Firstly, what are transfers? Transfers refer to the taxi service from airports to hotels and back. For Kenya, this also applies to the SGR station to the hotel and back. Now that that’s out of the way, what types of transfers are there? Shared transfers and private transfers.
Private transfers are transfer services where the client(s) has exclusive use of the transfer vehicle. This provides comfort and privacy but comes at a higher price than shared transfers.
Shared transfers are transfer services where one shares the service with other clients going in a similar direction. They’re more affordable as the cost of the vehicle is shared among the clients but there’s less privacy and no exclusive use of the vehicle.
Which Transfer Option Should I Choose?
There are several factors to consider when choosing between private and shared transfers. Firstly, the cost comes into play. Typically, shared transfers are more economical than private transfers. However, this is only true based on the number of people traveling.
For example, in November 2022, at the time of writing this article, the average cost of a private transfer from the SGR station in Miritini, Mombasa to Diani is KES 4,500 for a sedan carrying a maximum of three passengers. On the other hand, the average cost of a shared transfer for the same route for three passengers is KES 3,000. In this case, a shared transfer makes more economical sense.
However, the average cost of a shared transfer, say, to Nyali from the aforementioned SGR station is KES 2,250 at KES 750 per person. However, a private transfer for three passengers would cost KES 1,500 per way for the exclusive use of a small sedan.
Larger groups comprised of more than seven passengers are also better served by private transfers as exclusive use of vehicles with groups is more economical due to economies of scale.
The takeaway is to always compare the cost of a private transfer against the cost of a shared transfer for your traveling party.
Private transfers are definitely convenient. The driver and his or her vehicle are fully dedicated to you as the client. There’s no waiting for other clients. There are no stops or diversions along the way to drop off or pick up other clients. Privacy is also assured with exclusive use of the vehicle.
The converse is true for shared transfers. Their biggest selling point is the low cost. However, this comes at the expense of convenience and privacy.
Shared vs Private Safaris
The same concept of private and shared transfers is also used in safaris. Safari vehicles, either minivans or Land Cruisers, can be quite steep. As such, for a small number of people, shared safaris probably make more financial sense. Larger groups are conversely better served by private safaris.
Shared safaris provide an opportunity to also share the experience with other people and can create a unique safari experience. On the other hand, private safaris can be a memorable experience for family or friends.
One should always compare the price and pros and cons of either transfer option to determine which one serves one best. Hopefully, this article highlights the considerations one should make when choosing between the two.