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Long stay in Nairobi airport

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Toronto, Canada
posts: 6
reviews: 15
Long stay in Nairobi airport

My friend and I are traveling from Kisumu through Nairobi and then onwards to 2 different locations (London and Zurich) and have a 6 hour and an 11 hour stop over, respectively. We are reluctant to leave the airport because we would prefer to wait together but understand that the airport has not really been rebuilt yet since the fire. Is there anywhere comfortable we can sit or are there any lounges that have reopened? I guess what I'm asking is how awful is this going to be?

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,952
reviews: 52
1. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

The Departure area was largely untouched by the fire. There are a couple of coffee shops that also do food and alcoholic drinks airside and there are seating areas. Some of the lounges were in the central building that was destroyed in the fire so the only lounge in the departure area has been commandeered as the Kenya Airways / KLM business class lounge.

You will need to transfer from the Domestic Terminal to International Departures so you can split your time between landside and airside. You will pass a pleasant little cafe bar with a terrace as you walk from Domestic to International

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6
reviews: 15
2. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

Thank you so much for that very helpful information!

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 33,141
reviews: 243
3. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

< I guess what I'm asking is how awful is this going to be?>

Well the answer to that is "Fairly awful". The only thing worse than 11 hours in JKIA terminals that comes to mind would be 12 hours.

I realise the predicament but surely leaving the airport even for a few hours would at least open the horizon and time frame a bit? Even if you avoid the traffic chaos in the City centre there must be a place where you can 'take tea' or even catch nap in a room close by the airport.

That would let the 'lucky' 6 hour person get a break and shorten the loneliness of the next five hours for the other.

Think about it.

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 17
4. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

This is great and kind question, my friend, thank you, for one, during the fire that affected the main and busiest international airport in Kenya J.K.I Airport there August last year, the areas affected was mostly the Arrival lounge. In this, i would suggest since you had enough time at Kisumu of which i guess you were doing Volunteering, you can take some few hours, to visit some nice places like the Giraffe center, Baby Elephant, Karen Blixen Museum, of Kenya within Nairobi before leaving for airport to connect your flights back home. To me you only need 2 hours maximum to be at airport. What you need to do is to take taxi that will cost you like about Ksh 2,500 two people to the Giraffe center, where you will pay the entrance direct this is Ksh.1,000 each person. and have fun there, with little nature walk, see the many species of birds, fee the giraffe,see tortoise, and many species of birds.This will get out your boredom and will help you leave this country with memories. all this will take you like 3 hours maximum, if there is traffic within Nairobi. Thank you hope you will enjoy. If you feel unsaved with time just contact Ancient Wild Safaris to organize this for you, of important is time factor. all the best.

Naivasha, Kenya
posts: 851
reviews: 6
5. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

I imagine that it depends upon the time of day at which your layover starts. 6 hours isn't really long enough to go exploring, in Nairobi, but 11 hours would be - leaving a generous margin for return, based on often difficult traffic.

The longest that I have spent at JKIA was about 6 hours and it was pretty tedious, as there is little to do. The Java Coffee Shop is pleasant enough and has a good menu. There are a few duty free shops and thats about it. If you read, then a book will help to pass the time!

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6
reviews: 15
6. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I'm the "lucky" one with only a 6 hour lay over. I might suggest to my friend that she escape while she can. These posts have been very helpful, thank you!

posts: 73
reviews: 29
7. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

There are no airport hotels but we have two that are close to the airport and will be a good place to relax and then head back to the airport for your flight. Ole Sereni hotel or Panari hotel will be a good point.Ole Sereni is actually on the edge of Nairobi national park. Please check them out on TA Nairobi hotels review . Good luck.

Edited: 5:44 pm, June 23, 2014
San Jose, Ca
posts: 2
reviews: 5
8. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

We have a 13 hr layover in Aug. We booked with Africa Point for them to pick us up at the airport, go to the giraffe center and then David Sheldrick s elephant orphanage for $200 for 2 of us. We arrive at 12:30 pm. We have friends that used Africa Point and were very pleased. That won't kill much time but with 13 hrs, every little bit will help.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6
reviews: 15
9. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

This is a great forum, thank you for this information and advice. We will explore these options!

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,245
reviews: 153
10. Re: Long stay in Nairobi airport

What if you both leave the airport and head to Ole Sereni hotel and hang out there. You can then cab back earlier to JKIA for your flight and your friend closer to their flight time. What time do you arrive from Kisumu?