To celebrate 38 years of flying, Msafiri tracked down 38 people from all walks of life and from many different countries to find out where they had flown to recently with the Pride of Africa
Dr Paula KahumbuI
Wildlife Direct Executive Director
I flew KQ to Cape Town to talk about our Hands Off Our Elephants Campaign at the Tourism Indaba.
What would you never travel without? My running shoes – I’m preparing for the Lewa Marathon, and go jogging in the early hours before anyone is awake.
What do you love about Kenya? I love that I can work in a capital city and live in the wilderness. There is no other city in the world like Nairobi, which is bordered on the south by the Nairobi National Park, home to four of the Big Five, over 550 species of bird, and thousands of zebra, wildebeest, impala and many other antelope species. I love the weather – it is always sunny and never snows. I love the loving and caring people of Kenya. I know that no matter where I go I will be offered a meal, a bed, and great stories.
What do you miss when you are away? I miss my dogs, my verandah and the terrifying sound of lions roaring and the contagious giggle of hyenas at night.
Ali Said Mandhry
TV Chef & Media Personality
I recently flew to Johannesburg on my favourite airline – The Pride of Africa. I went to attend the Hostex Expo in Santon, Johannesburg, as Kenya’s Chef Representative. The aim was to showcase our beautiful Kenyan tea to the enormous South African market since Kenyan tea is one of the best in the world. The response was amazing.
Best food you have tasted on your travels? I travel the world and sample a lot of cuisines but east or west, Kenyan cuisine is the best. Especially traditional Swahili cuisine, which is rich and varied with a touch of many cultures: Middle East, Indian, Bantu and European, especially Portuguese.
Name three things you love about Kenya? Our food, culture and generosity.
Managing Director, The Designers Studio
I flew to Johannesburg with Kenya Airways to visit my closest friend and do a road trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town (which was part of our bucket list).
What three things do you never leave home without? No matter where I am travelling to, I always carry my two notebooks (one for business ideas and the other for personal notes), my iPod (travelling needs a soundtrack, always) and my Bible.
Where do you want to travel to next on KQ’s network? Hanoi, Vietnam – because of the architecture, the history and the cuisine. I would also like to see the famous underground tunnels the Vietnamese used to fight during the American/Vietnam war.
Name three things you want to do that are on your travel wish list? My top three right now are the Rio Carnival in Brazil, the Venice Carnival in Italy and visiting the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
I recently flew to Malindi on a short holiday, just to unwind.
What three things do you never leave home without? My Anker power bank, Parrot Zik headphones and Laptop/tablet.
Which city would you most like to live in and why? Home is always best for me, but for the work I do I would love to stay in New York for a couple of months for my career growth.
What home comforts do you miss? Being able to walk outside the house and buy sugarcane or roast maize. The fact that we know how to make a fun moment on social media from any event – Kenyans know how to be silly!
What’s the best taste on your travels? A drink called teg I found in Addis Ababa. It’s made of fermented honey and traditional herbs.
Sales & Marketing Manager, the Tamarind Group
The last time I travelled Kenya Airways was in April on a visit to Johannesburg for business and to visit my son who lives there.
What three things do you always travel with? I would never leave home without my iPhone 6, my MacBook Air and my sunglasses.
The best food you have tasted on your travels? Peking Duck in Beijing during the 2008 summer Olympic games, and scallop sushi at a Sushi Restaurant in LA.
Three things you love about Kenya? The coast with its long, white, pristine beaches and beautiful warm ocean, the friendly hospitable people always ready to welcome visitors and strike up a conversation, and the limitless opportunities.
Prof Judi Wakhungu
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water & Natural Resources
I have flown with Kenya Airways for decades and hope to do so for many decades to come. Recently, I flew our national carrier KQ to Gaborone, Botswana for the African Elephant Summit and Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in Kasane.
What three things can you never travel without? I can’t travel without my two phones, iPad and vitamin supplements.
What do you love about your home country? I love our rich biodiversity, geology and the people of Kenya. You can go from snowy mountains touching the sky astride the equator to deserts; from fresh water lakes and palm-fringed sandy beaches at the coast to the breathtaking Rift Valley, all in one 582,650 sq km country.
