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contents issue 19 REGULAR FEATURES 3 In this issue 4 ‘540’ news 29



Step back in time to an age of magic…

Introduction menu

30 Peponi Restaurant 32 Mikaye 34 Five of the best: veggie-friendly restaurants in Nairobi 36 Soames Hotel & Jack’s Bar



Ford Ranger


The Majlis

42 GADGETS is published by Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park Colchester, Essex, UK, CO4 9RA Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Email:

on behalf of


Functional, fitness and fun gadgets


Watch. Read. Listen.

48 Kids’ Corner SPECIAL FEATURES 7 Champions

Fly540 Aviation Baycourt Upper Floor, Suite 3&4 The Watermark Business Park Ndege Rd, Karen PO Box 10293-00100 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: +254 (0)20 388 3060-2 Fax: +254 (0)20 3883063 Email: The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, or any other organisation associated with this publication. No liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions. ©2015 Land & Marine Publications Ltd

View this issue online:

Connect with Fly540 @fly540aviation

A hero’s welcome for Kenya’s golden athletes

9 Lulea


‘Must have’ brand is a tribute to Kenyan skills

16 World Rhino Day

Fight is on to save northern white rhino

18 Pfoofy Power

Using the sun
is great pfun 16

20 D’VINE Essentials

Success is only skin-deep…

24 Vinyl revival

Nothing sounds better than nostalgia

26 South Sudan

A fabulous destination – if you’re brave enough

USEFUL INFORMATION 44 The Fly540 Network 45 Fly540 Contacts 46 Travel Information 47 Fly540 Fleet



In this issue

Issue 19


Welcome to the latest issue of ‘540’ magazine.


amu features as our cover story Sleep Over: in this issue. Lamu has been We check through some tough times as in at The a destination, but supported Majlis hotel in Lamu. See by Fly540 (every day except Tuesday Page 40 from JKIA) and Fly-SAX (four times a

The Supper Club: On Pages 29 to 37 we eat at some of Kenya’s best restaurants Gadgets: On Page 42 we test out the new iPhones, GoPro HERO4 and more Watch. Read. Listen:

On Page 43 we review the latest blockbuster movies, ‘must read’ books and music releases

week from Wilson) it is making a strong comeback. And while we are out travelling around East Africa, we pose the question: is it time to return to South Sudan? Well, one tour company seems to think so; and, of course, it’s very easy to get there as Fly540 regularly serves Juba. We are always discovering Kenyans who achieve great things or do something different and newsworthy. I think Pfoofy Power fits the bill here. What a story – and what inventions! Kenya is home to a number of upmarket handbag makers. And if the patronage of Hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o is any guide, then Lulea is arguably the most highfalutin of these creators of hand-crafted luxury leatherware. We also profile D’VINE Essential, another local manufacturer of top-end

goods – in this case, beauty products. Elsewhere in the magazine we feature the World Athletics Championships and toast Kenya’s phenomenal success. We also celebrate World Rhino Day and look at the revival of vinyl (yes, there is a vinyl revival in Nairobi). We love eating out. As part of our new ‘Supper Club’ special feature we include Lamu’s Peponi, the Soames Hotel & Jack’s Bar in Nanyuki, a broad selection of vegetarian eateries in Nairobi and the incomparable Mikaye in Mombasa. We also stay over at The Majlis in Lamu. Finally, we test-drive the rough, tough no-nonsense 4x4 Ford Ranger double cab. I hope you enjoy your flight today with Fly540 and I welcome any constructive comments you may have about this issue of the magazine. Safari njema.

Gary Gimson Publisher


Issue 19

YOUR CHANCE TO ENTER THE 10to4 MOUNTAIN BIKE EVENT Registration has opened for the annual 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge, sponsored by Fly540 and due to take place on 12, 13 and 14 February. The event is open to riders of all abilities, from young children to seasoned professionals.

To enter, and for more details, go to:

AND THE WINNER IS… Congratulations to Michelle Katami, who won the ‘540’ Issue 18 competition for dinner for two at Graze Steakhouse at Sankara Hotel in Nairobi. Congratulations!


Win a dinner for two at Tatu We know Fly540 passengers love a selfie, so we’re asking you to send us your best ‘540’ face with a copy of this magazine to win a sumptuous dinner for two at Tatu Restaurant at Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. Tatu is an award-winning signature steakhouse offering delectable flame-grilled cuts of quality meat prepared by the chef to a supple texture. This exclusive fine-dining experience consists of an à la carte menu prepared with fresh local ingredients and an international wine selection coupled with warm and engaging service.


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To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, all you have to do is grab your camera or smartphone and take a selfie with your ‘540’ magazine, either on the plane or at a location of your choice, and email the image, your booking reference and your full name to: The winner will be picked at random by Tatu Restaurant and contacted on 16 January to receive a voucher for dinner for two at Tatu. The winning picture will be featured in Issue 20 of ‘540’ and ‘Fly-SAX’ magazines.

Competition Terms & Conditions: • Closing date is 15 January • Only one entry per person • Entrants must be 18 years or over • The prize is issued as a voucher of KES 9,000 per person, exclusive of taxes • Voucher is valid until 30 April 2016 • The winner must contact Tatu at least 48 hours in advance to book a table • In case of any allergies or diet restrictions, please advise at time of booking • The decision of the organisers will be final. The competition is not open to employees and their relatives of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Kenya, Fly540, Fly-SAX or Land & Marine Publications Ltd.




eam Kenya underlined its sporting prowess at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing in August when it beat 42 other countries to claim the top spot with 16 medals of which seven were gold. The biennial event, now in its 15th edition, is a key fixture in the athletics calendar, providing a showcase for some of the world’s greatest athletes. In Beijing, the Kenyan athletes proved their claim to be among the best by winning seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

Victory The Kenyan team received a hero’s welcome when they flew into Nairobi after their victory in Beijing. Thousands of supporters lined the streets and Deputy President William Ruto was in attendance. President Kenyatta took to Twitter to congratulate the team, describing the win as “remarkable” and Kenya as “a hotbed of champions’. A highlight of the nine-day event was Julius Yego’s tremendous javelin throw of 92.72 metres – a Commonwealth record

– but it was his technique that really impressed. Yego credits his technique to watching other javelin throwers on YouTube in order to perfect his style and eventually claim gold. The men’s javelin was Kenya’s firstever gold in the field events, but the team dominated in the track events, winning gold in the men’s 800 metres, men’s 1,500 metres and women’s 10,000 metres as well as the men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase and the men’s 400 metres hurdles. In fact, Yego’s gold was the only medal awarded to Kenya for a field event across the whole championship, with all other medals being awarded for track events or marathons. In second place in the medal table was Jamaica, home to the worldfamous Usain Bolt, who scooped gold for the 100 metres and 200 metres and also for his part in the 4 x 100 metres relay. Completing the top five were the United States; Great Britain & Northern Ireland; and Ethiopia. The next IAAF championships are due to be held in 2017 in London at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.

KENYA’S WINNERS  GOLD Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot 10,000 metres (F) Ezekiel Kemboi 3,000 metres steeplechase (M) Nicholas Bett 400 metres hurdles (M) David Rudisha 800 metres (M) Julius Yego Javelin (M) Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi 3,000 metres steeplechase (F) Asbel Kiprop 1,500 metres (M) SILVER Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor 10,000 metres (M) Conseslus Kipruto 3,000 metres steeplechase (M) Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon 1,500 metres (F) Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku 5,000 metres (M) Helah Kiprop Marathon (F) Elijah Motonei Manangoi 1,500 metres (M) BRONZE Paul Kipngetich Tanui 10,000 metres (M) Brimin Kiprop Kipruto 3,000 metres steeplechase (M) Eunice Jepkoech Sum 800 metres (F)




LUXURY LEATHER  Lulea’s tan cross-body bag is a must-have fashion accessory

is a tribute to Kenyan skills By Joan Wandegi All images courtesy of Lulea

ENTREPRENEUR  Edmond Chesneau training a new machinist


f handbags are a girl’s favourite accessory, then Edmond Chesneau is a household name – at least among today’s fashionistas. As a designer, entrepreneur and adventurer in his own right, Edmond has been crafting signature leather bags for over 40 years and making clients in three continents very happy. 


