A bit of adhoc consultancy
with rapid results
Sorry I haven’t been around for a while. My computer was stolen… grr… my fault. Computers can be replaced. But not all the info and pics on them 😦
So catching up, three weeks ago I took an Emirates flight from KL to Dubai then on to Nairobi to catch up with friends, do some safari and also a follow up on my blog about Wheelchairs for Kids.
I must give Emirates a shoutout for their attitude to disability. ALL their planes have aisle chairs meaning no-one has to physically drag you to the toilet, unlike Qatar Airways which only flies a B737 Doha-Nairobi and has nothing for the disabled. One reason I chose to stop flying them.
The cubicle inside the B777 even has railings in a USEFUL position.
Bit more on that later.
Anyway Jomo Kenyatta International airport’s had a bit of a makeover in the arrivals section. There was even a bright shiny disabled toilet sign. I hoped departures had similar. (It hadn’t)
But arriving somewhat tired and jet lagged at my hotel the Intercontinental in Nairobi, I have a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment. Would this be 20 shades of hotel hell again? See Having a Plan Errmm
I’ve stayed at the Intercon on three previous occasions without problem, but this time something seemed a little different. Overly tired from the journey maybe? Or my MS is a little worse? Who knows. But the shower seat suddenly looks daunting.
Problem? Not enough railings.
Head Housekeeper Roselyn is called, and after a quick chat she returns a few hours later with…
Again not perfect but pretty good and it serves me for the rest of my stay. So how’s that for rapid change?
The Ol Tukai sits in the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s tallest mountain. Climate change means there’s just a sliver of snow and ice at the top now. Not sure when the pictures on the web were taken, or if it’s just the time of year, but this is August 2016.
Overall Ol Tukai makes a great effort to be disabled friendly. There are ramps where they’re needed in the dining room and around the hotel.
There are two disabled friendly rooms. The one I was staying in makes a good attempt but is not quite there. The toilet suffers from lack of railings (again) and the shower could do with a better seat and changing the position of the railing that’s there. (Couldn’t work that out at all.)
But manager Kennedy Were was open to suggestions for improvement and I’m contacting him after I finish this.
If you do stay there it’s a beautiful spot to stop in and watch the elephants for a few days. Flamingoes have recently arrived at one of the shallow lakes too, and in greater numbers than at Lake Bogoria up north See my very first post
Now over in the Mara I stayed at the Sarova Mara Game Camp. I’d been there last year. It has just one disabled friendly room, and again it’s not perfect (Yep, you guessed it – not enough railings).
I’d made suggestions last year about how they could improve the facilities but nothing had changed. A conversation with the very Japanese sounding, but definitely Kenyan manager Kioko Musyoki brought a more positive response this time.
Let’s hope they follow through. But I can’t complain; so pleased were they I had returned they made me a cake.
So asante sana Sarova 🙂
Oh yeah, before I go, Dubai International Airports… a four hour layover on the way home to Malaysia in the ‘Special Handling’ zone leaves you abandoned in a space that is staffed by people with NO TRAINING in special handling people with disabilities.
I was dumped in a wheelchair made for either giants or the morbidly obese (or both) and left to my own devices when I asked to use the bathroom. A special meltdown ensued. Two untrained Filipina staff were rustled up and together we managed to work around the loo’s inadequacies. What was the problem? NOT enough #@^*§!! Railings. And the ones they had were a mile high and pretty useless if you were trying to stand up. (Cue two untrained special handling staff)
I should write a song, I’d make a fortune.
The sink was rather annoying too. The direction of the tap’s spout meaning when it auto-turned on water just splashed over the rim soaking me. Improvements please Dubai airports. You’re touting yourselves to be great. Make that great for everyone.