What home comfort do you miss most when travelling? I just love my two little dogs because they are so much fun to have around.
Caine Prize winning writer
Last time I flew KQ was to and from Lagos, Nigeria. I went there for a literary festival.
What do you never leave home without? Kindle, notebook, camera.
Where is your favourite place to shop? Thrift stores. I marvel at the textures and shapes and energies of the things I find in them. My favourite thrift find was in Melville, Johannesburg.
Which city would you most like to live in & why? Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I desire to consume and produce non-anglophone literatures and art, and Swahili is a wonderful place to start.
What home comfort do you miss the most? My own pots and pans. Eating a plant-based diet makes it troublesome to find good meal options while travelling.
At the end of April I flew from Eldoret to London via Nairobi a few days before pacing the London Marathon, returning to Kenya the following week. In the race itself, I paced the elite men through the halfway mark in a little over 62 minutes.
What three things do you always travel with? My Adidas running shoes, my GPS running watch and my phone.
What’s the best food you have tasted on your travels? Where were you? That’s a tough question as the food at the race hotels we stay at is always good! One place that stands out is Dubai; I was there to pace the Dubai Marathon and the food was amazing.
Name three things on your travel wishlist? I’d love to run the New York Marathon – that one has been on my wishlist for as long as I can remember! I’d really like to climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris and explore the south of France – I’ve had some really good experiences racing there in the last few years.
Kenya’s Rugby sevens team coach
Kenya’s Rugby Sevens Captain
Country of residence: Kenya
Kenya Airways sponsors the Kenya Sevens Rugby Team so we are regular customers. We travelled home from Twickenham on KQ in May and also connected in London on the way home from the USA in February.
What do you always travel with?
Felix: The first thing is our traditional Maasai shuka. I always like to have it with me wherever I go! Also my headphones, I can’t be without them – especially when I’m on board the plane. But most important of all for a rugby coach is my computer hard drive. It’s absolutely vital for my work.
Andrew: Well, I normally travel for rugby. So the main thing is my boots. I wouldn’t be without them! Secondly my playing kit – it wouldn’t be a good idea to leave it behind.
What do you miss about Kenya?
Felix: Obviously it’s the fantastic warm weather. Also, the people of Kenya are very friendly so you miss that camaraderie. But most of all I would say the food; we love our Kenyan food.
Andrew: Oh, it’s definitely our food and culture; I think about it all the time and always look forward to getting home on Kenya Airways. Secondly it’s our easy-going people – it’s good to get home and relax.
What’s on your travel wishlist?
Felix: For me New Zealand is an amazing country and it’s a special place for rugby, too. So I’d like to explore it more. Coming to London is always a good experience because I have so many friends there, and it’s a direct flight as well. So I hope to be back soon. But most of all I want to go to Monaco because I’ve never been there.
What’s the best food on your travels?
Andrew: Salmon – I hadn’t tasted it before I went travelling. The first time I had it was in New Zealand and it’s very nice!
Food Blogger and chef
Country of residence: Kenya
I recently flew to Dubai along with my partner on Kenya Airways. We are doing our own production for our cooking show that runs on National television so we went to purchase the equipment.
What’s the best food you have tasted on your travels? Cheese Sambousek at a Lebanese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve never had the same anywhere else. So delicious!
Window or aisle? Window seat – it’s always nice to experience the landing and take-off from the window seat.
Rice or potatoes? Both, in a yummy vegetable pilau.
Ida Trygg Andersson
Swedish Hotelier, Kinondo Kwetu Luxury Resort, Kenya
I recently flew KQ to Cape Town for the We are Africa travel show.
Three things you never leave home without? My iPhone, my own headphones and antibacterial gel.
What’s the best food on your travels? I love fruits and veggies. When staying at Sirkoi in Lewa, Kenya, we ate everything straight from the garden, which makes all flavours so rich (we even picked our eggs from the chicken house in the morning).
Name three things you love about Kenya? The people, the freedom of space, and that despite all the chaos when I arrive in Mombasa I never feel more peaceful!
