Flying to Samburu is a quicker alternative to heading out by road, saving anything from 4 to 5 hours on the road trip, even taking into account the transfer and waiting time at the airport. Booking a flight to Samburu is an easy process though one ought to note that the flights take off and land from the domestic Wilson airport, located on Langata road, though certain limited connections may be booked from the international JKIA airport in Nairobi including charter flights on request. There are 2 main airlines offering domestic flights connecting Samburu and other tourist locations to Nairobi, namely Air Kenya and Safarilink.
Most airlines offer a morning and afternoon flight, with the same plane returning back to Wilson after every set of flights. The flying time is usually 1.5 hours though actual time depends on how many interim stops the flight will make, ( known as ''hops'') as they land to drop or pick up passengers from various airstrips. See the schedule below. The prices for a one way flight from Nairobi to Samburu range from US$ 200 - 250 per person while a return ( two way) flight would cost anything from US$ 300 - 400 per person including taxes, depending on the season and availability.
|Daily Flights to Samburu|
|Morning Flight||Samburu||Masai Mara||10:05||11:30|
High Season: 16 December - 31 March & 1 July - 31 Octomber
Low Season: 1 April - 30 June & 1 November - 15 December
Due to the sheer volume of passengers flying to Samburu during the peak season months from July to October, both Safarilink and Air Kenya place an additional midday flight service to handle the passenger numbers. During these months we recommend booking early enough to secure seats. There are connecting flights from Samburu to Masai Mara via Nanyuki during the peak season. See the schedule below.
As mentioned above there are two main airlines which include Air Kenya and Safarilink. These airlines generally have an excellent safety record and operate to high standards with professional staff.Enquire for Flights
Wilson airport is the domestic airport of Nairobi, located along Langata road, fairly close to Carnivore Restaurant and on the way to Karen and Nairobi National Park. The airport is small but fairly busy and efficient. Transfer time from city center is 20 minutes traffic free but more like an 45 minutes in normal traffic, and most local flights require that you be at the airport at least an hour before the flight.
There are several airtsrips in Samburu, including the community wildlife conservancies and game ranches surrounding the main Reserve. It is imperative to book your flight to the airstrip nearest to your accommodation to avoid unnecessarily long transfers which also happen to be rather expensive. See more details on some of the airstrips in Samburu including Kalamaand Buffalo Springs airstrips.
Fly-in Safaris to Samburu are popular due to the convenience of the short 1.5 hour flight compared to the 6 to 7 hour road journey from Nairobi. Flights to Samburu being readily available, a flying package safari is possible to book for most safari lodges and camps in the reserve. Flying to the Samburu is also suggested for those who want to enjoy game drives in an Open sided safari vehicle.See Fly-in Packages
The main advantage of flying from Nairobi to Samburu is to save time especially useful for shorter safaris such as an overnight or two night trip, since it is a 1.5 hour flight versus a 6 to 7 hour road trip, though you need to cater for a 45 minute reporting time and the time taken to get you to Wilson airport in Nairobi ( 45 mins), so the difference in time is really more like 3 hours. Secondly, with the road to Samburu being bumpy and dusty in places, passengers with a medical or back conditions that can become worse with road travel should only consider flying.
The disadvantages of flying include the cost, especially so if there are more than two passengers in a group. Baggage is limited to only 15 kilos per passenger and this includes carry on and check-in. Lastly, the road trip, though long, does give one the real feel for the country you are visiting and offer a more adventurous journey to your destination, further increasing the occasion of being in the wilderness.