Jomo Kenyatta International Airport - Travellers Guide
If you’re traveling from Europe or North America to Kenya, you’ll likely fly in through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. While Mombasa officially also has an international airport – Moi Int’l Airport – this is limited to flights to/from neigbouring countries, as well as some international charter flights from tour operators. The other Nairobi airport,
is only for flights within Kenya and Tanzania.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is conveniently located main international airport in Kenya. It’s located 15 km outside Nairobi’s city centre. It’s the 7th busiest airport in Africa. It’s For African standards, it has pretty good facilities. It has 2 international terminals and it’s easy to walk between them. A third terminal is mainly used for domestic flights.
Facilities include a huge number of tax-free shops, bars, restaurants and several VIP lounges. There’s also an internet café. The airport has 100 long-term and 900 short-term parking spaces. Car hire is possible from Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz, among others. You can change money at the currency exchange, or take Kenyan shillings (KSH) from the ATM in the hall, near the entrance. 100 KSH is approximately 1.60 US$ or 1.00 Euro.
If you leave out the airport hall, you’ll have to pass by a huge crowd of taxi drivers and people trying to sell you hotels and safaris – also at night. If you want to make sure you aren’t overpriced, there’s a small desk right at the entrance from where you can get an official taxi. You pay a fixed price at the desk and will be escorted to your cab. Anyway, you should approximately pay 1000 KSH (US$ 15) for a cab to the city centre. Taxis are safe, but you’ll have to negotiate the price before getting in (if you don’t use the airport desk).
The upmarket hotels often have their own shuttle service to the airport.
Flights to Nairobi
Nairobi is the main air hub for East Africa and has good air connections. Air companies flying internationally to Nairobi include Dutch KLM, British Airways, Swiss Air, Sabena, Air India, South African Airlines and of course Kenya Airways. However, there are no direct flights from North America nor Australia & New Zealand to Nairobi. From North America you can best fly over Europe, and from down under you’ll likely change flights in Mauritius or the Persian Gulf.
I have two favorite resources for finding the cheapest flights to Nairobi:
- Kayak.com searches low cost flights from 140+ travel sites in just seconds. They have a lot of flights to Kenya and they save me hours of research every time.
- My other big time saver is Vayama.com. This site searches 100 airline sites fro cheap tickets to Kenya, and often brings back more results than any other engine online. It's especially geared to travelers to and from the USA and Western Europe.
Many travelers coming into Kenyatta airport get a connecting flight to e.g. Mombasa, which is the main hub for the popular beach resorts and huge safari parks like Tsavo East and West. As the airport is small and pretty reliable, it’s easy to change flights and you shouldn’t need more time between flights than 2 hours.
As the number of annual passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has grown to over 4 million, the airport will be considerably expanded over the next years.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport gets it’s name from Kenya’s first president after independence, Jomo Kenyatta. It was opened in 1958.
Overview of air connections to Nairobi
How to find cheap air fares to Nairobi
Nairobi Wilson Airport (domestic flights)
Nairobi - Main page
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