What’s on your travel wishlist? I want to see the gorillas, drive along the American West Coast and walk the Great Wall of China.
Where is your favourite place to shop? Liberty’s in London.
Where would you most like to live? I have lived in Sweden, London, New York, LA and now finally in Kenya – and I don’t want to move. Kinondo Kwetu and Diani Beach are my choice!
Kenya Wildlife Service Communications Director
I recently flew to the lake city of Kisumu with Kenya Airways to plan for the forthcoming Lake Victoria Boat Race.
What do you love about Kenya? I love Kenya because it’s simply magical. Where else can one get the veritable cradle of mankind, the great wildebeest migration, the homeland of the man-eaters of Tsavo, the disappearing islands of Malindi, majestic Mt Kenya and the world’s largest desert lake –Lake Turkana – all in one country?
Co-Founder and Director, The Nasio Trust (supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya www.thenasiotrust.org)
I recently flew KQ from London to Kisumu. I was travelling to visit the projects we support in Western Kenya
What do you love about Kenya? Nyama Choma. Warmth and friendliness of the people. Space, peace and community feeling.
Where is your favourite place to shop? New York, if not – Nairobi Nakumat Junction.
Which city would you most like to live in and why? I love Nairobi – the atmosphere is so relaxing.
Enterprise Coach Mentor, Craft Afrika
I recently travelled with KQ to Ségou in Mali for the Festival sur le Niger.
3 things you never leave home without? International adapter, gym gear and a first aid kit.
Where do you want to travel to next? Botswana’s Okavango Delta is Africa’s Garden of Eden and in June 2014 it became UNESCO’s 1000th World Heritage Site – a testament to it’s stunning natural beauty. Definitely on my list.
Your dream travel companion and why? My son. Hands down, because he is always excited all the time, no matter how many times he flies.
I recently travelled to Nairobi with Kenya Airways as Ambassador for the Born Free Foundation.
What do you never leave home without? Phone, wallet and coffee machine.
What’s the best food on your travels? I love the food in Africa.
What do you love about Kenya? I love Kenya because it really feels like a place I am connected to. It’s hard to explain. I love the people and the wildlife.
Where do you want to travel to next with Kenya Airways? I want to go back to Zanzibar as I am an ambassador for HIPZ (Health Improvement Project Zanzibar).
Tell us something on your travel wishlist? I would like to try hot air ballooning on safari.
Where would you most like to live and why? Probably Tuscany in Italy. It seems to appeal to me in so many ways.
What home comfort do you miss the most? A good old cup of tea in my own mug.
Window or aisle? Window, I like to see the world.
Marketing Director & Developer of Tribe Hotel, Nairobi
I travelled to Hong Kong with Kenya Airways in January to attend a friend’s wedding. The bride and groom were spectacular hosts. They arranged several lunches and dinners in addition to the wedding functions – the highlight was a day at the horse races, enjoying a ten-course meal in a sky box over the finish line.
Where do you want to travel to next on KQ’s network? I’d love to explore more of Africa.
Name three things on your travel wishlist? Get scuba-certified, visit Morocco and go on a culinary tour of the world.
Which city would you most like to live in? Nairobi – I love the cultural transformation the city is going through, and the creative energy across the city: it’s stimulating.
Country of residence: Kenya
I recently flew KQ to Paris for a month. I went to visit part of my family in France, as I do every summer.
What three things do you always travel with? My smart phone loaded with good music, a great book to keep me busy and my sunglasses.
What three things do you love about Kenya? Kenya’s breathtaking landscapes, its rich wildlife and the friendly and outgoing people. Having been born and raised in Kenya, I have had the chance to explore this beautiful country in depth.
Where do you want to travel to next? I would love to travel to the Seychelles for a vacation.
Favourite place to shop? I love to shop abroad, particularly in France. I get to keep up with the current trends.
Managing Director, Maersk East Africa
Country of residence: Kenya
I fly Kenya Airways mainly around East Africa, which is the region I am responsible for. I also occasionally fly with them to South Africa, India, Europe and Asia.