Lulea The market speaks for itself. Both ladies and gentlemen are willing to spend a lot of money to ‘bag’ the latest design; and when the bag designer has brought his brand to a point where it not only makes a fashion statement but also builds on a sustainable work model using the best of local talent, then it’s bound to pique the interest of fashion-conscious buyers.

Passion Edmond Chesneau left his native France for Ireland, where he lived for over 40 years. It was there that he found he could turn his passion for working with leather into an enterprise that could make a difference – not only in terms of how the raw materials are sourced and treated, but also in the team of craftsmen and women he recruited. Edmond simply prides himself on having a social heart; but this in no way diminishes his passion for producing excellent pieces. That is reflected in his inaugural brand, Chesneau, which he founded early in his career, working with some of the best tanneries in Europe. After a long spell in Kilkenny, Ireland, where he was rightly identified as a leading designer of leather goods, Edmond turned his attention

to Africa, and specifically Kenya, where he founded Luxury Leather Africa, stylishly abbreviated to Lulea. This fast-growing and well recognised brand has a simple model: to produce quality leather goods in the most sustainable way using local expertise and products. Over the years, Lulea has become synonymous with fashionable leather pieces, from keyring fobs to laptop bags. ‘We make the bags – you make the difference’ is a slogan matched by a conscious enterprise that has won awards from the Ethical Fashion Forum and Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialisation. And with such an attractive repertoire, it’s no wonder that fashion icons such as Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o have chosen to wear Lulea products, as seen at the annual Producers Guild of America Awards in 2014.

THINK PINK  A small satchel with a big personality

the skills that can now be appreciated in some of the world’s leading fashion outlets, while all the while staying true to quality raw materials sourced in Kenya. He underlined this view when he presented Lupita Nyong’o with a signature Lulea bag in recognition of her conservation efforts in the country. For a true bag lover, that is simply priceless.

Lulea: Producing quality leather goods in the most sustainable way using local expertise and products

Empower As Chesneau continues on his mission to change the perception of Made in Africa products, he strives to empower a small but growing workforce in harnessing

STAR QUALITY  Edmond poses with actress Lupita Nyong’o



Step back in time to an

age of magic…

By Joan Wandegi Credited images provided by Lamu Tourism Association.


or over a thousand years, the island of Lamu has been welcoming travellers, claiming its rightful place as a valuable point on Africa’s east coast.

Merchants from as far away as India and the Arabian Peninsula would bring in spices and trade them for precious items like gold and ivory. At different points in history the archipelago islands of Lamu, Shela and Manda were under the rule of various states, each of which left its mark on the cultural make-up of the islands.

Today, Lamu reflects the heritage left by the communities that have drifted in and out of the region over the centuries


Hand crafted wooden doors in Lamu

Image: Ian Murphy


Today, Lamu reflects the heritage left by the communities that have drifted in and out of the region over the centuries. Many settled into a common way of life that included the local tribes. This same heritage is reflected in the remarkably well preserved architecture of Lamu, which forms the backdrop to one of Africa’s


AUTHENTIC  Get to know the locals over a cup of traditional coffee

most remarkable tourist destinations. The tall coral stone buildings of Lamu Old Town have open courtyards which are still used for community meetings as well as for the fresh food markets that are a signature feature. A wedding, a religious ceremony or a cultural event in Lamu is a grand spectacle. The town has deliberately kept alive its cultural and social practices, including the strong Islamic influence that is part and parcel of life at the coast. Local communities are quite conservative, but this only serves to underline the charm of Lamu. Guides and traders welcome visitors from outside with an affectionate ‘Karibu Lamu’. Be prepared to make your excursion on foot or by donkey, since the narrow streets of the Old Town cannot accommodate anything else. In


Image: Robin D. Moore

Image: Robin D. Moore


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fact, it’s the perfect way to see this historical quarter. Lamu Old Town is a pristinely preserved example of a Swahili town. Today it is managed by the National Museums of Kenya and is recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The houses, with their foundations made of coral, lime and mangrove poles, are a tribute to the craftsmen of long ago who built them.

Culture To really add to your experience, why not step off the tourist trail and get out to places where you can meet the local people, appreciate their culture at first hand and seize the opportunity to challenge your preconceived notions. The team at Lamu Tourist Board is on hand to help here.

To really add to your experience, why not step off the tourist trail and get out to places where you can meet the local people Tours of the local markets are a real eye-opener, as the fishermen bring in their catches and proclaim their wares at the top their lungs. Also in the markets, visitors will find beautiful fabrics for sale, as well as spices and Swahili trinkets.

Spirit Lamu has had to endure some knocks to its reputation as one of Africa’s finest coastal tourist destinations; but the spirit of its people and the beauty of its surroundings have not been destroyed. Everyone is making strides to convince the rest of the world that it is time to re-explore and revisit. Significant investments – though in part

Image: Robin D. Moore

The great thing about an island is that you can enjoy the visitor experience every bit as much on the water as on land. So it’s worth spending a day and an evening to create a treasured memory. Look for Captain I Will Be Back, who will take you on a tour accompanied by an animated commentary (including the reason for his flamboyant name). With his network of contacts, he is a sort of magician of the ocean, taking visitors on a journey that includes shucking of fresh oysters, gorging on seafood barbecues on the beach and a sundowner to remember. controversial when you talk to local people – have been made to add to the region’s income-earning activities and to diversify Lamu away from an over-reliance on tourism. So the vibrancy of Lamu is alive and well. And now is the time to include it in your travel plans for 2016.

LOCALS  The spirit of Lamu is alive and well for locals and tourists


World Rhino Day


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By Lily Wafula


to save northern white rhino


he plight of the rhino is one of the most concerning issues for wildlife conservationists and animal lovers alike as numbers continue to fall at a worrying rate. World Rhino Day on 22 September drew attention to these wonderful but critically endangered animals and helped raise awareness of the alarming problems they now face. Here in Kenya, many organisations are working hard to save them from extinction. There are five species of rhino left in the wild, two of which are found in Africa. The black rhino and the white rhino are the last remaining species of African rhino, with about 5,000 black and 20,000 white rhino across the continent. Both types are divided into subspecies and it is the northern white subspecies that is of most concern. There are only four remaining northern white rhino left – one male and three females. The male, Sudan, is protected by guards around the clock at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki from deadly attack by poachers. Sudan even had his horn removed in the hope that this would further deter the poachers. Rhino horn is used in traditional Chinese medicine, although not proven to have any medicinal qualities. Poachers can make a staggering amount of money from rhino horns and often

risk their lives to obtain one. The fifth World Rhino Day was an opportunity for thousands of people around the world to discuss the rhino problem and raise awareness of the threat to these magnificent animals. The hashtag #WorldRhinoDay was used on Twitter more than 23,000 times. Concerned people shared images of the Sudan rhino and other endangered animals to underline the extent of the crisis across the world.

Protection Here in Kenya we are lucky to have three of the remaining northern white rhino under our protection. They are looked after and guarded at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, having being transferred there from Dvur Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009. Originally, a total of four animals were transferred to Ol Pejeta, but sadly the other male, Suni, died in October 2014. Although it has proved difficult so far, it is said to be possible that the remaining northern white animals might reproduce. It does come with risks, as well as high costs, but it has not been ruled out as a possibility.

