How they make them in Africa

Kenya has lots of buses plying the roads, as you might imagine.

I’ve often wondered where they were made – they all have Isuzu, Scania or Hino badges, the but the designs look a bit, well… Kenyan.

During my last trip I happened to visit the coach makers where they are made. The chassis are bought in and the bus built around it. The cabs are usually dispensed with but sometimes not. Some of the buses you see are literally large lorries with some seats welded on.

Lifetime is around four to five years of constant use. I’m sure after that they are sold on to neighbouring countries.

Kenya also has some Isuzu and Bedford lorries that must be forty plus years old. I’d love to talk to some of the drives, take some pics and find out what these things sell for even after years of use.

I knew the answer already, but asked if the buses being made met European safety standards. The answer was an emphatic ‘no’, but then again a European bus wouldn’t last a year on these roads.

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