Kenya: A country worth a visit
IT was 5 minutes before nine am, the weather here in Dar es Salaam was a bit cool with no signs of rains to come. I was sipping my drink very lazily waiting for a call to board KQ for Nairobi.
I was not the only one waiting to board the plane at Julius Nyerere International participating in one of the major media tourism campaigns, “KTB Media Familiarization Tour”.
Looking good in my attire and very familiar with Dar hot weather, I was worried my casual wear wasn’t fit enough for Nairobi. So I took my smart phone and did some researches: I realized that I could manage with what I had!
The trip to Nairobi involved about six media people from Tanzania and it was organized by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB).
On board KQ.
As per KTB planning, media personnel from Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya were going to join us in an unforgettable tour.
From Tanzania it was 7 of us but unfortunately we had to leave behind a colleague whose permit wasnâ€™t ready. So, in the convoy, together with myself there were representatives from The Guardian and The Citizen, together with Babbie Kabae, famous Clouds TV presenter and his photographer.
Kenyans bana! They know what they are doing; you can sense it from the beginning. The communication, the arrangement, the boarding, the arrival: you name it!
Where the hell KQ did got those beautiful Flight Attendants can’t figure out!! You can start feeling relaxed immediately as you approach the doors of the plane, in fact I can say with confidence that those Flight Attendants are ministers of hospitality. Wearing a lovingly smile upon their faces, they will definitely guarantee you a safe journey. By the way, aren’t they supposed to cheer you up all the way from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi? Well they did it! Thanks to the crew for their outstanding services.
Nice to see in-seat IFE & USB power port on an Embraer.
After great flight instruction, I leaned on my seat, and took some selfie asking my fellow Tanzanians to pray for me. Two minutes after 9 am we left Bongo for Nairobi.
During the flight we were offered different refreshment and Music and movie lovers could enjoy the luxuries of Kenyan Airways.
After refreshment I decided to enjoy the digital aspects of the plane, by switching on the movies: what an excellent choice of in-flight channels.
After flying in the sky for about an hour and enjoying every bit of services brought by the most experienced Flight Attendants, the pilot asked us to fasten our belts as we were about to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
We landed safely and proceeded to Immigration where we were assisted by Officers who wore smiles all the time and said Welcome to Kenya.
After clearing our Immigration procedures we went outside of the airport to meet our host. There was no problem in identifying him as he positioned himself in a very straight forward manner, bearing a card showing he is from KTB, so we went straight to him.
‘Selfie’ with my colleagues from print media outside the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Hi guys, my name is Eric Omenda from the Kenya Tourism Board, may I know you guys? He said, after greetings. We identified ourselves. While checking, he found out that one of the guests was not there yet. He excused himself and went to enquire, being told that her plane would have arrived 30 minutes later. The other guest was coming from Malindi .
The host asked us to wait for the other guest and we agreed as we thought it would have been better to go all together.
As we wait for the lady, we engaged in different talks and our driver David spoke a lot in praise of President John Magufuli.
He said he admired the gentleman in his move to control corruption and create a sense of responsibility among civil servants. He said his moves have attracted many people and he is increasingly being popular with comedians who use his voice and actions to entertain people.
While we were talking Eric, our host, arrived with the other guest, a lady who looked very cool.
Our Host Mr. Eric Omenda (R), Kenyan Tourism Boards (KTB) Public relations officer chatting with Dickson Ng’hily who was representing Tanzania leading news paper, The Guardian.
She introduced herself as British blogger going by the name Charlotte Beauvoisin who writes about environmental conservation and Tourism. She made me laugh when she introduced her blog with a brand name www.diaryofamuzungu.com, considering she is a European!
After introductions, we began the journey to the city with a Land Cruiser vehicle from Animal World Safaris Company.
On our way to down town, Charlotte, after finding out that we were coming from Tanzania started to make questions about our country, our tourism attractions and national parks. She wanted to know about many things including Bagamoyo and the spice island of Zanzibar.
She said she has never been to Tanzania and for the last seven years she has been living in Uganda writing for different media on tourism and travelling in Uganda.
Taking a selfie with my fellow blogger from Uganda, Charlotte Beauvoisin, at the back is Dickson Ng’hily.
While dreaming to visit Tanzania, she writes for her blog and @AfricaGeo and Telegraph Expat journals; she is so famous in Uganda for advancing Uganda tourism that she was awarded the trophy for Best Tourism Winner Digital Media, Tourism Excellence Awards 2015, Uganda” in recognition of her work. This made me think about my country and its strategy in creating awareness.