For more information, visit: and

ENDANGERED  World Rhino Day helps to raise awareness each year

VISIT RHINOS  If you would like to visit or view rhino in Kenya, we recommend the following: - Solio Game Reserve: The most successful private rhino breeding reserve in Kenya, with over 200 animals. Established in 1970, the reserve has over 40 years’ experience in breeding and rearing rhino. - Ol Pejeta Conservancy: Home to three of the four surviving northern white rhino as well as a number of southern white and black rhino. The poignant rhino cemetery highlights the devastating effects of poaching. - Nairobi National Park: The best place to go if you want to see rhino in the wild without leaving the city. There are some 90 rhino in Nairobi National Park as well as giraffe, lion, zebra and more. - Lewa Wildlife Conservancy: This conservancy in northern Kenya, now a Unesco World Heritage Site, is home to 11 per cent of Kenya’s black rhino and 14 per cent of the country’s white rhino.


Pfoofy Power

 is great pfun Bringing Pfoofy Power to the people… The idea of solar-powered motorcycles – cheap to run, quiet and nonpolluting – is appealing. It’s one of several ventures into renewable energy by an innovative new company. Here, Robert Achoge, cofounder and director of Pfoofy Power Ltd, tells ‘540’ how he and his colleagues hope to make a positive and lasting impact on rural Kenya.


foofy Power Ltd started just three years ago and has already had an impact on many people nationwide by providing affordable energy for some of the 80 per cent of Kenyans not connected to the grid. This innovative company offers intelligent ways to create renewable energy and hopes to change the lives of many. The idea for Pfoofy Power came about early in 2013 when university graduates Charles Ogingo, James Ogolla and Robert Achoge often travelled to rural areas and realised they could do something to 18

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improve the inadequate transport systems. “We used to go upcountry a lot,” says Robert, “and every time we went there we realised that the transport system had a lot to be thought about. Not only was it chaotic and noisy (considering the diesel-powered motorbikes) but also very high fare prices.” Their thoughts turned to solarpowered motorcycles, which would work out cheaper than the boda-boda transport on which many people currently rely. Using the power of the sun is clearly more cost-effective than buying diesel fuel or paying for taxi rides.

In addition, solar power is renewable, efficient and better for the planet than fossil fuels. “We are working on giving [the local community] a sustainable means of transport that is both environmentally friendly and easy on their pockets,” says Robert. In 2014 Pfoofy Power received a grant of US$ 100,000 from the Power Africa Competition, launched by President Obama, which is being used towards expanding the solar station and bringing in 40 electric motorcycles.

Solar lamps In addition to the solar-powered motorbikes, Pfoofy Power is developing solar lamps with rechargeable batteries that can be leased to people so they no longer have to buy kerosene. Pfoofy has already supplied lamps to women who run small-scale businesses and are able to extend their working day by up to three hours using a solar-powered lamp. This helps to improve their productivity and make the business more profitable.

Using the power of the sun is clearly more cost-effective than buying diesel fuel or paying for taxi rides Farming is a key source of income for many rural communities and cost-saving ideas are clearly welcome in this sector. A big difficulty for some farmers is the high cost of irrigation. To meet this need, Pfoofy Power is now working on a stand-alone solar rechargeable irrigation pump which it hopes will enable many farmers to benefit from a good crop.

What’s in a name? According to Robert, the name ‘Pfoofy’ doesn’t actually mean anything. “We really wanted to be unique and that is what we always strive for. That’s why we coined

a unique name that describes us, ‘Pfoofy’. It’s easy to remember but doesn’t actually mean a thing.” While the name may signify nothing, its impact on rural communities is very significant.

ON YOUR BIKE! The solar-powered motorbike that is changing lives

As well as providing solutions for local businesses, Pfoofy Power is creating jobs. Says Robert: “We have plans of hiring a CEO when the company expands, but for now we have subordinates like an accountant, a chief technical officer and a site operator and we are in the process of training 40 youths who will be riding the 40 motorcycles we plan to bring in a month’s time.” Looking to the future, Robert says “We have big plans of expanding to the neighbouring towns and eventually into Uganda and Tanzania as well. Our short-term goal is to build four other stations and bring in another 120 motorcycles within the next two years.”



D’VINE Essentials

Success is only skin-deep… D

’VINE Essentials is a skincare brand that looks good, feels good and does good. All its products are handmade in Kenya in an eco-friendly way that involves no animal testing.

Recently, D’VINE Essentials opened its first flagship store at Nairobi’s Garden City Mall. Company founder Deepa Sohan and director Jazz Dhanjal spoke to Kirsten Alexander about its history, its new store, its spa consultancy service and more.

By Kirsten Alexander


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Q: What is the idea and history behind D’VINE Essentials?

A: D’VINE was founded by my aunt, Deepa Sohan, a qualified beauty therapist, skincare clinic and spa owner who trained at the Champneys College in the UK. She found that the cost of importing skincare and spa products into Kenya made treatments and homecare products incredibly expensive. Driven by the need for a high quality product and her passion for healthy skin, she decided to manufacture her own line of skincare, body care and spa products. I joined Deepa about five years ago. I had just returned from university in the UK when she asked me to assist her at the spa while I was applying for a job. Before I had the chance to move on, let alone send

out a single job application, she presented me with the opportunity of a lifetime to develop her cosmetics business. In the years that followed we worked under the careful supervision of Professor Aubrey Parsons, a renowned cosmetic research scientist with over 45 years of experience in the industry. We enrolled in personal care product development, formulation and promotion courses, we attended a number of trade fairs and exhibitions and through a lot of research, trials and errors we developed D’VINE.

Q: Did you always want to work in the cosmetic industry? Deepa: Only indirectly. Being a skincare therapist, I have worked with cosmetics and skincare prod-

ucts every day for the last 30-plus years, but I never thought I would start manufacturing my own brand. Jazz: Well, no – not in my wildest dream. I studied health promotion and psychology and always envisioned myself working with a health-based organisation. Both circumstance and opportunity have led us to where we are today. It has been a huge challenge and being a start-up with limited capital we have had to work every facet of the business – product research and development, formulations, procurement, manufacturing, branding, marketing procurement and accounts, etc. Every day has been a new experience and a new learning process – but it has been a real pleasure to do what we do.

Q: D’VINE Essentials is against animal testing. Why do you feel this is important? A: D’VINE stands firmly against animal testing and we work with reputable companies that can ensure the safety of their raw materials without testing on animals. We also choose to work with materials that have a long history of safe use. Furthermore, with technological advances we now have several superior non-animal test methods of

evaluating the safety and efficacy of a product. However, far too many animals suffer and die as a result of cosmetic testing each year in the countries that still allow animal testing – so, yes, the beauty industry still needs to do a lot more.

We now have several superior non-animal test methods of evaluating the safety and efficacy of our products

HANDMADE  Pamper yourself with D’VINE’s wide range of products


Q: Your products are handmade in Kenya. Why is this important? A: At D’VINE we ensure that our products are of the highest quality. We keep up with developments in the industry and we expertly combine our ingredients. From a skincare perspective, where skin health is of optimum concern, we expect the product to do what it says it will do. While manufacturing in Kenya presents its own challenges and costs, we find that we are still able to develop a product line that is as effective as other international brands, but more importantly is still affordable and regularly available. For our consumers, this means they can use a product the way it is designed to be used without feeling the financial pinch.

Q: What makes Kenya such a good place for producing beauty products? A: Producing products in Kenya is not without its challenges. We have a great team at D’VINE who are passionate about the products we produce. Many of our employees have been with us through thick and thin and they are without a doubt the reason we enjoy producing products in Kenya.

Q: How have the preparations been for the opening of your flagship store? A: We have waited eight long years before stepping into the retail market. In the last eight years we have carefully deliberated every feature of our products –

fragrances, textures, performance, packaging, design elements, pricing, strategy, etc. We wanted to create a brand, an image and a lifestyle. Opening our own retail outlet was without a doubt the only way we thought we could do that. The financial implications of opening a retail outlet in a mall are huge, but we’re hoping it will be worth the risk. To see this finally come together last month at the Garden City Mall was one of our most fulfilling experiences.

