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Your Guide to Nairobi Airport: (NBO) Jomo Kenyatta-JKIA

Nairobi Airport is officially known as Jomo Kenyatta Int. Airport(JKIA) IATA code: NBO Is the most prominent and busiest airport in Kenya and East Africa. It was initially named Embakasi Airport and was renamed in 1978 in honor of the first president of Kenya. It is in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. If you are traveling to and from JKIA, here is a guide to help you navigate and know everything beforehand.

Brief Summary

JKIA is in the Nairobi County and Embakasi Sub-County.

International arrivals are at Terminal 1; 1A,1B and 1C

Airport parking is available at the following rates; Ksh 100 for under 30 minutes, and KSh 150 for up to an hour. If you are parking for more than 24 hours, it will cost you KSh 1,000.

Traveler documents required include; a passport with at least two blank pages and not less than 6 months expiry, a visa, and an airline ticket. You are not allowed to leave with more than KSh 100,000 in cash.

Nairobi Airport Quick Info

  • Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA)
  • IATA Code: NBO
  • ICAO code: HKJK
  • Runway(s): One (06/24)
  • Terminals: Two; Terminal 1A,1B,1C,1E,1D & 2
  • Operator: Kenya Airports Authority (KAA)
  • Distance from Nairobi CBD: 17.9Km (Via Expressway)
  • Distance from Westlands: 19.8Km (Via Expressway)
  • Airport Address: 19001 (00501), Airport North Road
  • Website:
  • Phone: 020 822111
  • Passengers Served: >10 Million (2022)
  • Flight Information: Departures and arrival information can be viewed online

JKIA Operating Airlines

Terminal 1A: International Arrivals & DeparturesAir France
Air Malawi
Air Tanzania
British Airways
China Southern
Jambo Jet (International)
Kenya Airways (International)
Precision Air
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Uganda Airlines
Terminal 1B: International DeparturesAir India
Air Tanzania
Uganda Airlines
Terminal 1C: International DeparturesAir Arabia
Egypt Air
Turkish Airlines
Terminal 1D: Domestic Departures & ArrivalsJambo Jet (Domestic)
Kenya Airways (Domestic)
Yellow Wings
Terminal 2: Departures & ArrivalsAfrican Express
Daalo Airlines
I Fly
Tarco Airlines

Air France
Astral Aviation
Ethiopian Airlines
Lufthansa Cargo
Martin Air
A table of airlines and their terminals in JKIA(NBO)

Getting to and fro JKIA

Nairobi Expressway
Nairobi Expressway

The airport is located 17.9 km from the capital, Nairobi CBD. 19.8 km from Westlands, where most travelers head to from the airport. Westlands-JKIA commute is what necessitated the construction of the Nairobi Expressway. There are many ways to get around between the airport and any part of the city or country. Everything is by road as there is no train system yet.

The cost-effective will be public transportation by city buses that operate from the airport, for just under $1, but this is not so convenient as wait times are involved and it is not as comfortable as a taxi or a cab after a long flight.

Travelers can also use airport cabs that are somewhat expensive and range over $25 for a trip, and you will be charged more for being a foreigner.

Uber and Bolt are other options that offer the comfort and convenience of a cab but are way cheaper.


Like many airports, JKIA offers free Wi-Fi in every terminal for light social media usage that is available to help pass the time. Charging outlets are available throughout, but remember to bring a 3-pin adapter if your charger has two.

There are a number of duty-free shops where you can buy souvenirs and a bunch of restaurants, but everything is limited and not that big of an option, considering JKIA is not a very big airport.


Nairobi Airport Terminal 1A
Terminal 1A

There are two terminals in JKIA, T1 and T2. Terminal 1 is the main character and has several subdivisions: 1A,1B,1C,1D, and 1E. All expect 1D to handle most international traffic, and 1D is for domestic traffic.

Terminal 2 handles Low Cost Carriers, LCC flights, cargo airlines, and the Kenya Air Force, so this terminal’s facilities are below average.

Airport workers are annoying, however; they constantly want you to bribe your way out of everything, especially security.


Kenya Airways(KQ) Pride Loungue
Kenya Airways Pride Lounge

Regardless of what class of service, you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket by paying for it individually or if your credit card has a membership. Some of these lounges are fitted with showers, which come in handy.


Kenya Airways Pride Lounge ($40)
Kenya Airways Simba Lounge ($40)
Terminal 1A24 HRS
5 AM-Midnight
Aspire LoungeTerminal 1B24 HRS
Kenya Airways Simba LoungeTerminal 1C
Kenya Airways Msafiri Lounge($20)Terminal 1D
Turkish Airline LoungeTerminal 1E24 HRS
Mara LoungeTerminal 224 HRS
Mt Kenya LoungeTerminal 2
Lounges in JKIA (NBO)

Food and Drinks

You can get food and drinks inside JKIA but won’t have a decent meal. The number of eateries is limited. Near gate 14 is Java House, a local cafe chain that sells food. The other option would be a snack stall on the other end next to gate 4 and Kenchic Inn at arrivals; if you are heading to the airport, ensure you have eaten and are packed.

Airport Hotels in JKIA

Hilton Garden Inn JKIA Nairobi
Hilton Garden Inn

For uninterrupted sleep, several hotels near Nairobi Airport provide free airport transport to and fro; here are some popular options.

  • Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport ($184)
  • Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport ($171)
  • Four Points Nairobi Airport ($212)

Recommended Reads

The 15 Best Airlines Operating at JKIA Nairobi (NBO)

Why is Nairobi Abbreviated as NBO and not NRB?

5 Must Visit Travel Destinations in Kenya

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