What three things do you never travel without? Immigration forms for all East African countries (I fill them out in advance in order to get through formalities quickly upon arrival), medication for most common illnesses and my iPad.
Where do you want to go next on KQ’s network? I would like to try the Dreamliner service to Bangkok.
Where would you most like to live? As a Capetonian, I still consider Cape Town home, and I would like to possibly return when I retire.
Who is your dream travel companion? Undoubtedly Richard Branson. It would be a lot of fun!
Director of Communications & External Relations, African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET)
Country of residence: Ghana
I recently flew from Accra to Nairobi on KQ. I was in Kenya to attend a workshop on ‘storytelling for the media’, organised by the Rockefeller Foundation.
What is the best food you have ever tasted on your travels? Fish biryani at a hawker stall in downtown Singapore. It just got better with each mouthful – I had to time myself out.
Name three experiences on your travel wishlist? Visit the churches hewn out of rock at Lalibela, Ethiopia; go fishing in a dug-out in the Comoros and go horseriding in the Matobo hills in Zimbabwe.
What city would you most like to live in? San Francisco – because it is cosmopolitan, eccentric and it is easy to find both very good food and great conversation there.
Keith and Ann Valentine
Travellers with Expert Africa (expertafrica.com)
We flew from London to Nairobi with Kenya Airways and visited Laikipia in March. We ended our trip on the coast, staying at our favourite hotel anywhere – the wonderful Mnarani Beach Club in Kilifi.
Three things you never leave home without? Torch – useful in a power cut and also handy for spotting bush babies and making sure you don’t step on one of those giant African millipedes! Books – a guide to the country, a wildlife field guide, and often a dictionary and phrase book because we like to try out the local language. A short wave radio – for tuning in to BBC World Service at bedtime.
What do you love about Kenya? The wildlife, coral reefs and friendly, eternally cheerful Kenyan people.
Who is your dream travel companion? Joseph Thomson (after whom the Thomson’s gazelle was named). His book Through Masai Land is a great read.
Golfer Captain Team Kenya
I recently flew to Kisumu City with KQ. I went to attend the National Governors’ Conference.
Where would you like to travel to next? To the United Kingdom next year to cheer the Kenya Rugby Sevens team at the Glasgow and London IRB series.
The most recent flight I took with KQ was to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for a wedding.
What do you never leave home without? My tablet, completely loaded with great music and great eBooks to listen to and read. My pre-paid travel card. It limits the amount of money I can spend, saving my credit card for emergencies. My tried and tested beauty products – there’s nothing worse than spending hours in cosmetic stores abroad looking for THAT moisturiser or hair serum – especially with relaxed hair!
Name three things you love about Kenya? I love the weather, the people – there is such a great cosmopolitan mix of people and cultures – and the holiday destinations. I take 70% of my holidays in Kenya as there are an insane number of great places to visit!
What’s on your travel wishlist? I was recently in Dubai, but did not manage to go sky-diving – that is a definite must-go-back-and-do. I love shopping, and I love great deals, so I would like to go thrift shopping in one of the Asian Countries. It looks really eclectic and fun. I’d also love to stay at one of the underwater hotels – I hear the best ones are in The Maldives – but I may try the one in Zanzibar first [it’s closer].
Grace Ge Gabriel
Asia Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
The first time I flew Kenya Airways was in 2000 to attend the CITES conference in Nairobi.
What do you never travel without? I never leave home without my swimsuit. Taking time from my busy travel schedule to swim a few laps is very important to me. It helps me to exercise, relax and contemplate.
What do you love about Kenya? I love Kenya for its wildlife and its people. Kenya is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a zoo. Wildlife, from the Big Five to many other species, can roam in the wild, where they belong. The people of Kenya are kind, generous and caring. By conserving the wildlife species and their habitat Kenya is helping to preserve the natural heritage of the world.
What do you miss most when you travel? I miss my two cats. I wish they knew that what takes me away from them is my work to protect animals, large or small, around the world.
