Tuesday, February 11, 2014

WARNING - if Traveling to or Through SA's Oliver Tambo International Airport - Be Careful with Luggage and Self

Theft at O.R Tambo an Epidemic Now

By Wanja Njuguna

If you are traveling to South Africa or through South Africa's O.R Tambo International Airport, you might want to purchase a hard suitcase now like I have shown on the link below and lock it up - not that it will not be broken (it has for me and my sponsors had to refund) or lost but its a harder job (they only broke all the locks but still could not cut through) - its a hard job to open it up. Even wrapping these suitcases is not helping any more. And do not leave valuables, new things in there - carry those. 

Theft there has become a crisis, an epidemic actually - at OR Tambo - not forgetting when you alight, you might also be subject to robbery like some media friends of mine - Ezekiel Mutua and company experienced not too long ago when they were robbed of all electronics right outside their hotel within the airport.

As I was coming back to work on Jan 15, 2014, when we arrived in WHK, there were about 10 people whose suitcases had been torn apart - literally. Today, February 11, 2014, our High Comm's wife, Anne Gitau got her suitcase back after two days - with almost nothing inside except a few clothes - and guess what? Someone else's stuff put in there too - pictures, biscuits, necklaces, scissors - to give it weight I guess - the pictures belonged to an Asian. She had wrapped it up - it was unwrapped.

There might also be an issue between Kenya and SA we don't know about - more form SA's side as to Kenya, they do not have the same huddles as Kenyans do to SA or through SA. Getting a transit visa through SA is another nightmare these days. And yet, Kenya Airways still is unable to make direct flights to WHK besides their negotiations with Air Namibia for almost two years now.

Kenya Airways needs to reduce its travel rates so that, if you are coming from Kenya, check with your agency on how you can use another link - through Livingstone or Lusaka in Zambia, Luanda in Angola or Harare in Zimbabwe and then connect to an Air Namibia. So, you need to check which days Air Namibia goes to those two places - I doubt they have daily flights except for Luanda - I think they have two flights to Luanda.

Hopefully, soon, KQ will have a break-through and fly to WHK direct but between now and then, just find yourself another suitcase to get to SA or if possible, another route to get here. Pathetic and so shameful. Reminds me of Kenya, long time ago but that is now behind us, for good, I believe.