Getting to and around Kenya - airports, airlines...

Most visitors arriving in Kenya come by air.

kenya airwaysThere are several major airlines - including Kenya's very own, Kenya Airways - that offer flights to Kenya from the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and many other countries including African countries.

International airports in Kenya

There are two international airports in Kenya:

Airlines that fly to Kenya

It's always a good idea to travel to Kenya during the low season if you want to enjoy the best fares. Major airlines have low season rates from January to June and then again from November to early December.

Flights from the United States and North America

Kenya Airways, British Airways, KLM, Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways. Currently there are no direct flights from the United States to Kenya. All flights from the United States to Nairobi go via Europe. This means you have to change planes and/or airlines while still in Europe.

Flights from the US to Kenya connect through London, Amsterdam, Zürich or Dubai depending on the airline. North West Airlines in the United States is affiliated with KLM and Kenya Airways and offers fast connections through London or Amsterdam to Kenya.

Return tickets to Nairobi from New York can cost as little as US$1100 in the low season. KLM and British Airways also offer flights from Toronto to Nairobi, although fares from Canada may be slightly higher.

Flights from Europe to Kenya

British Airways, Kenya Airways, Swiss Airlines, KLM, Emirates Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Qatar Airways. Most of the flights from Europe to Kenya are direct and non-stop, arriving at either the Nairobi or Mombasa International Airport.

Flights from Asia, the Far East and Australia

Kenya Airways, Air India, Emirates Airlines, and Qatar Airways are popular airlines that fly to Kenya. Some of these airlines also offer direct flights from the Middle East to Kenya.

Flights from Kenya to other African countries

Nairobi (JKIA) airport is a major African air hub with daily flight schedules serving West, Central and Southern Africa destinations. Although there are other African airlines that serve Kenya, the national carrier - Kenya Airways - is the pride of Africa. If you're on transit to other African destinations you can book a regional flight from Kenya to your country of choice.

Major airlines that fly in and out of JKIA and Mombasa International Airport

Ethiopian Airlines Precision Air
Air Italy Emirates Airlines Qatar Airways
Air Mauritius Kenya Airways S. N. Brussels
Air Tanzania KLM South African Airways
Air Zimbabwe Swiss Airlines
British Airways My Travel Thomsonfly
Egypt Air Neos Virgin Atlantic

Airfares, booking and tickets

There are a variety of travel and booking agents who will promise you the lowest airfares and best packages. However, in most cases, the lowest fare will depend on when, where and how you book your ticket. One option is to book directly with the airline companies. Selecting any of the above listed airline will take you to the website of that particular airline where you will find the information you need about flying to Kenya. You can even book your flight from there.

The latest trend in easily finding cheap deals on flights to Kenya is to research and book the flight online over the Internet by using one of the travel search engines. Expedia, CheapTickets, Orbitz, Travelocity and other travel engines offer you a one-stop shop by aggregating and consistently bringing back the lowest prices from all major airlines, so that you don't have to jump around to different websites.

All you have to do is enter your departure city, destination city and the expected dates of travel and the booking engine will bring you back pages of results sorted from the cheapest to most expensive airline and airfare available at that time. Once you make your selection, you will be taken to the respective airline's website or travel site. With your credit/debit card, you can book and pay for your flight to Kenya. You will be given a choice of printing an eTicket or requesting a paper ticket be mailed to you.

Make sure you use airport code NBO as your arrival city if you're flying to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi or airport code MBA for Mombasa International Airport.

The greatest advantage of booking online is that you get many options to compare and choose from 100s of travel sites, all instantly with one click. Most of these sites will link you directly to the specific airline company, allowing you to book your flight right away. This saves you time and any extra fees you would incur if you booked through a travel agent.

No matter what method you use to book your ticket to Kenya, you will likely get the best deal if you book your ticket far in advance, preferably as early as four months before you plan to travel.

Tips for finding a really cheap flight to Kenya


Once you have your ticket, remember to confirm your ticket before you travel. Also, don't forget to check out the airline's rules on baggage weight and any other important travel information prior to departing to Kenya. All this information is provided on the airline's respective website.

How long does it take to get to Kenya?

It depends on where you are coming from and when you booked your flight. Flights from the United States are generally overnight; dinner, bed and breakfast and you are in Kenya. There are also direct, non-stop flights from most parts of Europe to Kenya. To get an idea of how long it will take to get to Kenya, take a look at the list below. It shows flight times from some of the world's major cities to Kenya. Please note that the duration of the flight will depend on when you booked the flight and how many stops you make.

London 8 hr 30 min Amsterdam 8 hr 30 min
Hong Kong 25 hr 45 min Frankfurt 10 hr 55 min
Bangkok 9 hr 30 min Paris 11 hr 45 min
Kuala Lumpur 17 hr 45 min Zurich 11 hr 25 min
Singapore 16 hr 15 min Athens 15 hr 35 min
Perth 18 hr 15 min Sydney 27 hr 50 min
Tel Aviv 10 hr 00 min Can Cun 24 hr 10 min
Dubai 05 hr 05 min Rio De Janeiro 42 hr 20 min
New York 17 hr 05 min Atlanta 19 hr 00 min
Miami 20 hr 30 min Los Angeles 23 hr 15 min
South Africa 07 hr 40 min Cairo 06 hr 20 min

Getting around Kenya by air

You can find a flight and book local travel to and from these Kenyan destinations.

Departing Nairobi

Departing Mombasa

Nairobi - Mombasa Mombasa - Nairobi
Nairobi - Kisumu Mombasa - Maasai Mara
Nairobi - Lamu Mombasa - Kisumu
Nairobi - Nanyuki Diani - Nairobi
Nairobi - Malindi

Departing Malindi

Nairobi - Maasai Mara Malindi - Lamu
Nairobi - Amboseli

Departing Kitale

Nairobi - Samburu Kitale - Nairobi
Nairobi - Kitale  

Departing Lamu

Departing Kisumu

Lamu - Nairobi Kisumu - Nairobi
Lamu - Nairobi Kisumu - Mombasa

Flight schedules

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) operates Kenya's ten airports. Here you will find all the information you need with regard to the incoming and outgoing flight schedules of all of Kenya's major airports, links to cargo and immigration information, and comprehensive information about the airports themselves. Other domestic Kenyan airports served by the KAA include Eldoret, Wilson, Malindi, Kisumu, Wajir, Lokichoggio, Ukunda Airstrip and Manda Airstrip.

Ground Transfers from the Airport

There is plenty of transportation available 24 hours to take you to your preferred destination. Airport taxis, cabs, and vans are on standby and airport officials are available to make sure you get to your destination. Make sure you get an agreed upon fare and a receipt from the cab operator to close the deal. Also, watch out as there may be some unscrupulous cabbies and taxi drivers who may take advantage of you.

A better option is to make prior arrangements for your ground transportation or to have someone waiting for you at the airport to transport you to your destination.

Getting to Kenya by Land

If you live in the neighboring countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, all you have to do is cross the border. Border posts are open daily and immigration officials are present to process your entry paperwork.

Getting to Kenya by Sea

The Port of Mombasa is an international port of call, a favorite port for cruise liners and international ships on duty. If you arrive on a cruise or assignment, the immigration department at the port will be happy to process your entry documents to Kenya.

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