Q: In addition to the beauty products, you offer a spa consultancy. How has been the response? A: We developed our spa product collection last year and we realised there was a great need to offer spa consultation services. Often, our clients did not know how or where to start their spas. Over the last year we’ve worked closely with a number of spa managers and therapists to develop their spa concepts, layouts and to develop their signature treatments and spa menus. We’ve assisted in their operations set-up and we’ve offered spa product, therapist and management training. Those spas today are doing very well and it has been truly rewarding to be part of their development.

Q: What is your own favourite body care product? A: That’s a hard question because everything smells ‘divine’. We try something different every month, but we both love the body butters.

Q: How has the company grown since it began?

ECO-FRIENDLY  Look good, feel good, do good with D’VINE bodycare

A: D’VINE began in one small room with one cream and one member of staff. Over the last eight years the company has grown slowly and steadily. We now have a manufacturing facility, extensive skincare, body care and spa product ranges and a dedicated team of 12. We also have three retail outlets at Aromatics Spa, The Arbor and Garden City Mall and plan to open at more locations within the next year.

Q: Where do you hope to be in five years? A: We’re hoping that people will love D’VINE as much as we do. We will be opening outlets at The Hub in Karen and Two Rivers in Runda next year. In five years we’d like to have outlets across Kenya, Africa and who knows thereafter.

FOR MORE INFORMATION  Check out D’VINE on Facebook or email


Vinyl revival

By Kirsten Alexander

The Kenyan Vinyl Revival Nothing sounds better than nostalgia... Whether you call them vinyls, records or LPs, they changed the face of music many decades ago. And now these old-fashioned discs are inspiring a new generation. To find out why, ‘540’ interviewed Abdul Karim, at the forefront of Kenya’s vinyl music scene.


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ntroduced in the late 1940s, with popularity skyrocketing in the Sixties and Seventies, vinyl records have since been replaced by cassettes, CDs and MP3s. However, the timeless appeal of a vinyl record is still enticing for many people, which is why the industry is undergoing a revival in many parts of the world, including Kenya. Abdul Karim runs Melodica Music Stores on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. The store opened in 1971 and was run by Abdul’s late father, Pravinlal Daudia, one of Kenya’s most prominent producers of east and central African music. It is clear that Abdul has inherited his father’s passion for music and he gave us an insight into the current vinyl scene in Nairobi.

Dispelling any myths about the stereotypical vinyl enthusiast – whatever that may be in your mind – Abdul says there really are no stereotypes among vinyl buyers. The range of clients looking for vinyls is surprisingly wide, he says, but to some extent they all share certain key things, regardless of age, sex or background. “Some have a personal and sentimental connection with vinyl by handing it down through generations,” says Abdul. “Like a family photograph album, it remains a thing of personal value. For others, it’s a nostalgia or the realisation that, when it comes to audio, nothing beats a vinyl record in the reproduction of sound.” The shelf life of a vinyl record can be quite long, and when stored correctly and looked after well there is no reason it shouldn’t last a long time. As Abdul puts it: “Almost, though not exactly, like diamonds, they somehow last forever.” But why are so many people choosing vinyl over other music formats? “For one, there was a greater variety of music released in Kenya and East Africa during the vinyl-pressing era than at any other time,” explains Abdul. “It was more accessible, the genres were vast and the bands were part of society. In addition, the days have passed when people used to get together and share their music. So I think that vinyls somehow create those moments again, instead of imper-

sonal modern-day formats.” It seems that, in the age of social media, people are choosing different ways of communicating and sharing ideas and personalities, but through an old-fashioned medium. Music has the power to do so much, including bringing people together, which Abdul cites as a good thing – just above ghetto blasters, of course.

Technology Many people may look upon vinyl records as a thing of the past, confined to playing songs from yesteryear, before today’s technology evolved. Yet more and more present-day artists are releasing a physical format alongside a digital track and vinyl sales worldwide are higher now than for many years. In the United States, vinyl sales are at a 20-year high, and in the UK a dedicated vinyl sales chart was launched in April 2015 in response to popular demand. The American TV channel HBO has announced a new series about the 1970s record industry, aptly named ‘Vinyl’ and directed by none other than Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Here in Africa, the popularity of vinyl records is reflected in the wide range of genres that people are picking up. Abdul says people are looking for just about any genre of music, not just the classics. “It’s all about the customer, and

IN A SPIN  Vinyls are proving a popular alternative to digital formats

they are often of a wide clientele. Obviously, being a Kenyan music store, the most popular records are African music. Yet at the same time, and depending on the stock at hand, the market is always ready

The timeless appeal of a vinyl record is still enticing for many people, which is why the industry is undergoing a revival in many parts of the world and open for music records like Country, Afro-rock, opera, classical, funk, soul, hip hop, punk, ska, Taarab, Bollywood, indie – you name it.” So, as a vinyl aficionado, what is Abdul’s favourite song? “Too many,” he says. “Today my top favourite is a seven inch ‘Soukous Machine’ Parts 1/2’ by Tchico Tchikaya. I already have the 12 inch album, but digging into my vast library this afternoon … this rare seven inch gem just appears. Definitely top of the pick for now.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION  Check out or visit the shop at Elimu House, Tom Mboya Street.


South Sudan

A fabulous destination – if you’re brave enough


ow that the IGAD Peace Accord* has been signed, it’s time to come back. At least that’s the view of Bahr el Jebel Safaris – the only tour operator brave enough, it seems, to return to the wilderness that is South Sudan. After reopening its office in Juba, Bahr El Jebel has scheduled its first safari for February 2016 and plans to re-explore the vast 22,800 sq km Boma National Park as well as the smaller 410 sq km Nimule National Park. By mid-year the company expects to organise trips to the 10,100 sq km Bandigalo National Park and the rarely visited 1,200 sq km Kidepo Game Reserve (not to be confused with the contiguous Kidepo Valley National Park just across the border in Uganda).

elephants that were collared are now feared dead. So the tour operator faces an uphill battle to convince even the most intrepid of travellers to return to South Sudan – still the world’s newest nation. At the same time, what little there was in the way of tourism and wildlife infrastructure was destroyed in the fighting. The Boma Park headquarters, for

SOUTH SUDAN  A safari destination with potential

Destination After a long period of civil war, however, it’s clear that South Sudan is not going to be quite the same destination it was when Bahr el Jebel was forced to pull out in late December 2013, losing tents, a field kitchen, office equipment and a vehicle in the process. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Bahr el Jebel’s Thomas Banks says there has been a lot of poaching of meat by both rebel and government soldiers and that the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) believes many of the 26

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example, was badly damaged and looted. This has now been rebuilt by WCS – a positive sign that things are returning to what passes for normal in South Sudan. Luckily, Bahr el Jebel is a mobile operator – one that treads lightly in South Sudan and requires little in the way of support. The only concern for Banks is whether the company’s rather thirsty all-terrain Mercedes-Benz Unimog vehicles will find regular supplies of diesel beyond Juba. “We are crossing our fingers,” he says optimistically. In

fact, the company is bringing in two fully restored Unimogs from South Africa to undertake the safaris. All safaris begin and end in Juba, so Bahr el Jebel will pick up guests at the airport and head straight for the bush, obviating the need to overnight in the capital. The company actually makes camp the day before in either Torit or Terakeka and awaits its visitors. However, outside of Juba, if required, the company will use the Freedom Hotel in Bor and

There are just 190 km of paved roads in a country the size of France, so this is unexplored and undeveloped territory

BRIGHT STARS  It’s another sure sign that South Sudan is returning to normal. In October South Sudan’s national football team, the Bright Stars, hosted Mauritania in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Juba Stadium. South Sudan is football’s newest nation and achieved its first-ever victory in September when the team beat Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, also in Juba.

what is described as a ‘semi hotel’ (the rondavels at Mango Camp) in Kapoeta.

