Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on March 13 that a rail link between Nairobi’s Central Station and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, will be completed in 2021.

The president made the commitment after touring the station with French President Emanuel Marcon, who is currently on a state visit to Kenya. “A properly functioning urban commuter rail system and Bus Rapid Transit system in our cities, particularly here in Nairobi, will…make Nairobi a wonderful experience for tourists and visitors,” says Kenyatta.

He added that the airport rail link will be completed in partnership with a French consortium. The consortium is currently conducting an implementation study on the rail project, but Kenyatta complained it had taken too long to break ground, urging the French president to “lecture them to finish the project in two years and not ten”.

Devan Jobanputra of Travel In Style, based in Kenya, explains: “Nairobi is known as the ‘big city’ of East Africa, and is notorious for its traffic jams. The new public transport systems will most likely reduce the number of cars and improve journey times, making it easier for residents and visitors alike to traverse or explore the city.”

He adds that “many visitors on safari in Kenya don’t want to include Nairobi, and will request accommodation near the international airport, Wilson airport for flights to safari and beach destinations, or towards the north of the city which has direct access to the highways leading to the north or west of the country. New hotels are opening further away from the city centre as business travellers also prefer easy accessibility to meeting and conference venues.”