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 early July to late October and from mid-December to mid-January. Make reservations as far in advance as possible, especially if you want to travel at these popular times.
Nairobi is the major hub for East Africa and is served by many airlines so there’s a competitively priced choice of flights, but the cheaper tickets generally have fixed dates that you won’t be able to change without paying an extra fee.
With the exception of the package-holiday charter airlines from Britain and Europe, there are no direct flights to Mombasa without going to Nairobi first. However, an inclusive package trip can make a lot of sense. Some packages, based around 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 £700 from the UK. 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.
Overlanding to/from Kenya
With plenty of time and a sense of adventure, travelling overland can be a rewarding way of getting to or from 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 an overland operator – any number of which run multi-week tours between Cape Town and Nairobi.