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Topics include Dining Scene, Kenya: For Foreign Visitors & more!
When you arrive from any of the following countries, you need a yellow fever to be allowed to enter Kenya:
Mombasa is accessible by air or train from Kenya's largest city, Nairobi. Air Kenya offers several flights from Nairobi each day to Mombasa's Moi International Airport (MBA). This is a small airport, with only 2 runways and 4 gates, offering limited passenger services. For more information on flights see Air Kenya's website.
For Flights from Mombasa to Jomo Kenyatta Airport Nairobi: Kenya Airways www.kenya-airways.com
For Flights from Mombasa to Wilson Airport Nairobi:
Air Kenya: www.airkenya.com
Fly 540 : www.fly540.com
Jetlink : http://www.jetlink.co.ke/
Visitors who wish to travel to Mombasa by rail can do so from Nairobi on East Africa Shuttle's passenger trains. These trains offer views of the countryside as well as meals, departing three days a week. Their website provides schedules and more information.
Mombasa to Nairobi Train: Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Nairobi to Mombasa Train: Monday, Wednsday and Friday
Traveling to Mombasa by car is not recommended for tourists unless they have a local guide, but cars can be rented once in the city.
Lots of Bus Companies wil take to from Mombasa to Nairobi, Kisumu and many more destinations.
The best at the moment (can change any time): Coast Bus, Crown Bus and Mash Cool
Departing from Mombasa Airport
If you are using a charter flight and departing from Mombasa Moi Interntional airport then allow yourself plenty of time - at least 2 - 3 hours. If you are flying scheduled, Kenya Airways, then its not so much of a problem as the queue for check in is much much smaller and less like sale time at Harrods!
When you arrive in the bus/car park you will be eagerly met by trolley boys all ready to push your luggage trolley or pull your suitcase for you - in return for a small tip. Then you get to the first queue to get into the check in hall. Here you have to show your ticket to the official and load your cases onto the conveyor to be x-rayed and you will have to empty your pockets and walk through the metal detector. Then you collect your bags and show your ticket and passport to the next official. Walk a few yards and join one of the 3 or 4 queues to the first check in desk (unless you are flying premium whereby you go to the designated check in desk at the end). At this check in you show your ticket and passport - they then tick you off the list and put a coloured spot on your cases. You then queue for the next check in desk where you show your passport and tickets again. Luggage is weighed and any excess fees for that rather large wooden giraffe you bought are paid. Some tour operators such as First Choice/Thomson ask you to pay the exit tax here if they haven't included it in the ticket price. On the counter you will see departure cards which you will need to fill in before the passport control desk.
Next you go upstairs where surprise surprise you have to show your boarding card and passport again. Empty your pockets again, and put your hand luggage on the conveyor to be x-rayed - you walk through the metal detector again. Sometimes you stand on the shoe x-ray machine too. Walk a few yards and next you queue for the passport control. Hand in your passport and departure card. After a few minute they stamp your passport, say Kwaheri and you are through. This can take anything between 1 - 1.5 hours. It does pay to get to the airport early, ahead of the masses.
You are now in the departure lounge where there is a cafe/bar and loads of shops selling cheap booze and cigarettes (All priced in dollars. They do take other currencies but apply a lousy exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted). There all also shops selling beautiful jewellery including tanzanite, wood carvings, t-shirts and trinkets. The seats in this area are hard plastic and its hot with only ceiling fans and crows flying about. However for those in the know you can pay to go into either of the first class lounges - 1500 Shillings. They aren’t taking payment by card at present and you should ask for a receipt. For this you get air con, comfy seats, sat TV, internet, newspapers, free beer/wine/soft drinks/tea/coffee and croissants, filled rolls, cakes, and yoghurts and the hostess calls you to board once the inevitable queue has gone. There is a smoking balcony in the old first class lounge. Other than this area, there is no smoking at the airport.
When the flight is called you then proceed to the gate holding room. Join the queue to show your board card and passport. You then join the next queue to have a body search and bag search. Warning - if you buy liquids in the duty free including aftershave/perfume keep them sealed as they will try to say that you have to leave them behind. Take a seat now and wait. It shouldn’t be too long if you’ve been in the first class lounge as the hostess waits until the crowd has died down. When its time one of the boarding staff will shout and everyone scrambles to get to the gate. Get ready to show your boarding card and passport again.
And that's all there is to it!