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Scheduling air to Kenya returning from Tanzania

We have booked a safari that starts in Nairobi, Kenya and ends in Tanzania. I was originally scheduled for this year, but due to COVID-19 was postponed for July 2021.

I have been checking airfares from our home in Georgia as well as from Atlanta.

When I run the round trip from Atlanta to Nairobi, the fare is $1100 +
When I run the multi flight, open jaw from Atlanta to Nairobi and returning from JRO (Kilimanjaro airport) in Tanzania, the cost runs $1600+ that includes a 9 hour layover in Amsterdam, or a better, shorter layover in Paris or Amsterdam for 3 hours at $2000+.

I can purchase a separate one-way flight from JRO to Nairobi for less than $200, but it would be on a separate ticket and if the flight was late, missing our big flight home would be a disaster. Not sure why the huge cost difference.

We could book the return flight to the USA home on the next day that would give us lots of time to get to Nairobi. We could even take a bus for $40 each, but the trip is 7 hours. We would have to pay a night for a hotel in Nairobi, but that would be in the range of $250.

We won't purchase the tickets until next year, when we have a handle on having a COVID-19 vaccine, so perhaps the cost difference will change.

Still, looking for opinions on the best choice if the price differential is unchanged.

Posted by
759 posts

Simple- open jaw for $1600. Book an airport hotel to crash in for a few hours during your 9 hr layover. Your going 1/2 around the world for a safari and now you wanna get cheap? You have lots of time to get a part time job at Walmart and make some extra cash.

Posted by
10358 posts

Exactly what Bob said, exactly. This isn't the place to cheap out. Spend those 9-hours sleeping in a terminal hotel cabin.

Posted by
4595 posts

I did the flight from Kilimanjato via Amsterdam a few times. Train is right in the station. Head downtown for a few hours and then return for the flight home allowing some time for duty free cheese and Carmel cookie shopping. There are lockers in an area of the airport or right at the train station for any temporary luggage hold. That being said, I would avoid that option if I could.
I believe you need a visa for Kenya. Will it allow for multiple entries...for the return to Kenya? Or have you checked out the East African visa?
Alternatively what is your option from Dar es Salaam Airport?

Posted by
4595 posts

Regardless of what you do, may I suggest looking into a subscription for Flying Doctors evacuation service? They fly in and out of places like the Serengeti should there be a need. It is a very minor cost and what you don't use goes to their work to evacuate locals needing urgent medical care.

Posted by
7906 posts

Thanks for the advice.
We have a voucher from Air France that we can use on Delta. The voucher is from a canceled flight this year due to COVID-19.
Yes, it is cheaper to fly on Turkish Airlines and a bit cheaper to fly on Lufthansa (Ethiopian Air), but we are sticking with Delta.

What I am most concerned about it buying two separate tickets. No one addressed that issue.

Because we rescheduled our trip, we can't buy cancel at any time trip insurance. However, I plan to purchase medical and medical evacuation for the trip.

Regarding finding a hotel at the Amsterdam Airport for part of the 9 hour layover, I checked and there are two hotels inside the customs, but both hotels say they are unavailable for the day we pass through. Not sure if that is because we are so far from the trip in July or not. I can probably find a return through CDG and they have more hotel options.

Posted by
2500 posts

The Citizen M Hotel just outside the airport is a good option. It is a very short walk. We had a 24 hour layover coming back from Africa and stayed there.