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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 6 Apr 2005
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Somalia - Access from Kenya


Does anyone have any information or personal experience about the khat flights from Nairobi's Wilson airport to Mogadishu, Somalia?

I think the land border is definately a little too dodgy for my tastes and had thought of leaving my bike in Nairobi and catching a flight in and seeing the city.

I am aware of the need for extensive security, and would appreciate any recommendations for accomodation and fixers who can arrange security in the city.

Unicef has some interesting information on this (the link is below), but not any actual info on who runs the khat flights or how much they might cost.

http://www.unicef.org/somalia/media_149.html

Any info would be appreciated

cheers

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  #2  
Old 12 Apr 2005
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Hi Matt,

I met some kaht-pilots at Wilson a few years ago. My opinion is that the operation is extremely dangerous. I also have a pilot license. Beside from the nature of their business, the customers are also "a bit" unpredictable. The pilots told me that they fly in very early to deliver the kath as fresh as possible, and always got out before noon when the locals have started to chew the kath and are all drugged up. They told me that beeing shot after in the air or during takeoff was not unheard off.

The risks are numerous.
The aircrafts in use are normally Cessna 400 series. They are old but ok. The problem is that they have ripped out all passenger seats to have more room for payload, and they load them up far outside the envelope. If they encounter a problem during takeoff they cannot return and make a safe landing. The takeoffweight is so far above the landingweight, that the landing gear will most likely collaps. Actually there are 2-3 kaht-aircrafts at the end of the runaway on Wilsons that didnt make it.

So besides from the everyday hazards of Mogadishu, you have the actual flying in and out problems to concider. On top of this... the pilots just unload and rush out of there before their customers gets to dizzy. If you plan to return with the airplane you came in with, I doubt you will get any time outside the airfield. Its an "in & out" operation, and they want to return to Wilson in dayligth.

This information is approx 3 years old, and some things may have changed.


[This message has been edited by Dizzie (edited 12 April 2005).]
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  #3  
Old 13 Apr 2005
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Bluebird Aviation and Knight Aviation based at Wilson Airport operate khat flights to Mog. Bluebirds # is

BLUE BIRD AVIATION LTD
(02)602338 P.O. Box 62045 Nairobi, Tel: 602337, Fax: 602337

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  #4  
Old 13 Apr 2005
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Thanks for the info.
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