Untouched But what is the attraction of South Sudan? Quite simply, it’s remote and untouched. There are just 190 km of paved roads in a country the size of France, so this is unexplored and undeveloped territory – about as far away from other gameviewing tourists as it’s possible to get in Africa. Boma is arguably the continent’s largest national park, yet it

has next to no visitors. Then there is the Sudd, the world’s biggest wetland, spilling out over 130,000 sq km each year at its peak. South Sudan’s real secret, however, is that it’s the setting for probably the biggest migration of land animals on earth – a mass movement of wildlife at least on a par with the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem. The attractiveness and wildness of South Sudan may not last forever. Banks says: “This is the Africa of 100 years ago. This will

Steve Evans | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-3.0

not last and it is changing rapidly. Tell your readers they need to come now, before the people understand what a tourist is. And right now they don’t understand.” So if you’re looking for somewhere different for your 2016 safari, look no further than South Sudan – truly Africa’s wondrous undiscovered gem. *The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Peace Deal for South Sudan was signed in late August 2015 in Addis Ababa.




SPECIAL It seems that Kenya is undergoing something of a foodie revolution, with new eateries opening their doors across the country, top hotels developing enticing signature menus and international brands bringing their offerings to the country for the first time. In addition, October saw the first ever Nairobi Pizza Festival, a five-day celebration of the classic combination of pizza and beer, and the second instalment of Nairobi Restaurant Week proved a success at the start of 2015. To celebrate this exciting time for cuisine in Kenya, ‘540’ magazine presents a four-course Supper Club Special menu, featuring some of our favourite places to eat, whether you’re in Lamu, Nanyuki, Nairobi or Mombasa. Our roving reporters try out some of the best places to eat, including the top five places to go if you’re a vegetarian in Nairobi, and the fabulous Peponi Hotel Restaurant in Lamu. Get your knives and forks ready, and dig in to our Supper Club Special – Bon Appétit!

MENU ENTREE: Peponi Hotel Restaurant STARTER: Mikaye MAIN COURSE: Five of the best: veggie-friendly restaurants in Nairobi DESSERT: Soames Hotel & Jack’s Bar



Peponi Hotel Restaurant

THE BEST OF LAMU – served up on plate By Joan Wandegi


n every talked-about holiday destination there is always a dining experience that comes so highly recommended, it has to be on your itinerary. In Lamu, this special experience is to be found at the Peponi Hotel Restaurant, a boutique property on the beach that offers commendable dining. The hotel itself is quaint, with luxurious accommodation in a setting of palm trees, private plunge pools and fabulous ocean views. Hotel residents can dive into the impressive menu any time they wish, but walk-in guests are also welcome to share the fabulous experience of dining at the Peponi.

Friendly After being greeted by one of the friendly waiting staff, diners are led to the restaurant, which has both outdoor deck sections and indoor seating. Because of the popularity of the place, there may be a wait – but this by no means a painful experience. Guests can wait in the bar or look at the ocean from a raised veranda and enjoy the cooling breeze. The menu has a Swahili theme that pays homage not only to the destination but to the way the food is cooked. As in any good restaurant, the chef has made noticeably delicious versions of traditional cuisine – one of the reasons why


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the Peponi is recognised far and wide. Every meal is a celebration of the remarkable ingredients found here, with seafood being the predominant offering. Guests can experience the authenticity of the fresh seafood by ordering a platter of sushi, while the stuffed octopus on a bed of couscous reflects the skill of the resident chef. The menu also includes curry dishes that do justice to age-old recipes, using local spices and ingredients, originally introduced by visiting merchants. If you still have room for dessert, the ice creams and sorbets on this menu will make a perfect end to your meal. The Peponi is a true reflection of the Korschen family’s mission, over the past 50-plus years, to deliver the Lamu experience on a plate. Interacting with local fishermen allows diners to enjoy the best catch of the day, whether it’s at breakfast, lunch or dinner. And for those who enjoy good wine, Peponi does not fall short.

The menu has a Swahili theme that pays homage not only to the destination but to the way the food is cooked

PEPONI  A boutique hotel with an outstanding restaurant

DELICIOUS ď ˇ The Swahiliinfluenced menu is a real treat

All images courtesy of Peponi Hotel and Restaurant




GOING UNDER COVER for a culinary treat By Kate Wingar


he phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ springs to mind every time I describe the Mikaye Restaurant in Mombasa. I remember arriving with two business associates to what first appeared as a dark and dingy sports bar, just off Nyali Road. But I was mistaken. After climbing an outside spiral staircase, we reached a rooftop bar and restaurant, beautifully lit with tea lights and candles. I was relieved to find that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed by my choice of restaurant – not that day, anyway. As I sat down, I could see immediately why Mikaye had come recommended. From ambience to


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service, it did not disappoint. The restaurant, which opened in 2008, is furnished with modern African decor and is usually packed with hungry diners. The Mikaye menu is essentially Afro-chic with an authentic fusion of local fish and meat dishes, freshly prepared each day. While the deep-fried tilapia, tamarind chicken and marinated pork chops are the restaurant’s most popular dishes, I opted for a tasty chicken satay starter and very filling meat platter main (which included succulent chicken and goat).

MIKAYE  A cosy restaurant with a menu that packs a punch

Rooftop The food was obviously delicious, but it’s the small touches that really make this cosy restaurant stand


A blend of flavours to suit every taste

out. From the beautifully presented food to the helpful staff, rooftop views and abundance of homely fairy lights, Mikaye would suit any dining event. Although the extremely large plasma TV was a little distracting, it’s not often that a venue can combine a sports bar with fine dining. Whether you want to let your hair down with raucous friends, catch up with older relatives or impress work colleagues, Mikaye can cater for all. If you’re looking for a quieter lunchtime spot, however, take a visit to Mikaye’s sister restaurant at Fort Jesus. Located in the old part of town, with fine views across the water, the Fort Jesus restaurant serves coastal light lunches, coffee

and ice cream. Mikaye translates as ‘an honourable woman’ from Dholuo (one of the Luo dialects) and it’s clear to see that the staff gain inspiration from the meaning as they provide excellent service, good food and a comfortable atmosphere for their customers. And at around KES 1,000 for two courses, you really can’t go wrong.

The food was obviously delicious, but it’s the small touches that really make this cosy restaurant stand out

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FIVE OF THE BEST: veggie-friendly restaurants in Nairobi

Healthy eating has never tasted this good… A foodie revolution is taking place throughout Nairobi. Restaurants are popping up every month offering customers fresh and innovative items of food and drink. But what’s on offer for the vegetarian population out there? We’ve compiled a list of Nairobi’s most delicious veggie-friendly restaurants. Happy reading – (and try not to drool…)


By Harriet Constable Pic © Noah Miller

The number one choice for veggie food in Nairobi, Chowpaty offers Indian and Chinese fusion dishes. The company has branches in Westlands, Shimmer Plaza, Highridge and Diamond Plaza, the heart of Nairobi’s Indian community. Our preferred location is Diamond Plaza, where diners can choose to sit either in the restaurant or opposite in the lively food court. From Chowpaty’s menu, try dahi puri (crispy balls filled with beans, spices and Bombay mix served with cool yoghurt); mushroom tikka masala; gobi manchurian (an Indian and Chinese fusion dish made with cauliflower); and malai kofta (a classic creamy north Indian dish with paneer and vegetable dumplings). Alcohol is not available, but the food court has a great choice of juices. Diamond Plaza, Westlands


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Tin Roof Cafe’s famous spicy veggie melt

Pic © 360 Degrees Pizza

Pic © Tin Roof Cafe

Pic © Noah Miller


 MARULA MERCANTIILE Sesame fried feta with fennel and pomegranate





New kid on the block Marula Mercantile has been open only since May, but is already asserting itself as a ‘go to’ destination for vegetarian food in Nairobi. It’s located on the Marula Studios site in Karen, with a selection of shops available to peruse after you’ve eaten. Head down on a weekend to enjoy a lazy lunch of sweet potato fritters with a tamarind dip, feta with dill and toasted sesame seeds, grilled halloumi salad with a tangy cumin dressing and expertly cooked French fries. Top these off with a cocktail (you’ll have a tough time choosing – the drinks menu is excellent) but we can recommend the Bloody Mary made with freshly crushed tomatoes. This is a rustic yet modern place, featuring a spacious bar with tall metal stools, a chalk-board coffee menu and chunky wooden tables set on decking overlooking the grassy studio gardens. Those with a sweet tooth will want to try Marula’s selection of doughnuts, easily the best in Nairobi.

