Home' Travel News : February-March 2017 Contents 26 travel news february/march 2017
february/march 2017 travel news 27
A small niggle, but a growing one that I
need to share.
Coming out into traffic from a Java Coffee
House recently, I was harassed by a white
Land Cruiser with red number plates. The
traffic was heavy; he’d have to wait his turn.
Then with blaring siren and red and blue
flashing lights he made his case to push-in,
I then made my car as wide as possible, as
one does. Mounting the curb, and missing
me by inches away he went.
Well, I’m assuming it was a he; these
armoured Land Cruisers have a heavy tint
on the windows so you cannot see the driver
or the occupants.
This same lot, run a convoy system of at
least of two to three vehicles, with sirens a
blaring and lights a flashing, without regard
for the rules of our Kenyan roads. If there
was a Kenyan police escort perhaps I could
accept this behaviour, but there never is.
Who do they think they are?
Can you imagine our Ambassador in
Washington DC behaving in this manner?
On a similar subject a new Embassy near the
UN compound, has built three huge speed
bumps outside its premises. In retaliation
perhaps our Ambassador in Rome could do
the same. I don’t think the Romans would
allow it, so why should we?
The Kenyan business and tourism
fraternities no doubt welcomed the recent
announcement by Emirates, increasing their
flights to/from Nairobi with an additional
More businessmen and women, more
tourists, more cargo capacity for our
horticultural exports, more of everything
really. After granting permission the Minister
of Transport has done an about turn and told
Emirates that he has withdrawn permission
to operate the additional daily flight. A similar
scenario to Qatar Airways wanting to fly into
Mombasa in 2015.
While a number of meek excuses have been
offered by said Ministry of Transport the
bottom line in this writer’s humble opinion is
protectionism plain and simple. In that this
action protects the governments interest in
Kenya Airways, albeit that it only holds a
Why sacrifice the prosperity of a nation and
its people for a minority stake in a failed
You don’t grow a nation by using protectionist
policies such as this.
Emirates is the worlds largest international
airline, their reach is massive, they fly from
almost everywhere on this planet of ours to
Dubai and from Dubai to almost everywhere
else. Kenya Airways in turn has minimal
international reach; at last count less than
10 international destinations outside of the
Kenya has lost out again to shortsighted
The beaches of Kenya were at their very
best over the festive season, my family and
I holidayed as we always do in the village of
Watamu on the north-coast.
We chose to drive, and as much of a pain
as it is, we arrived safe and sound taking all
of 7-hours southbound and 9-hours on the
return to Tigoni.
Those who ridiculed our driving plan and flew
instead suffered at the hands of Jambojet
(see editorial page 10). Many friends
flying home from Malindi ended up being
bussed to Mombasa, which generally took
an uncomfortable 4-hours, for their flight to
Nairobi. All taking more time than our drive-
times above. Those further up the coast in
Lamu, had an unimaginable 12-hour bus
trip to Mombasa, some in the dead of night.
Oceans Sports at Watamu is hallowed
ground for a lot of Kenyans. It sits on the
best beach in the whole wide world, and in
days gone by was where a lot of us grew up,
literally. Some still are, growing-up that is.
I have often derided OS over the past few
years for not getting its act together, always
running out of cold beer, dreadful service,
dodgy food and over the holidays a coupon
system that drives me crazy.
Well, I’m happy to report that except for
the dreaded coupon system all is good at
OS, actually it’s very good. New Years Eve
always a right of passage was this year
limited in numbers and evidently enjoyed by
all, only to be usurped by their New Years
What a party, all the good and the great were
there, the best chat ever, the beer ice-cold,
the food excellent, the music fabulous – and
best of all you could see everybody!
We stayed in the grandly named Directors
Cottages right behind and part of the Turtle
Bay Beach Resort – not to be confused to
the similarly named villas across the road.
Brand new, with 4-bedrooms and their own
pool – with direct beach access through the
Resort. We’ve booked for next year, they
were that good.
One last parting shot of all things Watamu,
the Hemingway’s sea wall. It’s not a pretty
sight but they are rebuilding it with very
posh scientifically thought through building
blocks. So while it is intended to ‘fit in’ I still
have a big problem with it. At high tide, in
December when they are at their lowest,
you cannot walk in front of the resort with
the waves crashing against the new sea
What this will be like with the big spring tides
of July and August I can’t imagine.
While Hemingway’s is rebuilding they allow
passage through their property, which is a
nice gesture – never to miss an opportunity
you are handed a sales brochure of what
it will all be like when finished later this
year. But given past experience, given that
Hemingway’s terms itself as an exclusive
resort, I don’t see this right-of-way continuing
once the resort is finished. So, what to do?
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