Chalbi Desert @ Will Curtis

Private flights and helicopter services in East Africa

From our base at Nanyuki Airfield in the heart of Kenya, Tropic Air offers private flights and helicopter services. We have a strong East African footprint and 25 years of experience in the industry. Keeping the fun in the flying, Tropic Air is professional, friendly and personal with a team of just 10 pilots, founded and managed by Kenya-born Jamie Roberts.

Contact Us
Tropic Air offices at Nanyuki Airfield

Our Operations

Shadowed by Mount Kenya, just a few kilometers south of the Equator is Nanyuki Airfield.  Tropic Air set up its base here in the early 1990s and has been the principal developer in almost all the infrastructure that you can see here today. 

Despite having evolved into a vibrant air hub, the airfield’s charm remains unchanged – with its simple wooden buildings, extensive lawns, and incredible scenic location.

Our operations team coordinates private air charters and safaris.  Please get in touch for quotations and bookings, or any general enquiry.

Our Services

GENERAL

Barney’s restaurant is open daily
North-road gift shop
Open to school groups
Private flights with Tropic Air
Scheduled flights - Air Kenya & Safari Link

AIRCRAFT SERVICES

Free and secure aircraft parking
Aircraft fuel is available from Flamex
Tropic Air provides aircraft maintenance services

PILOT INFO

Coordinates: S00 03.68 E037 02.54
Heading: 03/21
Lat: 0.045000; Long: 37.030000
Altitude: 6,250 feet
Temporary runway is 800 meters.
Radio frequency: 118.0 (124.3 Military)

History

Tropic Air is a privately owned air charter company that developed in the early 1990s at the time that northern Kenya’s low-impact and high value tourism lodges and camps were emerging. 

Having grown into the second busiest air charter operation in Kenya, successfully operating a fleet of Cessna aircraft, Tropic Air diversified into helicopters in 2006, offering a range of heli-services, and pioneering heli-safaris throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Congo being our main destinations.  Today Tropic Air is one of East Africa’s most recognised air charter and

1960s & 70s

In the 1960s the Nanyuki Airfield was situated along the Nanyuki - Rumuruti Road. It was a grassy runway used by privately owned aircraft. During the 70s the site was purchased by the Kenya government for the air force, and named Laikipia Air Base. The new civil airfield for Nanyuki was moved to its current location between the towns of Naro Moru and Nanyuki.

In the 70s Nanyuki Civil Airfield came into its own when the Mount Kenya Safari Club was attracting the wealthy and famous – and the first charter flights started venturing in.

1990s

When Tropic Air set up its base here in 1993, there was only a patchy and overgrown tarmac runway and a single caretaker’s hut. Over the years, through investment and development, we have been instrumental in putting Nanyuki Airfield on the map as a major and vital air hub serving Northern Kenya, and linking the north with the rest of Kenya.

Today Nanyuki Airfield has an excellent reputation for its broad aviation services, along with its charming atmosphere, unique location and Barney’s restaurant!

Initiatives

Being in touch with our neighboring communities along with larger tourism and conservation networks, Tropic Air is committed to being a team player.  We help our local community in their fund-raising efforts for a range of enterprises and challenges.  We create direct and permanent employment opportunities for over 50 people. We also support air-borne conservation tasks in the remote parts of northern Kenya.   Tropic Air is the first port of call for wilderness-based medical emergencies and mountain rescues off the peaks of Mount Kenya. We are committed to the environment, our wildlife and our people, and are happy to share some examples of Tropic Air being an active supporter.

  • Mount Kenya clean-up with the KWS
  • Wildlife translocation, tracking and darting
  • Anti-poaching missions including mobilizing rapid response teams to hotspot areas
  • Safaricom Lewa Marathon and 10to4 mountain bike event – aerial filming and casevac support
  • Hosting school children at Nanyuki Airfield
  • Internships for aircraft engineering students
Nanyuki Airfield @ John Balsom
Supporting Red Bull kayakers on the Congo River