The A3 is an important artery to the east and is in good condition for most of the way (323km) between Thika and Garissa, though expect lots of police roadblocks. It may look like an alternative route to the coast to the obvious, traffic-choked Mombasa highway on the map, but it would be very ill-advised to head this way under current circumstances. In the event that things improve for casual travellers, we’ve included here a couple of stop-offs with facilities for drivers.

A thriving trading centre 62km beyond Thika, MATUU is busiest at the top of the hill, near the easternmost of the town’s two communications masts, where you’ll find most shops and businesses, though its one good hotel (and petrol stations and bus passenger cafés) are all on the A3.

Another 67km on, MWINGI has a surprisingly attractive location in an area of rocky hillocks and woodland. Coming from the Thika direction, you first see the town more than 10km before you arrive, spread out across the boulder-dotted hills. Mwingi offers plenty of small places to eat and a decent hotel.

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