A LONG Travel Day Followed by Giraffes

It’s Saturday evening, and I’ll just start by saying that I am still jet-lagged and not totally together yet, having arrived last night at midnight after a 29-hour travel “day”, in this time zone 7 hours ahead of home. 

Appetizer course - Dinner on Qatar Air

Appetizer course – Dinner on Qatar Air

We flew from Columbia to DFW (yes, that seems like the wrong direction!) and then caught our Qatar Air flight to Doha, Qatar. That was the longest leg, around 14 hours. But we flew business class, where you get private pods. Mick and I had pods next to each other with a divider that could be lowered.  The seats can flatten out into beds, and they even give you pajamas (that you can keep). The flight attendants were wonderful, and the food was both beautifully presented and delicious.

In Doha, we transferred to our flight to Nairobi. The Doha airport is probably the most organized airport I’ve ever been in. When we went to our gate, they checked our passports and scanned our boarding passes, then sent us into a departure lounge where the seating was set by boarding group. An eagle-eyed flight attendant was ON IT regarding keeping everyone in order (while remaining completely polite and professional). 

The last flight was “only” 5 hours, and everything went smoothly. Business class again, but no pods this time. We are so spoiled now….. Once in Nairobi we had no issues getting through passport control. Before we left home, we had had to do two surveys online about COVID and our vaccine records. We had to show proof that we’d done those in DFW before getting on our flight to Doha, and again getting off the plane in Nairobi. But that actual information was tied to our passports and made getting into Kenya painless in that regard. We just had to show our passports and visas.

We were then met by Micato staff, and they whisked us and our bags through customs and onto vans and away to our hotel. Interestingly, there are armed guards outside the closed gates to the hotel driveway, and our luggage got sniffed by a dog checking for drugs, explosives, who knows that else? before we were allowed through the gates. Then we had to send our hand luggage through an x-ray scanner and walk through a metal detector before we could enter the hotel. Fortunately, after all that, our room is VERY nice and we managed to get a few hours of sleep. 

Honey straight from the comb

Honey straight from the comb

Today’s adventure started at 7:00 am local time, when we got up, got dressed, and had an amazing breakfast at the hotel buffet. Beautifully arranged, incredible variety, and even fresh passion fruit, which I LOVE. Honey was provided by a honey comb dripping over a v-shaped trough which ran down into a bowl. Then our safari group met for the first time, and headed out to the Nairobi Giraffe Centre. There we got to pet and feed giraffes, and I am in love now with their soft dark eyes and gentle demeanor. In this picture, I have food in my right hand and you can see her tongue sticking out for me to put some on there for her.

Feeding and Petting a Giraffe

Feeding and Petting a Giraffe

Then, after a leisurely three-hour lunch, we headed over to Karen Blixen’s house, who was the author of the memoir “Out of Africa”. She wrote that book under the pen name Isak Dinesen in order to be taken seriously as a writer. Can you spell “sexism”? I knew you could. Anyway, that home is now a museum and was lovely and interesting. 

We were back at the hotel by around 4:30, greeted by a different sniffer dog and another trip through the metal detector. A quiet evening is just what we needed, since tomorrow we get up REALLY EARLY so we can have room-service breakfast and leave the hotel at 6:30.

The bush adventure begins!

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2 Responses to A LONG Travel Day Followed by Giraffes

  1. De says:

    Sounds so fun! I’ll travel vicariously.

  2. Janet says:

    I feel like I’m traveling along with you. Love the picture of you feeding the giraffe. I
    The big, lovely brown eyes are captured.

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