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Kenya Fly-in Safaris

4.6/5  –  949 Kenya Reviews

Kenya, with its kaleidoscope of wildlife-rich savannahs, idyllic coastline, scenic Rift Valley lakes and ragged mountaintops, is an endlessly rewarding travel destination. You’ll never be able to experience everything this country of contrasts has to offer in one holiday. However, with local carriers flying between most popular parks and other tourist hot spots, a fly-in safari gives you the opportunity to mix and match some of the country’s spread-out attractions in a limited amount of time. Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, and arriving an hour later on a dirt airstrip in the middle of the bush has a dreamlike quality to it. And getting a panoramic bird’s eye view of Kenya’s landscapes is an added bonus.

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1-20 of 83 fly-in safaris to Kenya

6 Questions About Kenya Fly-in Safaris


6 Questions About Kenya Fly-in Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What are the main differences between a fly-in and a road safari in Kenya?

“Whereas you drive between destinations on a road safari, you’ll fly everywhere on a fly-in safari. That is obvious, but there is more to it. On a road safari, you’ll have your vehicle and driver-guide for the duration of the trip. The driver will transfer you between parks, possibly show you attractions along the way, and guide you inside the parks and reserves as well. He or she will be your constant companion on your holiday. If you’ve booked a private tour, your game drives will be private too. You’ll probably have to cover a lot of distance on bumpy roads to get around, but this gives you an opportunity to see more of the countryside and get a feel of what rural Kenya is like away from tourist attractions. On a fly-in safari you’ll travel around in light aircraft. This is a more time-productive way to get around and it cuts out long, sometimes uncomfortable rides by car. When you arrive at a park or reserve, you’ll be met by a local guide from your lodge. The guide will look after you for the duration of your stay. You’ll probably join other people for game drives in open-sided vehicles. These vehicles are superior for wildlife viewing to the usual pop-up-roof 4x4s used on road safaris. You’ll have a different guide in each place. These on-site guides are very knowledgeable and know their parks extremely well. You can do a fly-in safari as an add-on to a road safari. Perhaps fly into Laikipia Plateau or the Masai Mara National Reserve as a treat at the end of a road safari.”


What are the luggage restrictions on a fly-in safari in Kenya?

“Safari flights are usually in small light aircrafts, and strict luggage restrictions apply. The standard allowance is 15kg (33lb) per person (inclusive of hand luggage). They also ask you to use a soft bag, such as a duffel bag, which is easier to store in a confined space. You can usually leave excess luggage with your tour operator or city hotel. To accommodate these luggage restrictions, most safari lodges will do same-day laundry and many luxury lodges don’t even charge for this service. Luggage restrictions on safari flights can be problematic for keen photographers carrying a lot of equipment. If in doubt, check with your tour operator in advance. There is always the option to book an extra seat. ”


Are the flights on fly-in safaris safe and reliable in Kenya?

“A fly-in safari is very safe. Flight incidents on safaris are almost unheard of. Kenya has a well-established safari industry and most of the airline companies have been operating for many years. Aside from having very strict safety regulations, they are generally very reliable too. Although several carriers offer regular flights to the popular parks and reserves, their schedule is flexible and depends on bookings. Therefore, the exact timing of flights is usually announced the day before departure. The lodges are in direct contact with the airlines and they inform their guests in ample time. They also organize transfers to and from the airstrips.”


Can I take photos from the air on a fly-in safari in Kenya?

“One of the perks of a fly-in safari is the opportunity you get for an aerial view of your destinations and other highlights along the way. You are encouraged to enjoy the flight and take photos during the journey. The formalities on small aircrafts are usually very relaxed and pilots often like to point out landmarks during the flight. When approaching the park, you might see animals on the open plains below or even on the airstrip. Take note, however, that in most cases you’ll have to place your hand luggage at the back of the plane, so make sure you have your camera out before you embark. To minimize glare from the aircraft’s window, keep your lens as close as possible to the glass. ”


Will I get airsick on a fly-in safari in Kenya?

“Although people usually have a comfortable flight, there is always a chance you’ll suffer from airsickness on a plane. More so in a small aircraft. Some people are more susceptible to it than others. And not all flights are the same: depending on the air movements, you can have a very smooth or rough flight. The flights on a Kenya fly-in safari are usually short (under an hour), which means you’re less likely to feel sick in that time. Or if you do, it won’t be for long. If you know you are prone to motion sickness, there are several things you can do. Avoid flying on an empty stomach. Ideally eat a light meal an hour or so before boarding. Try to get a window seat. Looking out into the distance is recommended, whereas reading a book or looking at a screen will induce nausea. Lastly, if you are really worried about it, you could buy some over-the-counter antinausea drugs. These should be taken half an hour before the flight. ”


What is the cost of a fly-in safari in Kenya?

“A seven-day fly-in safari in Kenya ranges between US$3000 per person and US$7000 per person. While there are many advantages to a fly-in safari, it does come at a higher cost than a road safari. The flights are quite pricey and fly-in packages usually incorporate luxury all-inclusive lodges. So, fly-in safaris in Kenya are usually high-end tours. If budget is less of a concern than time, you should definitely look into it. You might even be positively surprised regarding the price. With several local carriers offering scheduled flights between parks, there is usually no need for chartered flights. Furthermore, competition between different carriers flying to the popular parks has grown in recent years, which has brought down the prices. ”


Kenya Reviews

4.6/5 949 Reviews
Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

Africa for Beginners

Kenya is so easy to get to - just eight hours away by air from London. Fly overnight and you can be in the bush in good time for lunch. Even before you arrive in Nairobi you can see giraffes wandering under the flight path in the city’s...

Full Review

Kim Wildman  –  
Australia AU

Kim is a travel writer who authored and updated over 15 guidebooks, including Lonely Planet's South Africa and Bradt's Tanzania guides.

Out of Africa

It’s a cliché I know, but you can’t get more Out of Africa than Kenya. The setting for the Karen Blixon’s 1937 novel of the same name - made even more famous by a certain Academy Awarding winning Hollywood movie starring Robert...

Full Review

Tony Laurenson  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Sep 26, 2022
Kenya is an amazing, must visit country with great people, wildlife safaris and sunny beaches.

Our Kenyan holiday included 7 days in a Mombasa Beach Resort and a 4-day of safari to Tsavo East and West. We stayed in Sarova Beach Resort which was excellent with comfortable rooms, superb restaurants and exceptional staff who provided a...

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Anthony Doppler  –  
France FR
Reviewed: Sep 26, 2022
peacefull , greenfull

We were 3 days in the Maasai mara Reserve, 2 days of safari and 1 morning to discover a typical Maasai village. We saw all the kenyan wildlife expect the Rhinoceros. Thank you Okoa for this experience, and thanks to our guide and driver. We...

Full Review

Marcela Perez Romo  –  
Mexico MX
Reviewed: Sep 23, 2022

The safaris were amazing!! The conservation efforts Kenia is doing is really great and we saw cubs in all animals!! Our guide Joseph from Mufasa Tours was the best!! Extremely knowledgeable and looking for the animals, we saw the big 5!!...

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Jane  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Sep 23, 2022
An all-round great place for a holiday. Wonderful coast, amazing safaris and delightful people.

The beaches are beautiful and hotels excellent. Perfect for families or couples. The people are very friendly and welcoming and the service is wonderful as is the food. There is a choice of safari destinations, each one distinct and...

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