This Flight Might Be a Best New Way to Visit Africa

At 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct 29, Kenya Airways moody 003 took off for Nairobi from JFK International Airport. It was a celebration from start to finish, with a catered lunch smorgasboard during a gate, present bags containing a H2O bottle and striped kikoi scarf, prizes awarded by lottery over a PA system, and a red-carpet accepting headlined by Kenya’s emissary president, William Ruto. It was also attended by dancers, low-pitched troupes, and several dozen uniformed rank-and-file employees.

As good it should have been: Flight 033 was a initial blurb uninterrupted approach moody from New York to Nairobi, that has cut transport time to East Africa from 20+ hours to around 14 (though a craft done quick progress, alighting in underneath 13 hours). This moody will be a game-changer, says Cherri Briggs, owners and boss of Explore, Inc. “Previously it was required to go around London, Amsterdam, or one of a Gulf cities, that always done for uninteresting layovers. This moody will concede people to leave New York and arise adult in Nairobi—not have to overnight there, unless they wish to—and get to a brush a same day they land.” The prices are also really competitive,” says Mark Nolting of a Africa Adventure Company. “We usually requisitioned a customer in business category from JFK/Nairobi-Nairobi/Cape Town—Nairobi/JFK for underneath $4,000. This is also an generally good value as they are drifting a new Boeing 787, that should outcome in a really gentle ride.”

The new Kenya Airways moody is on a Boeing Dreamliner.

Inside that radiant new Boeing Dreamliner—a craft famous for a atmospheric cabins, jet-lag taming mood lighting, and cabin atmosphere that’s indeed breathable—the moody was unusually smooth. The plane’s signature purple-hued mood-lighting morphed from day to dusk as a 234 passengers flew easterly into a evening, and filled adult on a cooking of slow-roasted Asian corned hen or Maine crusted red limp filet. In business class, a plane’s 30-passenger top-tier section, a seats lay down flat—deep nap being a good remuneration for a flight’s one drawback, a muted party preference dominated by second-run cinema like The Intern and Gone Girl (next time, I’ll bucket my iPad).

Kenya Airways’ good-natured chairman, Michael Joseph, happened to be sitting a integrate of seats over, and as we approached Nairobi he explained that a new track is approaching to boost not usually tourism yet trade to East Africa, generally as a airline is also formulation to supplement new nonstop routes from D.C. and Atlanta. That was positively a sense given by a red-carpet pushing on arrival. “This is a impulse of honour for Kenya,” emissary boss Ruto pronounced to a fabricated crowd. “The Nairobi-New York track will strengthen Kenya’s position as a transport and business heart of executive Africa.”

Landing during 10:30 a.m. means that we can bond with afternoon flights to a Masai Mara, Kilimanjaro Airport for northern Tanzania, and Kigali or Entebbe for chimpanzee trekking. With an eight-hour layover before my subsequent flight, we hired a motorist to take me around (arranged by Steppes Travel, who’d requisitioned my Rwanda trip), yet Ubers are ubiquitous. Nairobi National Park might be a usually inhabitant park we can entrance this way; we can see diversion like lions, leopards, zebra, giraffe, and buffalo. On a park’s distant side is a Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage during a David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (make a reservation in advance), where from 11-12 we can watch a handlers move out a orphaned baby elephants and rhinos for their daily sand baths.

Also usually 10 miles from Nairobi: a tasty lunch of salad and duck sandwich in a noble garden during Giraffe Manor (three courses for $75), set on 12-acres of private land with a flock of Rothschild’s giraffe; we can also cocktail over to feed a giraffe subsequent doorway during a Giraffe Centre. From there, if you’re inclined, we rarely suggest a stop during Kazuri Beads Factory, where we can emporium a colorful handmade valuables and pottery done by disadvantaged Kenyan women, before a revisit to a adjacent Karen Blixen Museum, a Out of Africa author’s aged farmhouse “at a feet of a Ngong Hills,” still full of her seat and books. (It’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Just make certain we leave adequate time to get behind to a airport, as trade in Nairobi can double this 45-minute expostulate during rush hour.

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