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Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

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Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
471 posts
121 reviews
Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

I am planning on taking a safari that will arrive back in Nairobi early afternoon, according to the itinerary.

Will I have time to catch a 15:30 flight from Wilson Airport to Malinda that same day?

Or, should I book the train from Nairobi to Mombasa that departs at 19:00 to save on hotel accommodations, and fly from Mombasa to Malinda upon arrival in Mombasa?

I am somewhat leery about taking the train because I've read that it is often late. Has anyone had any recent experiences with this that they can share?

My schedule will be tight, and don't want to encounter any significant delays along the way.

Lamu Island, Kenya
Level Contributor
394 posts
58 reviews
1. Re: Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

That's true, the train is often late. But still, there should be enough time to travel to Malindi. I don't recommend taking a flight from Mombasa to Malindi because it's a short distance, then there's only Mombasa Air Safari and they only fly from Mombasa to Malindi & Lamu when they have more passengers. They even cancel flights last minute! In case they fly they leave at around 4:30 pm from Mombasa.

From the train station in Mombasa take a Tuc Tuc (should be 100 KES for up to three people) to the matatu stage for express matatus to Malindi. If you have a lot of luggage maybe pay for one more seat so that you have more space. Traveling time by express matatu to Malindi is 90 minutes.

Glasgow, United...
Level Contributor
324 posts
2. Re: Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

if you have not done the train journey before, it could be a worth while trip, , if you do take train, you would be seeing some wildlife early in the morning as it goes thro the park,

according to "www.seat61.com", it runs on mon & fri only from nairobi, and its a slow journey to mombasa (about 15hrs). if you cant bear the hours then you better fly.

if you miss flight to malindi, you could fly to mombasa (from JKIA) and then take a taxi to malindi (time 2hrs & cost ksh 6k but airport taxi will ask for more like kes 10k)

or maybe catch express matatu from mombasa, but you would 1st have to catch taxi (about ksh 2k) from mba airport to reach matatu stage.

when in mombasa and connecting with an express matatu / minibus to malindi (about ksh350 per seat), make sure its an express matutu which will depart at a scheduled time, this will only stop to off load existing passengers, duration to malindi is between 90mins and 105mins depending on traffic. other matatus usually take 2hrs 30mins or more.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
471 posts
121 reviews
3. Re: Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

I think I am going to have to eliminate the idea of taking the train because the departure dates don't conicide with my schedule.

Another site shows that it leaves Nairobi only Mon., Wed., and Fri. I wanted to leave on Saturday.

Level Contributor
37 posts
4. Re: Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

The train does indeed leave Mon, Wed and Friday and is well worth a go if you havent done it before.

You should be able to get a flight from Wilson Airport on Saturday. Fly540 has a morning flight that will get you to Malindi before the train arrives in Mombasa.

Mombasa, Kenya
Level Contributor
109 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

The Train departs from Nairobi to Mombasa on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays ,because of long safari and may be you need to relax i suggest Train, But because those days wound find in Nairobi better after your safari take the evening flight to Mombasa and Tax from airport to Malindi because if you arrive Mombasa later if will force you to .take Tax but if early then the shuttle bus are there which operates after time to time for2 hrs you will be in Malindi the same day and relax.

6. Re: Train to Mombasa or plane to Malinda

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