Home' Travel News : February - March 2018 Contents 42 travel news february/march 2018
february/march 2018 travel news 43
Where to start?
You might re-call in my last column that
I just couldn’t help myself, and for the
first time ever dipped my big toe into the
political morass that is currently enveloping
Kenya. Most thankfully agreed and found
it a tad hilarious, which was the intention.
However there was one reader who got
really really upset, and literally blew a
fuse. He didn’t so much take aim at yours
truly, at least I don’t think he did, but more
from the perspective that our political
system had deprived his candidate of the
I think I’ll keep the big toe firmly
in its intended place of residence
We drove to the coast on Boxing Day,
drive-time from our home in Tigoni to
our favourite all-time coastal destination
Watamu in just 6.5 hours. No traffic, the
tribe asleep most of the way – the pedal to
the metal most of the way. Coming back
was a completely different story. A terrible
drive-time of 10.5 hours.
The government in its wisdom and to
somehow address the road carnage on
our roads, made the knee-jerk decision
to ban all buses from travelling at night.
I didn’t quite realise that this is what most
of them do. How many of them plied the
Mombasa – Nairobi road, was another
Trucks on the highway we can all deal
with, they are slow, cumbersome and
manageable, but the buses – whew!
There were so many of them, all travelling
at some speed – while waiting to overtake
trucks, you had to be really careful – a rear-
view mirror filled with bus, and they wait
for no one, indicator on or not. Thankfully,
government has seen the light of day and
rescinded this silly knee-jerk decision.
If it's not the roads or the unroadworthy
public service vehicles then it's the bloody
incompetent drivers. Who invariably have
bribed their way to obtain a commercial
licence. With apologies to the majority,
who thankfully know what they are doing.
Combine all three, and its
mayhem. More regulation, more
enforcement, but more of the
latter for starters.
The planned new US designed, built and
funded four-lane toll road from Nairobi to
Mombasa is definitely something to look
forward to. Evidently work will start on it
shortly, if press reports are to be believed.
From what I understand it is to be a new
build entirely, with the old road retained,
as you have offer folk the opportunity of
an alternative route without tolls. I’m told
the new toll road will have a minimum of
interchanges. So, perhaps a 4-5 hour drive
without too much stress is in our futures.
While in Watamu I experienced first-hand
the new sea-wall outside Hemingways.
It is not to everyone’s taste, especially at
high tide when you have to seek higher
ground, as there is no beach left to walk
on. Hemingways management gladly
allows you access to a path higher up the
sea-wall. There were a few hiccups over
the holidays but quickly sorted. I’m told it
is all still a work in progress and that the
engineers predict that the beach will return
in a short period of time and we will all live
Talking of Hemingways, we stopped in
for a cocktail or two at their fabled beach
bar. The make-over, which has seen them
closed for the past 18-months, is very
impressive. We liked it very much and
the price of said cocktails was in line with
other establishments nearby.
We enjoyed New Year at Ocean Sports, a
great evening followed it has to be said by
a bumper New Years day party that ticked
all the boxes. Rumour has it that a new
owner believed to be sympathetic to the
very ethos of the place is as they say ‘on
the way coming’. Full credit to Fabien and
his team for a brilliant couple of parties.
Also in my last column were words to
the effect that we were looking to move
Travel News Kenya on to new prospective
Well, it didn’t happen at least as of this
moment - there isn’t an interested dicky-
bird in sight. One prospective telling me
‘Why should I pay? I can start from scratch.’
A lot of kind words from you readers has
half encouraged me to continue and not to
push the sale button too hard.
Kenya’s tourism is on the up.
There are not many beds left in the Masai
Mara this coming migration season and
camp and lodge operators are reporting a
steep and steady increase in the amount of
enquiries received, which in turn ultimately
lead to bookings for most of the safari
The coast which has been in the doldrums
for quite sometime seems to be awakening
from it decade old slumber. Still the best
Long may it all continue.
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