Getting There – Kenya

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

The common point of entry for a safari in Kenya is Nairobi. Nairobi is one of Africa’s biggest transport hubs. Many airlines fly to Kenya and competition is strong, making flights to Nairobi relatively inexpensive.

Kenya's main airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), located 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi. Kenya's second international Airport is Moi International Airport (MBA), located 9km/6mi west of Mombasa, but aside from flights to Zanzibar, this is primarily used for domestic and charter flights.

From Nairobi or Mombasa, one can fly or drive between reserves, or opt to do a bit of both. The road to the Masai Mara is long and bumpy, and the location of the park is remote in comparison to others, which makes flying the most attractive option. Some of the private parks in Laikipia are also often traveled to by air. Other parks can easily be reached by road. Most domestic flights out of Nairobi depart from Wilson Airport (WIL), 6km/4mi south of Nairobi.

Whichever mode one chooses for travel, in most cases the local tour operator will arrange pick-up at the airport and all further transportation as part of the safari-package.

Flights & Airlines to Kenya

Please check Skyscanner, or for multiple-destination flights check Expedia, to see which airlines can take you to Kenya and what tickets would cost.

Domestic Airlines & Flights in Kenya

Wilson Airport (WIL) is used for flights to Tanzania and domestic flights.
Domestic flights can be booked with several carriers:

Passport, Visa and Other Entry Requirements

Entry requirements can change, so please contact your local Kenya embassy to verify the information below is current.

  • A passport is required for all foreign visitors and must be valid for at least six months.
  • Passports must have a clean and a full visa page for endorsement.
  • Citizens of most countries require a visa. A list of countries that don’t need a visa is available from the Kenya Immigration Department.
  • Single entry visas are available on arrival for most nationalities.
  • Visas can be obtained in advance from Kenyan embassies or high commissions. You can also apply through the online visa-application portal, the official website of the Kenyan Department of Immigration Services. Only use this site when applying for an online visa – there are some copycat websites around that overcharge. A visa can also be obtained on arrival for which you pay cash (new notes only). Tourist visas are available for Kenya only, or East Africa (which covers entry to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda).
  • When arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country in Africa or the Americas, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required.

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