Wednesday 23 November 2017.
Highlights: Mercedes Benz transfer, Emirates A380 First Class Bed, Dom Pérignon
I was only at the Singapore Airport for just under 2 hours most of which I spend in the Emirates First-Business Class Lounge (review here). Emirates flight EK405 boarded late around 01.38 when we were supposed to depart at 01.20.
For this flight I went straight to the bed option, choosing to take a shower 2 hours before landing and breakfast after that (full flight review here). I managed to get approximately 4 hours of solid comfortable sleep on this flight. You don’t even think you are on a plane while sleeping it’s that comfortable.I departed the plane around 5 am Dubai time with an express / fast track card in hand. Somehow I got lost in the airport and ended up back in the main airside terminal. Some hopeful staff got me back on track to the arrivals area. You need to catch a train to the arrivals hall, that’s how big the airport is. Immigration was very easy, 2 minutes maximum in the line and 60 seconds maximum at passport control.
As I didn’t need to pick up a bag it was straight to Chauffeur Drive area who organised a Mercedes Benz to my hotel the Roda al Bustan. The weather was about 28 at 5.40 am in the morning. I organised for my return to the airport for noon with an 11.30 wake up call. The room provided was very nice with lots of room. The included wifi allowed me to back up my photos to the cloud while sleeping.
I woke up before my wake up call, something that always happens to me on days I’m flying I guess I’m concerned about missing a flight. The Emirates driver was waiting for me and another passenger whose flight was at 1.45 pm so he obviously has no concerns getting it close, I guess we are very close to the airport.
Unfortunately todays flight was leaving from Terminal C which meant that the amazing Terminal B Emirates First Class lounge wasn’t going to be visited today. Maybe sometime in the future but I doubt it. The chauffeur drop off was in Terminal B so I walked to Terminal C and the Emirates First Class Lounge in that terminal. I enjoyed spring rolls and wagyu beef burger with fries for lunch Which tasted great. The unusual thing about this lounge was that there was a smoking area upstairs. Full lounge review here.
My Emirates EK721 Dubai to Nairobi flight left from a gate near the First Class lounge. The takeoff provide great views of Dubai.
I was one of only two people in the eight seat first class area on the smaller Boeing 777-200. The Dom Pérignon was served very freely on this flight so much so that I had to say know. I did try some Hennessy Cognac which I found extremely strong. For my meal I selected for an appetiser roasted tomato soup and for the main meal I selected stir-fried beef in oyster sauce. I skipped a canapé and dessert (actually I forgot about dessert DOH!). Full flight review here.
We landed late at 19.46 local time after a smooth flight. While there is an aerobridge you do need to walk down some steps onto the tarmac. Emirates had a bus waiting for First Class and Platinum members to take use to Immigration first. My Kenyan eVisa which I organised a month ago got me though the immigration quickly. My bag took a bit longer and was the eight to turn up. I was quickly though customs and took the opportunity to change some of my US currency to Kenyan Shillings at a rate of $1 USD to $100 Kenyan Shillings.
However at this point a problem emerged, my pickup drive didn’t show. It’s never a good experience to be in a foreign country at night with no way to your accommodation, this is the reason I organise a driver. After 50 minutes I went back into the airport and paid for an airport taxi not willing to chance one of the many drivers offering their services outside the airport. This cost $3,000 Kenyan Shillings and worst the driver couldn’t find the accommodation. A few urgent calls and texts back home (the Tour Company was shut) and everything was fixed. Still not a great way to start your time n a new country.
I only briefly saw the Wildebeest Eco Camp while being escorted to my tent in the dark but it looked nice. For the next three days I’m in a ‘luxury’ tent by myself which I upgraded to as the last luxury before I’m putting up tents myself and sharing.