As we head to Nairobi, capital city of Kenya and East Africa’s most populous city (4 million of habitants), founded in 1899 as a railway stop en route to Mombasa and then transformed into a major business hub and headquarter to many Aid agencies, our host asked as to find a place for a quick snack before we proceed to our hotels.
Tamambo Bar and Restaurant which is located at Karen Blixen Coffee Garden where we had our lunch.
It was almost lunch time and we stopped at “Tamambo Karen Blixen COFFEE GARDEN Restaurant and Bar.
What a place! The place was very breezy, and had very tasty food I can’t compare with any other place I have eaten in my many different adventures in Africa.
Looking at the customer care, they have left us very far behind: in fact we (Tanzanians) need to run while they walk and if, they start to run again, we will never catch them.
As we ate I let my ears wonder into what the world is saying around me and I didn’t wait long before I heard a Muzungu praising the food and getting welcomed again at evening to enjoy the barbecue offered in a Restaurant known as Carnivore ‘A Beast of a Feast ‘.
I was here!
I will definitely miss the place because on the same evening we went for Nyamachoma and it was not only delicious but entertaining as well.
There were different meats including rabbit, turkey, Mamba, sheep, and many others The way they roast them can only be done at Carnivore (you can find them at www.carnivore.co.ke)
After lunch we headed for the city centre, where KTB have booked our hotel.
Mmmmhhhhh Turkey……It looks Yummy!
When the car stopped and I got out I was mesmerized by the place. So this is the place, I asked and what is the name? Eric showed me, it is called Hemingways Hotel situated at Mbagathi Ridge-off Marula Lane, Karen.
We were welcomed by the Reservation Manager Johnson Ngeli and his team. The reception area was so nice and so perfect that I started looking for its flaw and I inevitably failed.
After checking in, the butler, a very charming lady, took our belongings to the specific vehicle and led us to our rooms.
Hemingways Hotel entrance!
Babbie Kabae and Hatib from Clouds TV driven into their rooms.
The rooms are state of art, very comfortable and, to speak the truth, I was intrigued.
Everything I need as a tourist was there, in front of me. I was given thirty minutes to make myself comfortable after a long journey and return to reception to continue with the timetable which was very tight and well packed.
One of the tourist attractions I was supposed to visit is the National Museum of Kenya.
My working station inside the room at Hemingways Hotel in Nairobi.
Thanked KTB, they made me think what it means to be in right track? I have just arrived here to see what Kenyans are doing to boost tourism industry and within no time they are already asking me to visit the National museum.
This is what made me think that our neighbors know how to pack and unpack: they mean business.
By visiting the museum a person learns about the history, The package is very inviting; the museum has numerous attractions that tourists enjoy exploring: in fact Kenya as much more to offer than the Big Five!
My room at Hemingways Hotel was wow!
The Swimming pool and the Garden at Hemingways hotel is amazing!
My room, as you can see, is beautifully decorated and if you love photographing yourself you will end up having no space for it due to many rich furniture pieces.
The television is located inside a cupboard, you click your remote and it comes out. I laughed a lot.
After exploring the room and satisfying my curiosity, I turned on my laptop and started surfing: the WI-FI internet access in my room was terrific. What else do you need?
In the middle of my work the phone buzzed: I forgot I was supposed to refresh myself and continue with the programme. One piece of advice: you don’t need to go to Europe for vacation; just drop here and everything will go according to your wishes.
Below is the video showing how the TV gets out!
My fellow blogger Charlotte Beauvoisin ( L) and I at the National Museum of Kenya.
Well, I joined my colleagues and we went to the National Museum of Kenya, and here I got to know the history of Karen Blixen, but, tell you more about it later.
After finishing the tour in the museum we returned to the hotel and we connected with others for dinner at the Carnivore nest ‘A Beast of a Feast’
The purpose of this function was to be introduced to the KTB leadership.
Kenya Tourism Board, Regional Manager Domestic & East Africa Community, Alex Tunoi giving a welcoming note to the media during the dinner at the Carnivore Restaurant.
My colleagues from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania poses for a photo with one of the host, Hellen Omukoko from Kenya Tourism Board (behind row at the centre).
I will never forget the style used at the restaurant. There were plenty of different meats with exception of pork which was served far from where we were sitting.
The system of serving works that you will keep receiving food until you send down a flag, which means you are full! Thanks Kenya Tourism Board for inviting me: the service, food, transport and accommodation received made me feel like a King.
Tanzanians have a lot to learn from Kenya, including Customer Care”: in fact we need to revamp our thinking, our innovation and improve our familiarity on what makes a person planning to visit us and receiving some extras.
Nyama choma on the making at Carnivore – ‘A Beast of a Feast’.