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Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Beverley, East Yorks
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28 posts
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Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Hi, we have booked a special trip of a lifetime to Kenya towards end of Feb 2011.

Flying Virgin ex Heathrow to Nairobi, then Fly540 to Malindi for a few days at Hemingways. Then a 2 night/3 day trip to Finch Hattons (tent 7 Ithink) booked through Mombassa Air Safaris flying from Malindi. Then fly back to Hemingways for few more days including a day's fishing trip booked via the hotel.

All booked after much research (much on T/A) and recommendations, but any general advice, having never done Kenya or any safari before would be much appreciated. Any knowledge of these hotels or MAS and safari advice would be good. Also a bit worried about connecting flight in Nairobi - only got 1 hour 34 mns from Virgin landing to 540 leaving which will be tight! Anyone any experience of this. Many thanks.

Brampton, Canada
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1. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

I suggest that you inform 540 airline in good time regarding your arrivals

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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2. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Hi,

When you land at Nairobi, you have to clear Immigration, collect your bags and leave the International terminal then either cut across or walk round the car park to the Domestic Terminal, (200 yards or less) you and your bags then have to go through the scanners as you enter the terminal, then you check in again.

I have done this process several times but always with Kenyan Airways / KLM which means that I have been already checked in for the domestic flight and just have to drop of my bag.

I usually have around 2 hours for the transfer and have always made it with plenty of time to spare, in fact I am usually in the Cafe in Domestic within an hour of landing.

However, given that Check ins normally close 40 minutes before flight time (and given that some low cost airlines actually close the check in as it is sometimes the same staff who control the gate and boarding) and even if the plane lands on time if it is slow disembarking so you may have quite a bit less than an hour. Which might still be just about do-able but will be stressful and with no contingency.

You might save some time if you buy your visa in advance rather than buying on arrival, but in my experience even buying on arrival you are still through Immigration and in baggage reclaim before the bags anyway, but it could make the difference if the visa queue is slow.

I just had a quick look at the Fly540 website and can't see any mention of online check in which might have given you some leeway.

East Yorkshire
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7 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Doffcocker

Thanks for the info. Have been considering getting the visa in advance but not convinced about this one yet as it means sending passports etc off during December (think visa lasts 3 months) which worries me a little re Christmas etc. Fly 540 check in closes 30 mns before and as you say don't think there is a option for on line check in. The people from Hemingways have been very wonderful and sent a document "passage through the airport" which contains info very similar to your very useful information for which many thanks.

What I didn't mention was that we have used up 10 years of air miles to upgrade to upper class so should hopefully be first off the starting blocks into the immigration queue.

Will however as advised by Seanus get in touch with Fly50 in advance. If worst comes to worst, next flight to Malindi is at 15.30 so if space on that flight would just mean a few hours at the airport!

Beverley, East Yorks
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28 posts
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4. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Seamus

Great idea, will be in touch with them nearer the time

Doffcocker, apologies appear to have replied to you previously with wrong sign in details - I appear inadvertantly to have 2 logins and signed in under wrong one! It is still me!!!

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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4,734 posts
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5. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

It all sounds great, and you've hit the bullseye with Tent 7 at Finch Hatton's! Mombasa Air Safari are well-established and the owner is the chairman of Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association so I think you'll be fine.

Have a great trip!

Richard

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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5,880 posts
15 reviews
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6. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Finch Hattons is lovely - you are however expected to wear smart clothes for dinner. Long trouser/ shirts for men and anything smart for ladies , preferable with elasticated waists from the superb 6 course Dinner,

you are collected from your tent by security watch out for the Lava paths .. if your wearing sandals be careful as the stones get in between your toes and they hurt !!!

Hopefully you will see Mt Kilimanjaro from the breakfast table ..

Afternoon tea besides the pool is another luxurious indulgence ...

Enjoy !!

Beverley, East Yorks
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28 posts
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7. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Yankari & Drakesdrum, many thanks for the info - all really encouraging that we have made good choices. The tent 7 was tip off Tripadvisor and also recommendation by Gary from Hemingways. Really getting excited now, roll on February. Many thanks, Pippa

nyc
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14,780 posts
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8. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

Finch Hattons - best ever chef!

Yup, elastic waist is spot on!

But I don't recall any dress code for dinner whether for men or women. Slacks for men, of course, makes sense as nights are chilly and it's mossie biting time, but women wore pants or skirts or whatever was comfy.

9. Re: Finch Hattons (Tsavo West) & Hemingways (Watamu)

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