Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 29/06/2012

They Call Me Mr Bombastic, Elephantastic….


African Elephant, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

If yesterday’s blog seemed to make little sense, then it goes to show what sleep deprivation can do to a person. It was written as an extension to the two blogs already published detailing our unplanned excursion to Malta instead of our intended destination, Mombasa. It certainly wasn’t the start we were expecting instead of a relaxing day by the pool we ended up 19 hours behind schedule and rather nervous that we wouldn’t make the intended departure to the Masai Mara on Wednesday morning.

We finally arrived at 2am and stepping over the threshold of the aircraft the heat and humidity immediately hit you, even at 2am it was still a balmy 25 degrees centigrade. We had been promised that Mombasa airport staff were on full alert to ensure our transition through the airport was as swift and as smooth as possible, and so we entered the immigration hall to find all the booths manned (or personned if you prefer). The Kenyan authorities have introduced more security checks in the 12 months since I was last there, including taking a photo of each person and taking fingerprint readings of both hands (and thumbs) progress through this areas wasn’t speedy (and we somehow managed to find one of the slowest queues). Baggage reclaimed we then had another queue to join to find out which bus we needed to catch, luckily this line moved fairly quickly so that before we knew it, we were sitting on bus number 9. Unfortunately, other passengers weren’t as quick at negotiating the airport and it wasn’t until 3.30am that we left the airport grounds and out into Mombasa.

The one good thing you can say about driving through Mombasa at such an ungodly hour of the morning is that you can be assured you won’t find yourself in a traffic jam, which is more than can be said for daylight hours. Mombasa is first and foremost a city built around a sea port, and so unlike many other airports around the world which are surrounded by companies associated with the air industry or freight, there are no such buildings.

We finally arrived at our hotel at 4.30am, thirty three hours since we’d bid the shores of the UK goodbye (well, Gatwick departure lounge) and rather concerned that in 90 minutes time we had to catch a mini-bus back to Mombasa airport to fly out to the Masai Mara. Did we make it or did we fall asleep and miss the bus? Tune in tomorrow, Dear Reader, to find out!

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