24 mars 2012

Malmö Aviation 2 Masai Mara 4 safari

What should I do with all these bonus points I had earned on Malmö Aviation Frequent Flyer program. I decided to use it for an extended safari weekend in Masai Mara in Kenya. And, I felt that it would be interesting, and actually necessary, to define a taylor-made trip only for me booked via Internet and using Google search as my personal assistant. The bonus flight I actually booked "live", or at least via phone talking to Ulrika, to make sure that I really got the best dates and time that suited my needs.

My departure from Copenhagen with SN 2268 was Friday November 11th at 06:35. It was an early morning going by taxi from my home in Höllviken to the train-station, then taking the öresundståg to Kastrup airport. Landing in Brussels 8:15, gave me more than two hours until the Brussel- Nairobi flight, that took of 10:40. Interestingly we took the route via Kigali in Rwanda (6367 km), then further to Nairobi (757 km). The flight was more or less on time, landing in Nairobi Jamo Kenyatta airport at about 23:10. I took a taxi to the nearby hotel The Strand, that I had booked via www.hotels.com. It was an OK hotel with a decent breakfast. Saturday morning it was an early start again, leaving to Wilson airport for the flight to Masai Mara Serena with AirKenya booked via their internet booking site (www.airkenya.com). Flight 851 (WIL-SER) started 9:15 and landed 10:00 - this was actually a "mini-safari" with three airstrip stops where the wild animals were really present. The Serena Lodge staff then picked me up at the "airstrip" (you can not call it an airport) and about 10:30 I arrived at the great Masai Mara Serena Safari Lodge, that I had booked via their website.

I stayed four nights at the lodge, enjoying six game drives, two Hippo pool breakfasts (including champagne), full board accomodation and sun-bathing by the spectacular pool area. The only thing that was not included was the "national park entrance fee", which actually was about $50 per night - that was a negative surprise. My companion during these days was the Stephen Covey business management bible, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". In between game drives and food, I read this book, thoroughly. It is a great book. Wednesday the 16th of November at 16:15 it was time to leave Serena Airstrip for the 1,5 hour flight to Nairobi with AirKenya. The flight back home was then 00:30 in the night, landing 07:10 in Brussels. Some "quality time" in Brussels airport, before leaving 11:20 for Copenhagen, landing  Thursday November 17th at 13:00. Then the train back over the bridge, arriving home in Höllviken around 14:30. A fantastic safari weekend that actually can be decreased by one or two days and still be worthwhile.

My summary of all this is:
Create a great extended weekend safari excursion
If you have frequent flyer bonus points
then the expensive flight is payed
do safari in Masai Mara
While searching, learning and booking using Google and the internet

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