Another Karen establishment that has won the hearts of vegetarians in Kenya is the Tin Roof Café at The Souk. The restaurant prides itself on its eclectic mix of salads (eight varieties served every day), influenced by BritishIsraeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi. Options include watermelon, olive, onion and feta; green bean, sugar snap pea and sesame seed; and roasted beetroot and squash with a herb marinade. In response to popular demand, the Café recently introduced more vegetarian items to the menu, including a spicy vegetable melt made with seasonal roast vegetables in a piri piri marinade, topped with melted cheese. This is a charming place with a homely feel. There are floral cushions scattered over garden chairs and the whitewashed walls are decorated with pictures. There are a few seats available inside, and a handful of tables adorned with wild fresh flowers throughout the shaded veranda and garden.

The Kilimani establishment Smart Village has been attracting non meat eaters for years by its combination of buzzy atmosphere, proteinpacked vegetarian options and eccentric decor. Try the vegetarian platter with an extra order of shiro, a creamy dish made from pureed chickpeas, and a side order of brown injerra, a spongy, stretchy flatbread made from teff flour that comes rolled up like a flannel. The food is beautifully presented on a huge round metal tray, with scoops of different vegetarian dishes arranged on one large rolled-out injerra. It’s meant to be eaten with your hands, so use the injerra to scoop away until you can eat no more. Be sure to let the waiters know if you can’t handle your spice – they like to pack in the chillies.

The artisan pizza restaurant 360 Degrees offers some of the best vegetarian pizza in Nairobi, cooked in a giant stone oven. The menu features fresh local ingredients and pizzas are available with either a ‘rosso’ (red) or ‘bianca’ (white) sauce base. It’s worth trying the DOP Margarita, made with San Marzano tomatoes and soft fresh mozzarella, or the eggplant parmigianino, topped with eggplant, homemade ricotta, fresh basil and bread crumbs. The restaurant is located at ABC Plaza, just off Waiyaki Way. Grab a seat at the kitchen bar and watch the chefs at work, or sit out on the patio with a flickering candle adorning the table. You’ll want to leave space for dessert, as this restaurant also serves the creamiest, most flavoursome homemade ice cream in town. Best flavour? Salted caramel.

Elgeyo Marakwet, Kilimani

ABC Place, Waiyaki Way

Marula Lane, Karen

30 Dagoretti Road, Karen

It’s meant to be eaten with your hands, so use the injerra to scoop away until you can eat no more



Soames Hotel & Jack’s Bar


for a memorable meal


here is no question that Soames Hotel & Jack’s Bar quickly changed the culinary landscape of Laikipia when it hit the scene. This is not only because dining here can bear comparison with any gastro pub worthy of international recognition, but because, at Soames, a great idea has been executed extremely well. The magical charm of the place is further enhanced by the views of Mount Kenya from the main restaurant and surrounding cottages. Located about 7 km from Nanyuki town, Soames Hotel seems to know exactly the right mix of things to create a space that allows patrons to take full advantage of Laikipia’s unique terrain while enjoying food made from the best local ingredients. Before diving into the dining experience, it’s important to take in the edifices that make up the


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restaurant, bar and surrounding cottages. As you walk into the main building that houses a pristine lounge area, you notice the many contemporary art pieces along the side walls. The paintings will catch your eye, too, especially those depicting wildlife.

Colourful Jack’s Bar is a place that really stands out. While the lounge and dining area have white walls, the bar is lined with colourful drinks

JACK’S BAR  Wacky quotes, colourful drinks and great food

The magical charm of the place is further enhanced by the views of Mount Kenya from the main restaurant

All images courtesy of Soames Hotel and Jack’s Bar

and wacky quote boards, making this a favourite spot for seasoned guests who like to perch on a bar stool and chat the evening away. According to James Dennis, partner and chef at Soames Hotel, the architecture is a reflection of the great minds – architects, builders and designers – who came together to create the ambience of the establishment. Guests can choose between indoor and alfresco dining. The menu includes favourites like beer battered sea fish and chips and spaghetti carbonara as well as steak and Guinness pie. Also highly

recommended are the Laikipian fillet steak with a choice of side dishes and Jack’s marinated rabbit with fresh toast and houmous.

Natural The slow-cooked pork belly is another favourite here, served with a sauce that complements the perfectly cooked meat. The chef allows the natural flavours of the ingredients to speak for themselves, only adding an expertise and passion that deserve recognition. The impressive dessert menu includes tree tomato ice cream,

THE LOUNGE  Indoor or alfresco? It’s your choice!

Eton mess, cheesecake and that old favourite, knickerbocker glory. Guests staying the night in one of the elegantly furnished cottages can enjoy an evening dining experience under the starry Laikipian sky, possibly with some early evening entertainment. Soames Hotel needs to be congratulated on what it has done here. Both for residents and for visitors to Laikipia, it has added something special.



Ford Ranger

RANGER  The 4x4 double cab that is making an impression

MAN-SIZED MOTORING – with room for kids By Dixon Musyoka


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STURDY  A pick-up with power and versatility


’ve always rather liked double cabs. I like the fact that you have a ‘go anywhere, carry anything’ vehicle which also has space for a few children in the back (of the cab, that is). Until now, this market has been dominated by the Japanese. The likes of VW and Ford have never quite cut it when going toe to toe with rivals like Toyota, Nissan or even Isuzu. But is this about to change? VW’s Amarok is a mighty and well-built machine with a certain appeal – big and powerful, though pricey – while Ford’s previous 4x4 double cab efforts have failed to excite or even get noticed, especially in East Africa. So step forward the blue oval’s all-new Ranger. It’s a 4x4 pick-up (there are also 4x2 versions) seeking to change perceptions about Ford in this particular market segment. And, I have to say, Ford has made a pretty good stab at it this time, creating a worthy rival to the all-conquering Japanese.

Here’s a much more aggressive looking vehicle and one that looks man enough for the job; both sturdy workhorse and nimble sports utility. This is a global vehicle built at Ford plants in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina. Ford’s local dealers, CMC Motors, did not reveal where Rangers destined for the Kenyan market were actually assembled.

Output The pick-up’s diesel engines come in two sizes and three levels of output; ranging from a puny (at least in a vehicle of this size) 125 PS on to a 150 PS right up to a torquey 3.2 litre 200 PS power plant with plenty of grunt. The list of factory and/or dealer-fitted accessories is an impressive one and it’s possible to jazz up your Ranger with hard-cover tonneaus, hardtops, bedliners, bike racks and the like. So, Hell’s Gate here we come… If it were up to me then I’d opt

for the 3.2 litre Wildtrak version, which comes with 18 inch rims. But the XLT and Limited options are also pretty good. Is the Ranger really good enough to match Toyota’s Hilux or Nissan’s Navara? Maybe not, but it’s certainly worth considering.

