets that fit. Plus, I had a big gash on my head from a run-in (literal) with a door frame, the hat was to keep the dust off. 🙂

  10. I always wanted to do this! I’m heading back to Kampala next month; maybe I’ll get a chance….

  11. Would love to know the number of bodabodas in Nairobi.

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