Flight plans can be filed up to an hour prior to departure (or as early as 120 hr. before), and the flight plan must be in the new ICAO 2012 format that came into effect on Nov. 15, 2012. Good catering is available from Nairobi Airport Services with minimum 4-hr. lead time. The flight kitchen uses air-conditioned vans to deliver the food to the aircraft.
With no dedicated business aviation servicing on the field, what maintenance is available at Kenyatta is provided by Kenya Airways, which is headquartered in Nairobi. On the other hand, with numerous international airlines serving Nairobi, it is fairly easy to get parts to the airport from South Africa, where most business aviation OEMs maintain service centers, or from Europe. It is recommended that handlers shepherd the parts through customs to ensure fast passage.
As many visitors come to Kenya to hunt game, if planning to enter the country with firearms aboard, notify the handler to make arrangements for declaring the weapons and obtaining necessary permits. Generally, the firearms will be carried from the aircraft to CIQ by handlers or customs agents. If planning a hunting safari, have the agent or hotel arrange it with a reliable and safe guide service.
While a modern, cosmopolitan city, Nairobi nevertheless harbors considerable poverty and unemployment, and thus crime is consequent there.
“Avoid congested areas and be careful walking around in the evening,” Meyer advised. “Be vigilant of your valuables. We recommend that the crew ask the handler for advice on what areas to avoid. Very good English is spoken.”
Kenya has historically been one of the more stable democracies in Africa, except it seems, during election periods. These can often result in violent demonstrations or outright riots, as was seen most recently in the 2008 presidential election (which wound up in a bizarre shared leadership in which both candidates serve in office simultaneously in order to quell public dissatisfaction). National elections were scheduled to cycle around again this March.
Nevertheless, with proper precautions, Kenya and Nairobi offer unforgettably positive experiences. The plateau scenery is spectacular, with national parks and other protected areas to choose from for excursions or safaris. After all, this is Africa's beating heart. Now, open your eyes and get started with your flight planning. BCA