The blue oval’s all-new Ranger is a 4x4 pick-up that is looking to change perceptions about Ford in this market segment



The Majlis

BEACHSIDE LUXURY – for guests of all ages


o describe The Majlis as a boutique hotel might confuse the selfproclaimed ‘nouveau riche’ traveller used to small, quaint hotels where everybody knows your name before you even check in. There is nothing subtle about the way The Majlis identifies itself or the promise of a luxurious experience from the moment you step into the breezy open foyer and large public spaces dotted around this beachside resort. The Majlis is located on the 40

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island of Manda, in the Lamu Archipelago, right beside a pristine white sandy beach from where guests can enjoy the wonderful view of the sapphire-blue water.

Dhow The architecture features stone walls with arches, complemented by Swahili-designed furniture made from robust dhow wood. The 25 en-suite rooms are really spectacular. Large raised wooden beds are the centrepiece of each room and there has clearly been a meticulous attention to detail. The rooms

By Joan Wandegi

reflect Lamu’s long and fascinating history, while providing comfort and style. The modern feel of the rooms is complemented by the amenities of the bathrooms, which come with signature soaps and creams.

The rooms reflect Lamu’s long and fascinating history, while providing comfort and style

RELAX  Enjoy the peace and quiet of Lamu

THE MAJLIS  A hotel that oozes style on Manda Island

Large doors keep the rooms airy. All rooms are air conditioned for the comfort of guests on warm days and nights. The rooms are contained in three villas, each opening on to the beach. Private verandas serve to underline the exclusive factor of the hotel. The proprietor’s love of the sea is evident in every room, with sculptures of legendary sea creatures catching one’s attention throughout the hotel. The main restaurant has wooden dining tables from where guests can enjoy the fine views.

Stylish Close to the dining area there are two pools surrounded by stylish lounging areas where you can relax after a massage in the spa or just look at the beach that stretches along the whole length of the hotel. The picturesque sunsets are made even more memorable by the sight of fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. There are beautiful and spacious gardens throughout the hotel and guests can stay cool in the shade of the palm trees. In each of these spots there are conveniently positioned benches where guests can order refreshments and relax with a cool drink or a snack.

The hotel has interconnecting rooms, perfect for families, and is also an ideal spot for couples on a romantic getaway. Children are kept entertained in the play area and jungle gym, and the hotel can arrange babysitting services with experienced staff. There are innovative activities for adults, too, including classes in Swahili cooking, craft lessons and insights into traditional cultures such as the Maasai. The Majlis is an ideal place for all kinds of water sports, which can readily be organised by the hotel. If you’re the active type, you can spend the day sailing, water-skiing, Laser sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing or fishing. The hotel can also organise other activities such as village excursions and sunset dhow trips in Lamu and Shela.




Functional, fitness and fun gadgets


IPHONE 6S  Apple’s latest offerings include many new features

IPHONE 6S AND 6S PLUS Apple has released the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with a host of new features on the 6 and 6 Plus, but at the same price. Powered by the A9 chip, the new model includes 3D Touch, which senses how hard you press the display; a 12 MP iSight camera, which takes 4K video, four times the resolution of 1080p HD; and Live Photos, which captures the moments before and after your photo and sets it in motion. The new model comes with iOS 9 as standard. Priced from US$ 830 (for 6s) and US$ 960 (for 6s Plus).

The Fitbit Charge HR is a high-performance wristband with automatic, continuous heart rate and activity tracking. It syncs wirelessly to your smartphone and computer so activity and trends can be monitored. With this little wearable device you can track workouts, heart rate, distance covered, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps, while also showing Caller ID and time of day. Priced from US$ 140.


GoPro’s latest offering is the GoPro HERO4 Session, the smallest, lightest and most convenient camera yet produced by this global leader in adventure cameras. It is 50 per cent smaller and 40 per cent lighter than its predecessors. The cube-shaped camera captures high-resolution 1440p30 and 1080p60 video as well as stills up to 8 MP. Priced from US$ 349.

First seen in the new ‘Star Wars’ trailer for ‘The Force Awakens’, this little droid caused a sensation among fans when it went on sale. Labelled as a ‘personal robot companion’, it is very much a toy for children and grownups alike. It can explore your home autonomously or can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. BB-8 learns as it explores and makes a map of its route. It can accept voice commands and will even play holographic messages recorded on its front-facing camera. Price US$ 149.

3DOODLER Let your imagination run wild

3DOODLER 3Doodler is a 3D pen that allows you to draw threedimensional objects. The world’s first 3D printing pen, it extrudes heated plastic filament, which cools virtually immediately into a solid, stable structure. Be creative and draw a model, a famous character, some decorations or jewellery, all in 3D, in a variety of colours. Price US$ 99.


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© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.





Director: Francis Lawrence Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Dormer, Josh Hutcherson Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Director: Paul McGuigan Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy Genre: Drama, Horror

The fourth and final instalment of the Hunger Games franchise sees Katniss return for her last battle. Reuniting with her friends Gale, Finnick and Peeta, Katniss leads District 13 to a revolution to try and take down the evil President Snow. However, things prove dangerous, and the friends find themselves in trouble when they try to liberate the citizens of Panem. Katniss must succeed in President Snow’s ‘game’ and conquer the Capitol at the risk of losing those close to her. Will Katniss be triumphant? And at what cost?

In a re-imagining of the classic horror story, Daniel Radcliffe stars as Igor, Victor Frankenstein’s young assistant, who tells the story of the legend from his own perspective. The troubled protégé has his own dark origins, and his friendship with medical student Frankenstein lands the pair in trouble after they start experimenting with science to try and create life. Frankenstein’s ambition is to eventually create a man through his experiments and research on immortality. When Frankenstein goes too far, Igor must try and pull him back from the edge of madness.


STARS: 3/5



By Paula Hawkins

By Shailla Matlock Karimbux

Rachel is stuck in a mundane routine, catching the same train at the same time every morning to get to work. She knows the journey like the back of her hand, the times, the stops, the scenery. While on the train, she notices a seemingly perfectly husband and wife who live in one of the houses the train passes, and begins to fantasise about their lives. She calls them Jess and Jason, and wishes she could have a life as happy as theirs seem. One day, she sees something shocking, before the train moves on. Rachel now finds herself tangled in the real lives of the couple she had been watching for weeks.

This true story was inspired by Shailla’s great grandfather, Ibrahim Karimbux, who travelled to Kenya from Punjab, India to embark on a new journey and strive for a better future for his loved ones. Without telling his family, and with only a few rupees in his pocket, Ibrahim set sail and travelled to Mombasa in a dhow in 1896. When he arrives, he befriends some Indian traders but struggles to support himself, so sets out on foot to Nairobi. The long journey is harsh, with wild animals roaming freely, and little habitation along the way, but Ibrahim is determined to make a better life in Kenya for him and his family.

STARS: 4/5

STARS: 4/5



Starting out as a young actress on various television shows, Demi Lovato is now one of America’s best-loved female singers. Her fifth album ‘Confident’ is exactly what it says on the tin, and jam-packed with pop-rock anthems. The first release from the album, ‘Cool for the Summer’ proved to be a huge success, with the second, and titular single ‘Confident’. Rappers Iggy Azalea and Sirah also feature on the album.

The hottest name in dance music right now, Disclosure return with their second album ‘Caracal’. Following on from their debut success ‘Settle’, the dance duo have again teamed up with some of the best and most impressive singers from around the world to create a collection of electrifying songs. Including names such as Sam Smith (who appeared on their first album), Lorde, The Weeknd and Miguel, ‘Caracal’ is a surefire dance floor filler.

