SafariLink, the scheduled safari airline operating daily flights into the main national parks from Wilson Airport and between the key national parks, has for some time now been flying to the Ukunda airstrip, providing a direct link between Nairobi and the south coast of Mombasa, sparing passengers the worries about having to cross the ferry at Likoni, often in the news in recent months for shortcomings and operational troubles.
SafariLink is sponsoring the Colobus Trust with US$2 for each passenger flown to Ukunda on their service, which operates daily in the afternoon. In addition, the airline donated a “tuk tuk” to the trust, which will be used to transport tourists from their hotels to the trust’s visitor center, where they can find out about the work to protect the colobus monkeys frequently seen along the main road and in the adjoining forest.
The Colobus Trust is a Kenyan-registered NGO founded about 14 years ago with the aim to reduce the then-frequent deaths of the rare monkeys, who often were run over by cars. Another challenge emerged when high voltage lines reached this stretch of the coast, adding to the woes of the monkeys who are keen to climb any pole in sight.
Besides Ukunda, SafariLink also serves Lamu and Kiwayu along the Kenyan coast with their fleet of 7 aircraft, which are seating between 13 to 37 passengers. The workhorse aircraft is the Cessna Caravan, of which SafariLink operates 5, besides a De Havilland Twin Otter and a Bombardier Dash 8.