Flying is the only straightforward way of getting to Kenya, unless you’re travelling overland from southern Africa. Flights to Kenya are generally most expensive from late June to mid-August, and from mid-December to mid-January.

Cheaper tickets generally have fixed dates that you won’t be able to change without paying an extra fee. Some airlines offer various restricted eligibility fares for students and under-26s which may be cheaper and more flexible than ordinary adult fares.

Charter flights to Mombasa, available from Britain and Europe, are often cheaper than scheduled flights, but there’s usually a maximum stay in Kenya of two to four weeks.

Make reservations as far in advance as possible, especially if you want to travel in high season, as flights frequently fill up.

An inclusive package trip can make a lot of sense. Some packages, based around Mombasa charter flights and mid-range coast hotels, are relatively inexpensive and, if you choose carefully, you shouldn’t feel too constrained. Based on your flight, plus a week of half-board accommodation (dinner, bed and breakfast) they cost from around £800 from the UK. Beach hotels vary greatly in price, atmosphere and amenities, so choose carefully. It’s worth remembering that you aren’t obliged to stay at your hotel all the time: you could use it as a base to make independent trips around the country.

Adding some safari travel to a beach package holiday will increase the price by at least £200 per person per day of safari. If you have more time and flexibility, book a safari in Kenya.

Flights via Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Airlines that fly from New York and London and connect to Nairobi – though layovers may be inconvenient – include Brussels Airlines (, Egyptair (, Emirates (, Ethiopian Airlines (, Etihad (, KLM (, Saudia (, Lufthansa (, Qatar Airways (, Swiss ( and Turkish Airlines (

Scheduled flights to Mombasa include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines (, Brussels Airlines and Qatar Airways, connecting in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Brussels and Doha respectively.

Overlanding to Kenya

With plenty of time and a sense of adventure, travelling overland can be a rewarding way of getting to Kenya. Central African conflicts have effectively closed routes from West Africa for the time being, and while adventurous self-drive overlanders are heading to Kenya from Egypt, taking a boat from Aswan to Wadi Halfa in Sudan, crossing into Ethiopia at Metema and entering Kenya at Moyale or at the northern end of Lake Turkana, this route is not an easy one.

Currently the only advisable route is from southern Africa. You can drive by various routes, take the train up through Zambia and Tanzania, go overland by local transport, or hook up with any number of overland operators from Cape Town to Nairobi. Scrutinizing their websites gives an indication of their preparedness and know-how; if the blurb looks cheap or hasty, you should probably give them a wide berth.

Most of the recommended operators offer five- to ten-week Nairobi–Cape Town trips, which are usually possible in the other direction too. Prices vary widely: for a six- to ten-week Cape Town–Nairobi trip, taking in Namibia, Victoria Falls, Uganda and other highlights, you’re looking at anything from $50–100/day, including the local kitty. As usual, you tend to get what you pay for.