Miscellaneous Ramblings by Tony Clegg-Butt

Posted on October 31st, 2011
Categories: News

I do find that a good whinge becomes, as age progresses, a bit of a pain – happy on the other hand, is so much, well, happier. Don’t you think?

Last month’s relatively negative column about all things airport and our national airline left me limp and listless – not figuratively, of course, good grief. I begged you readers to contribute something positive, and anticipated an absolute avalanche. Sadly you were found wanting.  Is life such that you can’t ’Always look on the bright side of life’?

But I did get an e-mail that rekindled my faith in you the great, and the good that read this dribble.

Siba Bateman of Kilifi’s only uber watering-hole The Boathouse sent me the following happy tome. I’ll have to add afore you read, that it is not altogether as happy as we all might like to think.

“Do not fall off your chair, but I am very happy to tell you that I have had a good Kenya Airways experience!

I flew Kenya Airways from Mombasa in September and the flight not only went, but also was on time. Negative was the trip from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Langata that took two hours on a Saturday afternoon.

After a horribly early start on Sunday morning, I flew to Gaborone from JKIA. Again the flight was on time and we arrived fifteen minutes early. Yet again JKIA was a nightmare. Long lines to get through the first security, long lines to check in and long very slow lines to get through immigration. The new Embraer aircraft was a pleasure to be on and it seems all the small in-flight entertainment screens were working.

The Kenya Airways office in Gaborone were irritating when I tried to get them to call me back, but very efficient when I went to their offices. The return flight was definitely a pleasure; not many passengers and thirty minutes ahead of time. A small niggle was the lunch they served as we had the classic of ‘chicken or fish’ and the chicken was curried which they forgot to mention (I hate curry!). All screens seemed to work and the staff were very pleasant. My connecting flight to Mombasa was also on time and arrived ten minutes early.

As you said in your article it is not always good to whinge, so I thought I would share the above with you particularly as I was so sure that it wasn’t going to work out the way it did and already had my ‘pessimism hat’ on.”

Thank you Siba, and most appreciated.

Wanting to say nothing but good, but wanting to softly softly broach the subject of invasions and the sorting out of the folk that live across our borders to the northeast…

I applaud the actions of our armed forces, ditto our government. In the short-term, there will be pain for our tourism industry but long-term with our borders secured we can look forward positively to more days of plenty.

How can that not be?

This is the most fabulous country in the whole wide world. From our people to our bio-diversity – we have it all. Tourism is never going to go away; once our boys have sorted the ‘issue’ next door, we’ll be back on track. Of course, a healthy marketing budget to reassure and extol will need to be found, and pretty smartly at that.

Nairobi, in my humble opinion, has not had any new restaurants of note for quite some time. But I’m happy to report that my dearly beloved took me to one on my birthday. It is called ‘Seven’ and is located in the ABC Centre at the intersection of James Gichuru and the Highway. Ambient it is, with a great little bar for pre-dinners cocktails. Its specialty is seafood. I spied lamb chops on the menu — a TCB favourite. He who orders meat in a seafood restaurant is surely brewing a recipe for disaster.

Wrongo, mate, they were magnificent, and my wife’s Malindi sole looked and was delicious. Just so you know, this was no freebee as some of you might presume it was.

Ditto our stay at Loisaba way up west on the Laikipia plateau. An article on this will follow in the new year. While being a great place to go for all the right reasons – I’m trying not to give it all away. Just to say it is so nice not to be in a national park for a change. A 63,000-acre private conservancy to whit. So, instead of the obligatory game drives which is the best you can get in a national park, you have the opportunity to walk, which I did, ride both horses and camels, kayak on the Ewaso Nyiro River, night game drives, bush breakfasts and dinners, and so on.

Positive speaking, now there is a new vocation…


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