KWS Airwing

Kenya Wildlife Service Airwing was created in 1990 to provide air support services to wildlife management.The KWS Airwing, based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, is capable of providing an extremely diverse range of services in support of KWS's wildlife management and protection activities with its fleet of 12 light aircraft and 3 larger aircraft, including a Bell 206 helicopter. In addition to  this KWS recently acquired another new 7 seater Bell 407 helicopter. The chopper is set to further enhance KWS's conservation work as well as generate more revenue for the organisation. Among the specialized skills that have been carefully nurtured in its many  pilots are security and patrol flights, veterinary support services for research and translocation purposes, animal tracking game census, fire fighting, rescue (including mountain rescue) work, and transport of rations and supplies (including ammunition).

With fifty-nine parks and reserves spread over a country of 584,896 sq km, the KWS Airwing Unit is on permanent standby to fly into action anywhere in Kenya, either for routine monitoring and field trips or security operations and emergency evacuations. 

The Airwing Unit has a total of 12 professional pilots .Airwing Unit operates out of Wilson Airport, Nairobi, where a maintenance facility has been established.  Airwing pilots time is more  devoted to national patrols

Additional field - operation centres are located in Mountain( aberdare)  Central Rift, Eastern (Meru), Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Lamu & Marsabit. Each member of the Airwing Unit has to be more than just a pilot. Knowledge and understanding of Kenya's terrain and wildlife is vital to ensure that flying time, in often difficult conditions, is dedicated to the mission, which may require sensitive, low-level flying.

Airwing roles include the following:

  • Park patrols – aircrafts positioned in the 8 regions of KWS
  • Translocation
  • Transport
  • Rescue missions
  • Animal census
  • Security operations

(a) Flight operations 

Type of aircraft

Rate per hr



US$ 900 +VAT



US$ 1500+ VAT


We also have discounted rates for conservation related activities as follows:

Caravan – US$ 570 per hr  

Helicopter – US$ 840 per hr

NB: Conservation related flights must be addressed to the Director Kenya Wildlife Service for approval to be discounted .

(b)  Maintenance 

We maintain our  aircrafts and   some for clients. Currently we are maintaining 8 aircrafts for our clients and many others have expressed willingness to enter into maintenance  contract with us.
Note:  in East Africa  it is only by Kenya Wildlife Service that maintain Bell products .

Personnel Competence 

Our personnel are highly trained and very experienced. KWS pilots are the best in the country in bush airstrip landing among other maneuvers.Our maintenance engineers are equally well trained and experienced as evidenced by our ability to be the only organization that can maintain the above helicopter in East Africa.

For bookings and inquiries please contact:

Phone: +254 (20) 609703,609451