Kenya's Suffering a Three-Day, 30-Mile Traffic Jam

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Be grateful you’re not on the road from Mombasa to Nairobi in Kenya right about now, because the route is suffering a traffic jam that’s reported to have lasted three days, stretching as far as 30 miles.

It’s not a huge surprise: the road is the arterial route for supplies shipped into Mombasa to reach the rest of Kenya, as well as Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda. As a result, it’s highly trafficked — so when something goes wrong, it goes really wrong.

The BBC reports that the delays are a result of heavy rains in the region which have severely damaged the road. While jams are common in Kenya, this is said to be the worst in years.

It perhaps doesn’t look quite as impressive as China’s recent super-jam, but it’s just as inconvenient, and potentially more damaging. You can find out more about the physics of traffic jams in this article by our science buff Jennifer Ouellette.

Usually it takes a truck around a little over a day to make the journey from Mombasa to Nairobi. If you ever have to make the trip, though, it might be worth flying: the 500-kilometre journey only takes about 45 minutes in the air. [BBC]

Image by NTV