When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Nairobi?
Visiting Kenya in the off-peak season of March-May will likely secure you cheap flights to Nairobi, though you’re likely to see a lot of rain. As many visitors come to see Nairobi National Park, which comes to life in the dry seasons of January-February and June-October, prices will naturally rise during this period. To best take advantage of the great outdoors while keeping to your budget, try looking up alternative indirect routes on Netflights.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Nairobi?
Planning ahead is always the best option for securing cheap deals to Nairobi, especially if you want to visit in the peak season of June-October to see the wildlife in its all its glory. Deals can be found for last-minute return flights for these times but flexibility is key to snagging the best deals.
Flying to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO)
Named after Kenya’s first prime minister and then President Jomo Kenyatta, NBO is just nine miles from the heart of Nairobi, and is the country’s main international hub.
British Airways and Kenya Airways are the only two airlines offering direct flights to Nairobi from London Heathrow Airport. However, many major airports in the U.K. such as Manchester Airport, Birmingham Airport, Glasgow Airport, the George Best Belfast City Airport, London Gatwick, and London City offer indirect flights. With airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa and Ethiopian Airways flying to Nairobi, layovers can include stops in European cities such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt, or the Middle Eastern cities of Abu Dhabi and Istanbul, or even in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole Airport. Some indirect routes may require switching to another airline.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has two terminals and passengers can easily walk between them. The majority of visitors from the U.K. will enter NBO through Terminal 1, which accommodates international airlines such as British Airways, KLM, Kenyan Airways and Emirates. Terminal 2 mainly serves low-cost carriers and domestic flights and routes to other East African countries. A new runway is planned for the airport, and Terminal 1 will soon be extended and remodelled to handle an increase in passengers. Both terminals have lounges, shops, ATMs, currency services, and food and drinks.
Getting to the City from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO)
Visitors have a number of transport options to take them from the airport into downtown Nairobi. The quickest way to get to the city centre is either by taxi – yellow in colour – or by a shuttle service provided by your hotel. It will take around 30 minutes to get from the airport to the city centre this way. If taking a taxi, negotiate the price with the driver before entering the vehicle. The public bus – number 34 – runs every 20 minutes between 6am to 9pm and can take up to 45 minutes to reach central Nairobi depending on traffic. Car hire services are also available at NBO.
Why visit Nairobi?
Safari lovers both old and new can revel in the diversity offered by Nairobi, one of the only capital cities in the world to border a national park. Just over four miles from the heart of the city some of the most magnificent animals on earth can be found roaming the land. Pop out for a half-day safari and see lions, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, and hyenas and then make it back in time for your evening meal. The Nairobi National Park is also home to the world’s highest concentration of black rhinos and serves as a sanctuary to protect these rare creatures from poaching.
A relatively new city, Nairobi was originally only constructed to serve as a depot stop on the East Africa railway, but with its convenient location and water supply, population soon started booming. The former capital of British East Africa went through a dramatic urbanisation after the country’s independence, although traces of its colonialist history can still be found in the city.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
Visitors can get a three-month visa on arrival at NBO, but to avoid long queues it is advisable to apply for one in advance online. Travellers’ passports need to be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry and have at least two blank pages on arrival. You can buy some Kenyan Shillings before you depart, but ATMs and currency exchange booths are also widely available in Nairobi and international credit cards are accepted. Northern Irish and Scottish notes are unlikely to be accepted for exchange.