Hunting down a free safari

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When researching my post “The best stopover deals worldwide,” I came across a very interesting deal.  According to a couple of articles, Kenya Airways offered free safaris for those stopping over in Nairobi.  Here’s an example article:

I was pretty excited about this idea (especially for the 40K to Far Away Challenge) until I read the limitations:

  • You must be traveling from London on Kenya Airways flight 101
  • You must be traveling to one of these destinations: Kigali (Rwanda), Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Entebbe (Uganda), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Djibouti, and Bujumbura (Burundi)
  • You must have a minimum 6 hour layover

That seemed pretty limiting to me, so I searched for more information.  Maybe there are other ways to get the free safari?  I checked the Kenya Airways website.  I Googled every relevant term I could think of.  I tried online chatting with Kenya Airways.  Nothing.  Nada.

Finally, I emailed customer support:

I read that Kenya Airways offers a free safari for people who are stopping over in Nairobi from London Heathrow Airport to Nairobi. You must stop in Nairobi on your way to one of these seven destinations: Kigali, Rwanda; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Entebbe, Uganda; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bujumbura, Burundi; or Djibouti.

Questions:
1) Is this true? I can’t find anything on your website about this program.
2) Does it work in reverse? If I travel from Addis Ababa to London Heathrow, can I get a free Safari during the stopover in Nairobi?
3) Does this work with any other routes?
4) Do I have to book through the Kenya Airways website to get the free safari?
5) Does this work with award flights? If I book a free award flight with Flying Blue miles, can I still get the free Safari?
6) Do you offer a free hotel for overnight layovers? If so, what are the rules?
7) Are the terms and conditions written somewhere that I can read?
8) Do you offer any other layover benefits?

It took a couple of weeks to get a response.  The short answer: Nope.  They don’t offer the free safari anymore.  But you can still do the layover safari if you pay $200.  So that’s something… I guess.  It’s also interesting to read that they might offer a free hotel for overnight layovers as long as you “meet certain requirements.”

Here’s the actual response (in bold) for those interested.  Note that it is unclear whether you need a 7 hour or 8 hour layover:

1) Is this true? I can’t find anything on your website about this program.
Yes, we used to run the product however that was during the pilot period which has since ended.  The product is now available for purchase at usd 200 per person

2) Does it work in reverse? If I travel from Addis Ababa to London Heathrow, can I get a free Safari during the stopover in Nairobi?
The safari is no longer free as explained above but can work either way as long as you have more than 8 hours transit time in Nairobi.

3) Does this work with any other routes?
Works in any routes as long as you have more than 7 hours in Nairobi

4) Do I have to book through the Kenya Airways website to get the free safari?
The safari is no longer free but you can book the paid option on the website on the booking flow or rather if you have an existing ticket you can go to manage my booking.

5) Does this work with award flights? If I book a free award flight with Flying Blue miles, can I still get the free Safari?
It does not matter as long as you meet the 7 hours layover time which is during the day.

6) Do you offer a free hotel for overnight layovers? If so, what are the rules?-
It all depends you need to meet certain requirements.

7) Are the terms and conditions written somewhere that I can read?
There are no documented conditions but you can always send us your booking reference for assistance.

8) Do you offer any other layover benefits?
Probably meals when need be.

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