Jan 26/27 ' LAX-CDG-AMS-NBO airport marathon
Jan 28 ' arrive NBO, transfer to Swara Plains
Jan 29/30 - Galdessa/Tsavo East
Jan 31/Feb 1 - Satao Rock/Taita Ranch
Feb 2/3 - Lion Rock/Lumo Sanctuary
Feb 4/5 - Finch Hattons/Tsavo West
Feb 6/7/8 ' Sandai/near the Aberdares
Feb 9 ' Staying with friends in Nairobi
Feb 10/11/12/13 ' Hilton Northolme/Mahe, Seychelles
Feb 14/15 ' SEZ-NBO-AMS-CDG-LAX 36 hour trek home
Photos in case anyone missed them:
On this trip we primarily wanted to revisit and spend more time in the Tsavo area which we had very fond memories of from our first trip in February 2005 (it lived up to our memories and more). The Kenya portion was confirmed back in September and we received an email from Serah at Eastern and Southern Safaris saying that everything was all set while we were in South Africa. A couple of days later, I learned from this thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4&tid=35014814 that Kenya Airways (KQ) had finally formalized their entry into Skyteam so of course, ideas started spinning in my head and I felt compelled to tweak my itinerary to somehow take advantage of that
I immediately started working on it when we returned home which resulted in 4 nights in the Seychelles added to the end of our trip. I had to shift the dates of my safari a bit to accommodate the Seychelles flight schedules which only operate on Thursdays and Sundays, and the date changes were confirmed by my TO within 24 hours. Woohoo, we were going to the Seychelles too!
In the mean time, everybody knows what happened in Kenya Like everyone else, we were following the news and were pretty much determined to go if at all possible. I started monitoring flights to NBO in early January thinking that passenger loads or other issues could cause cancellations or disruptions. We were booked on KQ CDG-NBO-CDG which seemed the most vulnerable to me given the service had only started in late 2006 and they also operated AMS/LHR services. Sure enough, they started canceling some flights on this route a week and a half before we were supposed to depart http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4&tid=35101311
I contacted Delta (these were Skymiles award tickets) for alternatives but since our flight wasn't officially canceled yet, they wouldn't override award availability and I would need to find flights with award availability if I wanted to make any changes (I could understand their position). I did find a longer routing via JFK and AMS with award availability that would've worked but decided to hold out hope that our original flights would operate as scheduled. Plus I thought I could make these changes now only to have something like weather at JFK delay us.
I also hoped that if there was a cancellation, we'd find out by late Friday or early Saturday so I'd be able to get rebooked while many alternatives remained. As it turned out, we didn't find out about the cancellation until after 4:00pm on Saturday about an hour before we were planning to leave for the airport (and too late to get on the 5:30pm LAX-AMS nonstop). I found out we were protected on CDG-AMS-NBO flights but couldn't get our tickets re-issued over the phone, so I hurriedly finished packing and we left for the airport. It's a good thing Mark always insists on leaving for the airport early or I would've been even less ready
The rest of our saga of getting to NBO was posted live here http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4&tid=35104040 I can't believe 2 things happened ' 1 that we made our connections (I'd resigned myself to spending our first night in AMS) and 2 that someone (THANK YOU whoever you are) noticed our camera/video bag when I inadvertently left it in the boarding area and turned it in and we had the sense to put a name tag on it so they could track us down and bring it onboard. How cool was that?
AF ground staff seem to have a bad reputation, particularly at CDG, but I have to say that the agents were encountered at both LAX and CDG were nothing but incredibly helpful. OK, getting someone to meet us at the gate at CDG didn't materialize but they also said they couldn't guarantee it would happen.
Recent ActivityView all Africa & the Middle East activity »
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Patty & Mark's 2008 Kenya Seychelles Trip Report