How to Spend a Layover in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

How to Spend a Layover in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

When you are travelling from one destination to the next, sometimes connecting flights cannot be avoided. A layover is what happens when you take a flight from one place to another, with a stop in the middle. If you have a long wait between connecting flights, you might be wondering what to do during a long layover. Where layovers once were seen as an inconvenience, travelers are now realizing the opportunity that it presents. Instead of spending hours at the airport, you can head out and experience city attractions. And there is plenty to do in the beautiful city of Nairobi.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is perfectly placed for the traveler who loves exploring the surrounding city on a long layover. Most of the attractions in Nairobi are not far from the airport.

Here’s our handy guide on navigating a long layover guide in Nairobi.

You can visit Nairobi national park during the layover

One of the best ways to spend a long layover in this city is a visit to Nairobi National Park. The park is also known as the world’s only wildlife game park in a capital. It is at the edge of the city, situated just a short drive out Nairobi’s central business district. Nairobi National Parks has abundant wildlife. There are over 100 species of mammals and reptiles, and over 400 species of birds. It is possible to see the big 4 of the big five here and they are the Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo. Other types of wildlife are also in plenty. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the park from the airport.

Example of a Nairobi National park Tour

Visit Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Trust in Nairobi

Daphane Sheldrick Elephant trust known for its work with elephants, operating the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. Its renowned Orphans’ Project allows the trust to respond to and rescue orphaned baby elephants, rhinos and other wild species across Kenya. Members of the public are allowed to visit and learn more about conservation work and meet the orphans in care. The public visit takes place every day, except the 25th December, from 11am to 12 noon. To ensure the safety of orphans, staff, and guests, entry is strictly by advance booking only. 

Example of a tour that visits Daphane Sheldrick Elephant orphanage


Visit the Giraffe Centre

The center is home of the Rothschild Giraffe. It is a subspecies of the giraffe found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The subspecies is endangered. Breeding of the endangered Rothschild Giraffe is one of the main programs. The calves are then released into the wild at two to three-years-old when they are independent enough to survive. There are now over 300 Rothschild Giraffe safe and breeding well in various Kenyan national parks.

Example of a tour that visits the giraffe centre 

Dine at the famous Carnivore Restaurant

Carnivore is an open-air restaurant in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. Carnivore’s specialty is meat, and features an all-you-can-eat meat buffet. They serve a wide variety of meat. Meats are roasted on traditional maasai swords over a huge charcoal pit that dominates the restaurant’s entrance. The rough-hewn beams combine the rustic feel of a rural setting with that of a medieval banqueting hall. It remains a popular tourist destination.

Karen Blixen Museum

The Museum is set in the serene suburb of Nairobi. It provides the most comprehensive insight into the person of Karen Blixen. The Karen Blixen Museum was once the center piece of a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills owned by Danish Author Karen and her Swedish Husband. One can also experience fantastic space for personal reflection in the nature trail, against a back drop of Ngong Hills. The Museum house remains a serene environment that seems to belong to the past, surrounded by a tranquil garden and indigenous forest, with a splendid view of Karen’s beloved Ngong Hills.


Experience culture at Bomas of Kenya

Bomas of Kenya was established to preserve, maintain and promote the rich diverse cultural values of various ethnic groups of Kenya.

The following are offered at Bomas;

Cultural Performances

Experience the rich diversity of Kenyan traditional music and dance in our daily cultural performances. The repertoire consists of over 50 dances from different ethnic communities. With live percussion, string and wind instruments, and diverse, authentic and energetic dancing, Bomas Harambee Dancers will take you on a journey through Kenya’s past and present.

Utamaduni Restaurant

The Utamaduni Restaurant at the Bomas of Kenya is truly unique. Here, one can enjoy sumptuous meals that are as diverse as the traditional cultures of Kenya. Meals from rich culture of Kenya are offered here. Meals ranging from nyama choma, mukimo, muthokoi among other Kenya’s regions are well represented.

Example of a cultural tour

Requirements for exiting the airport during a Layover in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport


Transit visa is issued to persons connecting through Kenya to other destinations for a period not exceeding 72 hours. It is for those who wish to leave the airport.

Basic Requirements

  1. Valid travel document not less than six months.
  2. A round trip ticket.



All evisa applications attract a 1 USD service charge and a card handling fee will be surcharged.

Card handling fee will be surcharged for Debit cards, Credit cards, VISA Card, Mastercard

More information

Ready to Plan Your layover tour in Nairobi?

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