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It looks like we have about a 6 hour layover before coming back home in the Nairobi airport around 5pm. Was thinking about possible going into Nairobi for dinner from the airport. Is this advisable, and if so how is best to do it safely? Thank you.

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1. Re: Layover

I do this quite often. Land at 4pm from Kigali and then fly out on the 11pm to London. BUT a few provisos: I always check my bags through and I always have my boarding card for the second leg of my flight (online check in is fab), so all I have to do on my return to the airport is go through immigration. I also tend to fly on a Sunday night, when the roads are quiet(er), so I can be in and out of town quickly.

You will need to buy a transit visa for $10. If you're not at the front of the queue I wouldn't bother as you'll waste too much time and you might just as well sit at Java Coffee by gate 14.

I tend to go to Karen rather than town (nicer restaurants) - Talisman, Rusty Nail etc - just jump in a cab at the airport, and get the restaurant to book one for your return. It'll cost you c1200Ksh into town (30 mins) and c1500Ksh to Karen (40mins). I tend to head back so I'm at the airport 90 mins before the flight.

This has gone spectacularly wrong on one occassion when the traffic was so bad it took 4 hours to get back from Karen.

If you wanted something closer you could go to dinner at the Parnasi (sp?) Hotel which is about 10 minutess from the airport.

If in any doubt on time don't do it.

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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2. Re: Layover

Just be warned about the Nairobi traffic - 5pm could be dreadful!!

Our visitors last week took 2 1/2 hours to get into Nairobi at noon and missed their planned trip to the Game Park.

Personally I'd not bother!! The Cafe up past Gate 14 looks nice....

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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3. Re: Layover

the gate 14 cafe / coffee shop (the cafe's much cheaper than the coffee shop by the way - even though they share the same space) is ok but it's always packed as its one of the few places to sit - the bar called 'The Pub' on the road between Domestic and International terminals looks OK (my transfers have always been too short to sample it)

Is your layover between two international flights or after an internal one? (ref transit visa)

South West England...
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for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
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4. Re: Layover

The Pub is fine and one of the few places at the airport that you can smoke.

Darwin, Australia
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5. Re: Layover


stay at the airport...better to be safe than sorry.

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6. Re: Layover

>>Parnasi (sp?) Hotel which is about 10 minutess from the airport. <<

As above, depending on day of week and time of day, traffic can be a horror.

Consider the Panari Hotel, nearby with restaurant (believe name is Pampas) on 2nd floor, much like the Carnivore in Nairobi/Karen, but many claim better food.

If leaving the airport, be sure to allow sufficient time for check-in and security.

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7. Re: Layover

if you have a long time to wait in Nairobi, it is worth paying $20 US to use the VIP lounge, near gate 10 I think. Couches, tv, airconditioning, FREE food AND booze - as much as you want (if that way inclined). They call you when time to board.

Best $20 I have ever spent at an African airport, well worth the money and you can sit in peaceful A/C waiting for your flight. Well worth it for layovers of more than 3 hours for sure, we waited four hours there back in June.

This lounge is a well kept secret!

8. Re: Layover

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