Kenya’s biggest Afro-pop band: Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano, Delvin Mudigi and Polycarp Otieno
“We fly with Kenya Airways because they travel direct to a large and growing list of exciting destinations. The ambience is as good as we have seen throughout our extensive travels – sometimes we get a namecheck on the intercom: very cool! As a patriotic band we like to eat Kenyan food wherever we go. We have used KQ to fly to gigs in Amsterdam, Paris, Tanzania and South Africa and many more destinations. KQ is also our preferred airline when we want to go on holiday. It’s always reliable and we have rarely experienced any delays.”
I had a week’s trip to Kenya in January with the Kenya Airways Dreamliner giving me the best possible start to my trip. After an overnight stop in Nairobi I flew to Laikipia for a fascinating two days at the stunning Borana Lodge, where I watched distant elephants
moving across the slopes and the superb starlings dipping into the swimming pool. My final stop was three days at Naibosho Camp, which is difficult to beat on all fronts.
Name three things do you love about Kenya? The warmth and friendliness of the people. The skies and sunsets. The wildlife.
What three things do you never leave home without? Spare camera battery and memory card, hand sanitiser and sun hat.
Name three things on your travel wishlist? Walking the Inca Trail in Peru. Visit the National Parks in America. Return to Kenya for more unforgettable experiences.
Will Travers OBE, President Born Free Foundation
Virginia McKenna, Founder Born Free Foundation
Virginia: The last place that I flew to with Kenya Airways was Nairobi. I was on my way to visit our lion conservation project in Meru, ‘Project Lion Rover’ , as part of a media trip with our partners Land Rover.
Will: I flew to Nairobi to visit the Born Free Kenya team before flying to South Africa to take part in workshops and debates about the merits or demerits of international wildlife trade, particularly in light of the latest news that South Africa has lost record numbers of rhino to poachers in the first four months of the year.
“We fly with KQ because we love the airline and the people and because Kenya Airways operates an in-flight coin collection called Change Brings Change that raises funds for Born Free to help protect wild animals in need.”
What three things do you never leave home without?
Will: I always take a camera, and I know that Mum always carries her note book and a sunhat. More recently I have started taking an iPad, which is great for taking informal photos and video as well as making notes. We also both take our Born Free business cards. We both like to chat with people we encounter on our journeys and who knows where that will lead.
What’s the best food you have tasted on your travels? Where were you?
Will: I am a vegan and Mum a vegetarian, so lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are a must. In Kenya I am a huge fan of avocado and mangos. Mum’s favourite place to eat is Elsa’s Kopje in Meru, Kenya.
Name three things you love about Kenya?
Will: I know we both share the same loves in Kenya. The warmth, generosity and hospitality of Kenya’s people. The amazing diversity of the environments, from mountains to sea, semi-deserts to the rolling savannah, the spectacular lakes and increasingly threatened forests. And, of course, the amazing diversity and abundance of wildlife that thrives in the network of National Parks and Reserves, group ranches and conservancies.
Name three things you want to do that are on your travel wishlist?
Will: First, to visit wilderness areas such as Meru National Park, to breathe in the clear air, marvel at the endless sky and take a moment to reflect on how fragile and precious our natural world is. Second, to travel to China to speak with local people and the authorities and try to persuade one of the world’s superpowers to cease all trade in wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horn, tiger and lion body parts and pangolin scales. And third, stay still. Where we live is important and deserves our care. So while travel is enlightening, expands our horizons and brings people together, caring for where we live, our own communities and our home must always be a priority.
Who is your dream travel companion and why?
Will: With my daughter Lily and my son Wij so that I can see the world through the eyes of the next generation. With my mother so I can see the world from a place of wisdom.
Virginia: With my son Will for the same reasons, for sharing memories and with whom I have been travelling to Kenya for the last 50 years (on Kenya Airways, of course).
Jonathan & Angela Scott
Award-winning authors and internationally renowned wildlife photographers
Country of residence: Kenya
We regularly fly KQ to Lusaka, Zambia, and Mumbai. KQ’s Business Class/Premier World is excellent – great beds, good food and first-class service. Travel is work for us – we lead photo workshops and safaris to destinations around the world, so we need to be on top form on arrival at our destination.
