This an excerpt from the Kenya Virtual Tour.
See Archives November 2009 for the entire tour.
Day 2: Long Haul Expedition
I have become accustomed to taking a single overnight flight from Los Angeles to just about anywhere in the South Pacific – Tahiti, Fiji, the Cooks, Auckland or Sydney – with an airline ticket, a valid passport and a single suitcase. Aside from a couple of credit cards, an ATM card and a small amount of cash money – that’s all.
Of course, I had done some general research for Kenya but it soon became apparent that traveling there was going to be more complicated. As the advance scout on these inspection trips, I discover all the potential pitfalls firsthand.
First, I would need a visa which involved sending my passport, application, photos and fees to the nearest Kenyan Embassy. Upon arrival, I discovered that it is also possible to have it issued at the airport – strictly with cash in hand, no checks, no credit cards. Not the time and place to come up short.
Then I had to have the appropriate and current travel immunizations for the region. This entailed shots in both arms and a prescription for anti-malaria pills. I left the travel clinic with my new bright yellow International Certificate of Vaccination signed and stamped accordingly.
Next, I had to purchase the proper clothing and fit it all into one small tote bag. This is due to the extreme weight limitation for domestic flights on small bush planes. Do yourself a favor, don’t even think about dragging along a full size, hard shell Samsonite, just because you can on the international flights.
Finally, I learned that two overnight international flights would be required from Los Angeles - one to London in Europe and one on to Nairobi in Africa. Yes, this involves travel through 3 continents. Remember, it is the other side of the world.
All of this just to get there. I really have become spoiled.
It felt like I was preparing for a major expedition.
I had to remind myself of the reasons for going and the experiences waiting for me.
I was still determined to go. That’s when the true challenges emerged.
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