STARS: 4/5

STARS: 5/5


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540 TICKETING & RESERVATIONS Mezzanine floor, MegaMall Kisumu-Webuye Road Tel: +254 (0)701 305 305; 716 540 540; 728 305 305

KISUMU 540 TICKETING & RESERVATIONS Kisumu International Airport Tel: +254 (0)254 707 540 560 Tel: +254 (0)737 540 546

540 TICKETING & RESERVATIONS OFFICE Juba International Airport Tel: +211 959 540540 Tel: +211 999 540540 Email:

MALINDI 540 TICKETING & RESERVATIONS Lamu Road, Malindi Tel: +254 (0)422 120 370

MOMBASA 540 TICKETING & RESERVATIONS OFFICE Ground Floor, Mombasa Trade Centre, Nkrumah Road Tel: +254 (0)41 231 9078/9 Cell: +254 (0)728 540 540; (0)710 540 540 Nyali Centre, next to Naivas, Links Road, Mombasa Tel: +254 (0)41 447 7540/2 Sales: +254 (0)41 540 540; 707 540 542

MOI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MOMBASA Tel: +254 (0)41 343 4821 Tel: +254 (0)32 540 540; (0)722 555 730

Tel: +31 (0)20 654 79 29 Fax: +31 (0)20 623 01 51 Email:

SALES Tel: +31 (0)20 520 02 82 Fax: +31 (0)20 623 01 51 Email:

RUSSIAN FEDERATION AVIAREPS AG Olympiysky prospect 14 BC “Diamond Hall” 129090, Moscow




Next to Catholic Church/Equity Bank Tel: +254 (0)42 213 0312 Tel: +254 (0)42 463 2054 Tel: +254 (0)725 942 444 Email: Email:





Beech Avenue 104 1119 PP Schiphol

Tel: +7 (495) 937 59 50 Fax: +7 (495) 937 5951 Email:


Terminal Building, Kitale Airstrip Tel: +254 (0)770 639 429 Tel: +254 (0)724 457 374 Tel: +254 (0)735 540 547


Representative Offices

Mezz floor, Mega Plaza Tel: +254 (0)724 563 009; 734 540 550



J.E. Mommaertslaan 16b (2nd floor), 1831 Diegem Tel: +32 (0)2 712 04 93 Fax: +32 (0)2 725 83 92 Email:

SALES Tel: +32 (0)2 712 05 84 Fax: +32 (0)2 725 83 92 Email:

GERMANY AVIAREPS AG Kaiserstrasse 77 60329 Frankfurt am Main

RESERVATIONS Tel: +49 (0)69 770 673 076 Fax: +49 (0)69 770 673 028 Email:

SALES Tel: +49 (0) 69 770 673 077 Fax: +49 (0)69 770 673 235 Email:

ITALY AVIAREPS AG Via Monte Rosa, 20 20149 Milan

RESERVATIONS Tel: +39 02 4345 8346 Fax: +39 02 4345 8336 Email:

SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Maria Rosa Cappelli Mobile: +39 335 778 5936 Email:

Tel: +7 (495) 937 59 50 Fax: +7 (495) 937 5951 Email:

SOUTH AFRICA AVIAREPS (PTY) LTD 38 Wierda Road West Wierda Valley Sandton, Johannesburg

RESERVATIONS Tel: +27 (0) 11 722 0229 Fax: +27 (0) 11 783 8135 Email:

SALES Tel: +27 (0) 722 0229 Tel: +27 74 177 1596 Fax: +27 (0) 783 8135 Email:


RESERVATIONS & SALES Tel: +41 (0) 44 286 99 62 Fax: +41 (0) 44 286 99 63 Email:

UNITED KINGDOM FLY540 c/o AviaCircle, 28-29 The Quadrant Business Centre, 135 Salisbury Road London, NW6 6RJ

RESERVATIONS Tel: 0870 774 2250 Fax: 0870 777 7172 Email:

SALES Tel: 0870 774 2250 Fax: 0870 774 2250 Email:


Travel Info

Travel Information VISA INFORMATION  Most nationals require visas to enter East Africa. Citizens from the five East African states require no visas while those from the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states have relaxed entry requirements into East Africa. However, East African member states have their own visa requirements for various nationals.

HEALTH  Vaccination requirements for international travellers:

KENYAN VISAS  Under new rules, all foreigners requiring a visa for entry into Kenya must apply for one in advance via A visa is required by all visitors travelling to Kenya with the exception of those who are nationals of a number of countries, including – but not exclusive to – East African Community Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda). • Multiple entry: US$100 • Single entry: US$50 • Transit Visa: US$20 For more information, please visit your relevant Kenya High Commission website.


• Only valid yellow fever vaccination certificates are required of all travellers over one year old, arriving from yellow fever infected countries.

Any visitor going to South Sudan requires a valid visa. Visas are issued through the South Sudan Embassy.

• Vaccinations for international travellers are obtainable from all international air and sea ports, city and major municipal councils.

Immigration regulations stipulate that anyone going to South Sudan needs a travel permit from the Government of South Sudan. Those travelling to South Sudan from Kenya, should visit the South Sudan Embassy in Kenya. Fees:


• • • •

American Nationals: US$ 160 African and Asian Nationals: US$ 50 European Nationals: US$ 100 All other passports assessed accordingly

TANZANIAN VISAS  All foreigners from non-Commonwealth countries are required to have a valid visa unless their countries have agreements with Tanzania under which the visa requirement is waived. Exemptions: Citizens of Commonwealth countries are not required to obtain visas unless they are citizens of the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia.

For further information on advertising in 540/Fly-SAX magazine contact Land & Marine Publications: Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Email: 46

Africa’s low cost airline

Tanzanian visas are issued at entry points to Tanzania, including ports and airports, and any other gazetted entry point, from the Tanzanian High Commissions or embassies abroad, from the office of the Director of Immigration services in Dar es Salaam and the office of the Principal Immigration Officer, Zanzibar. For more information visit:


The Fly540 Aircraft Fleet

Fly540 operates modern aircraft and is constantly updating and modernising its fleet.


The company uses aircraft such as the ATR 72-500, which burns only half as much fuel as some other aircraft and also emits less carbon into the atmosphere.

Number in service: Two

This underlines the fact that Fly540 is a ‘green airline’ that cares for the environment. The crew and engineering team are professionally trained and certified to ICAO standards.

Type: Twin-engined, medium-range, turboprop airliner Capacity per aircraft: 37 passengers

CANADAIR CL-600-2B19 REGIONAL JET  Type: Twin-engine regional jet Number in service: Three Capacity per aircraft: 50 passengers

CESSNA CARAVAN C208  Type: Single turboprop engine, fixed-gear short-haul regional airliner Number in service: Two Capacity per aircraft: 10 passengers

DC-9  Type: Twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner Number in service: One Capacity per aircraft: 80 passengers

FOKKER F28  Type: Twin engined medium range jet airliner Number in service: One Capacity per aircraft: 67 passengers


Kids’ Corner


CORNER FOOD JOKES Q. What cheese do you use to disguise a small horse? A. Mascarpone.

Q. Why did the banana go to the doctor? A. Because he wasn’t peeling well.

Q. Where do you go to learn how to make ice cream?



WORDSEARCH Can you find the artists listed here in the letter grid on the right? Tip: Some words are going backwards!





















A. Sundae school.

A. Pears.

Q. What do you give to a sick lemon? A. Lemon-aid

Q. What do polar bears eat for lunch? A. Iceberg-ers.

Q. What is a dog’s favourite dessert? A. Pup-cakes.

Q. What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? A. Nacho cheese


Africa’s low cost airline

BANANA-GRAMS! Unscramble the letters to reveal the names of fruit and vegetables;

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


7. 8.


N A A N AB T RA COR T OPAT O MONEL Answers: 1. Broccoli 2. Passionfruit 3. Banana 4. Carrot 5. Potato 6. Lemon 7. Squash 8. Cucumber

Q. What are a twin’s favourite fruit?


540 Magazine – Issue 19, November 2015  

540 is the inflight magazine for Fly540, East Africa's low cost airline. Published by Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

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