ON COMPLETION OF COAST VISIT DOES ACHOLA ROSARIO TAKE THE SAFARILINK FLIGHT FROM VIPINGO TO WILSON AIRPORT
(Posted 30th July 2020)
Achola Rosario, whose following via ATCNews is growing fast – readers like her hands on style on narrating her experiences of travels, discovery of restaurants and other interesting stories – has just completed a visit to the Kenya coast.
Taking in the reopening of the Driftwood Club in Malindi, checking out Neem House in Malindi, sampling the 5 star hospitality of the Medina Palms in Watamu, paying a flying visit to the Black Marlin in Kilifi and then ending the trip at Eastern Africa’s premier golf resort – and only PGA ranked course in the wider region – Vipingo Ridge.
From there she took to the air with Safarilink, which has resumed domestic flights on the 15th of July and booking numbers show that Kenyans do want to travel to the coast.
This particular service arrived in Vipingo from Ukunda, enroute back to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, and here is Achola’s story for today.
THE F.O.M.O. (FEAR OF MISSING OUT) TRAVEL SHOW
EPISODE 35: SAFARILINK SMOOTHNESS
The flights to the coast of Kenya on Safarilink, an essentially domestic but regionally expanding flight company, filled up so fast that I resorted to using a coach, matatu taxi and even tuk-tuks to get to my various locations on the coast of Kenya. So, when a seat became available for me on the next flight out of Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi back to Nairobi’s Wilson airport, I was ecstatic, mainly because they have compressed a 14-hour journey (by conservative estimates) into a 1 ½ hour flight. And it was smooth…
There is something to be said about being airlifted out of the bush, it gives a sense of barely suppressed “Arrivalism”, a validation of one’s station in life. And when that feeling is available at a price that is within reach, it gives a double benefit of being “Cheap but Chic” (Moschino baby!). And there is nothing wrong with that. With COVID chewing on incomes like it is Pacman, it is imperative to find a mode of transportation in and out of your dream destinations in a manner that is both convenient to your pocket and your health/sanity. Safarilink has been certified as following all the Ministry of Health COVID-19 procedures for the handling of travelers before, during and after the flight. And their price packages demonstrate a flexibility yet efficiency in ticketing.
If one was to travel at this time to Vipingo Ridge for a week, a ticket on a Safarilink flight directly to the Vipingo airstrip will cost between KES6,500 ($65) for a Promo ticket and KES15,600 ($156) for a Y Class ticket. Promo tickets are non-refundable and non-adjustable. They are only valid on the days booked. Whereas Y Class tickets on the other end of the spectrum, allow free changes up to 96 hours before the flight, add a surcharge of KES1,000 ($10) for changes up to 24 hours before the flight and if you are really a complete “Diva”, a surcharge of KES10,000 ($100) for changes between 24hours and 2hours before take-off. If you do not show up at all, you do not get a refund. You can however change the name on the ticket, within a reasonable time period for an additional KES5,000 ($50). There are other categories in between that can suit your preferred price package.
There were no snacks on the flight due to the shortness of the duration, but the plane was clean and classically upholstered with blue leather seats and enough leg room. I usually struggle with my knees wedged on the front seat (despite not being significantly tall but what the hey…), but in this case I had freedom of movement for my legs and was even able to stretch them out under the front seat. The flight steward was courteous and attentive in a very sharp 3-piece navy blue suit and gold tie-pin, spotting stray backpacks and tucking them in safely in the overhead luggage carriers. I sat at the back and relaxed into the smooth take-off and turbulence free glide at 20,000 feet above sea level. Something about cumulous clouds brings out the poet in me and this time was no exception. And the cultivated fields, buildings and dual carriageways beneath the dipping wing was a testament to Kenya’s perennial march to productivity.
Landing time saw me still in my heels with feet that were not swollen, refreshed from my little power-nap and ready to tackle customs officials. But they were not keen on any kind of confrontation and so I passed incident free into the parking lot of Wilson airport, where an enterprising cab-driver in a lovely silver SUV with automatic “swish” back doors (I am a product of the 80s so still cannot get used to them doors), haggled with me on a price suitable for the both of us and whisked me and my luggage out of there.
Looking at the destinations that Safarilink flies makes my mouth water with the possibilities. Not only does it fly 25 flights daily to 18 of the hottest safari destinations within Kenya such as the Masai Mara, Lowdar, Nanyuki, Amboseli and Diani, it also crosses the border to Tanzania, flying happy adventurers to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, my bucket list destinations for next year. Still have many places to cover here in Kenya. Or what do you say guys? Where should my next location be? Safarilink please come to the rescue! Besides, a little birdie told me about your special check-in lounge at Wilson Airport that I still have to sample. “I think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship…”
For more information on Safarilink flights:
Wilson Airport taxi:
+254 723 500 623
Stay tuned for The F.O.M.O. Travel Show Lockdown Breakout Special- a review of Driftwood Beach Club Malindi, Medina Palms boutique hotel in Watamu, Vipingo Ridge PGA Golf Course and of a lifestyle complex in Kilifi.
To watch the F.O.M.O. Travel show Episode 35: SAFARILINK SMOOTHNESS:
To be featured on The F.O.M.O. Travel show email:
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask and adds ATCNews – GO TRAVEL
YouTube reviews of the Driftwood Club, Neem House, Medina Palms, Black Marlin and Vipingo Ridge will follow in due course so stay tuned to this site.
Link to a related previous article: