Nairobi Airport Hotel

Nairobi Airport Hotel

The pioneer of the AirBnB / overnight rental business model in East Africa. Launched in 2013

Nairobi Airport Hotel, the pioneer of the “AirBnB” / overnight rental business model in East Africa, was launched in 2013.

The Founders, Endre Opdal and Håvar Bauck, were former college mates from Norway. By coincidence, they had found themselves living in the same neighborhood in Nairobi a decade after graduating.

Realising that there were no budget airport hotels next to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, the two innovators came up with a business idea. They leased five apartments in the then newly-built Five Star Estate in Syokimau, next to the airport.  With some simple furniture and the services of a business-minded car owner who provided the free airport transfer service, the bootstrapped business venture saw the light of day in November 2013. 

They didn’t know it then, but the two founders had pioneered what was later to be known as the “AirBnB” business model in East Africa. The trend they spurred led to literally thousands of apartments becoming available for short-term rental on, Expedia and AirBnB in Nairobi.

Nairobi Airport Hotel was an instant success, and became the most-booked property on in Nairobi in 2014.  Håvar Bauck and Endre Opdal later launched Savanna Sunrise to offer a similar digital marketing concept to other hotels in Nairobi and the East Africa region.