Name three things you never leave home without? Our cameras and a pair of Swarovski binoculars (EL 8×32). Angie is never without a book – she devours them, and I always travel with my 11-inch MacBook Air so I can write my thoughts down wherever I happen to be.
Name three things you love about Kenya? The people (so welcoming and friendly), the variety of the landscape (from coral beaches, to desert sands, to the incomparable savannahs of the Masai Mara), and the lions, leopards and cheetahs that have been our life’s obsession. Angie is a Kenya Citizen and I have lived there for nearly 40 years.
Where do you want to travel to next? We are heading to Mauritius (to an Oberoi property) in September on KQ. Angie was born in Alexandria in Egypt, and at the age of four her family moved to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. She loves the ocean – she is never happier than within view of the sea.
What things are on your travel wishlist? We want to return to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2017 – we have made 16 voyages to Antarctica to date – it is simply beyond reality. Then Iceland to see the Northern Lights, and the Pantanal for jaguars. We will visit all three within the next three years!
Kenya Programme Manager at tour operator Expert Africa (expertafrica.com)
I recently made two trips to Madagascar with KQ, flying via Nairobi to Antananarivo – or Tana, as it’s universally known – to research and write a new guide book to the country, The Rough Guide to Madagascar. As a frequent visitor to Kenya’s national parks and wildlife conservancies I’m familiar with their magnificent megafauna. So I was blown away by Madagascar’s ravishingly beautiful landscapes and almost otherworldly diversity of much smaller animals. The island’s wildlife includes more than 100 species of lemur and a seemingly infinite, multi-coloured variety of chameleons, frogs and insects.
Name three things you never leave home without? My Stetson hat, bought in New York. My Vango backpack: I’ve tried wheelie bags and duffels, but I like having my hands free. A good map: the best are published by a German travel publisher, Reise Know-How, on indestructible synthetic paper.
Trek or cycle? Cycle: I love bush walking with a good guide, but my extensive, early travels in Africa were on a bike. I’d love to do that again.
Window or aisle? Window: I can daydream for hours from 30,000 feet. I love trying to identify where I am. I once saw the northern lights, on the polar route to San Francisco. Flying in over the coast of Madagascar was captivating.
Travel Writer and Msafiri editor
I recently flew to Kigali with Kenya Airways to fulfil a lifetime dream to see mountain gorillas in the wild.
Where do you want to travel to next on Kenya Airways’ network? I’d like to go to Antananarivo, Madagascar, because it’s another fantastic wildlife destination – not just for the lemurs, but also for the chameleons, humpback whales and other extraordinary wildlife to be found there. If I could pick a city, I’d love to go back to Dubai because I haven’t been there for 20 years and I’d love to see how it has changed.
What’s the best food you have tasted on your travels? Where were you? Anywhere that serves great seafood – I loved the crab claws at Wasini Island on the Kenya Coast, and Creole- style food in the Seychelles.
Architect and Artist, Sky Décor
I recently flew KQ to Cape Town for the Guild Design Fair exhibiting as Sky Décor. GUILD represents the coming together of dedicated, focused curators, designers and institutions that are striving to preserve and provoke exceptional, groundbreaking design.
What do you love about Kenya? I love Nairobi city because it has such a global feel – with a lot of international ideas and potential. And I love the diverse nature and landscape of Kenya.
Where do you want to travel to next on KQ’s network? Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, simply because of the art and culture.
Which city would you most like to live in and why? Cape Town, because it’s multicultural, has a good city infrastructure and is simply beautiful with the beach and Table Mountain combination.
Country of residence: UK
I recently flew to Nairobi with Kenya Airways. I went to Samburu to interview Saba Douglas-Hamilton about her latest BBC TV series This Wild Life.
Which home comfort do you miss the most? Our kitchen stove. It’s an oil-fired Aga – the beating heart of our house in winter – something you need if you live in England!
What three things do you never travel without? My treasured Leica Ultravid binoculars, my favourite kikoi, which I bought in Lamu, and a photo of my wife.
What do you love about Kenya? First and foremost, the Masai Mara. It’s where I saw my first wild lion and I’ve been hooked ever since. What else? The ever-welcoming Kenyan people and their beautiful Swahili language.