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World’s most travelled man makes his 601st visit to Kenya

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Fred Finn, the man who holds the Guinness of World Record for having flown using the Concorde flights more than any human being is in the Kenya again.

The Briton from Canterbury, near London, returned aboard a British Airways flight for a two-week visit that has seen him take part in a number of events and also sample a number of tourist attraction sites in the country.

Finn is mostly remembered as having been on the first and last Concorde flights and has used the flights 718 times.

In this trip that marks 601 as the number of times he has landed in Kenya, Finn, 79, who describes himself as a wanderlust has tagged along with one of the world’s best rugby players, Victor Ubogu, formerly of Bath Rugby club and England National Rugby team from 1992-1999 for the tour.

Finn first travelled to Kenya in 1958 aboard an oil tanker vessel that called at the port of Mombasa while on a working tour of the South Coast.

“This is my other home,” said Finn told The Standard in an exclusive interview at the Leopard Beach Hotel in Diani.

For Finn, who has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, travel will only cease when he gets to 100 years.

“I have a special liking for Kenya hence my frequent trips around the globe must include a visit to this great nation,” he said.

Finn who is considering retirement when he clocks 100 years, is a former consultant with Africa’s leading airline, Ethiopian Airlines.

The widely travelled man will not be around for Christmas as he hopes to fly back home on December 22, to be with his family but hopes to come back again in January.

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His title as the world’s most travelled man was written in the Guinness World Records under “the most mile travelled man” in 1983.

Records show that he has visited 142 countries in his lifetime but holds a special memory of his first visit to Kenya back in the 50s.

He has flown over the Atlantic more than 2,000 times he recounts, adding that he has seen the transformation in the global airline industry with technologically advanced planes now taking reign of the skies unlike in his formative years where aeroplane cabins were the real deal.

Overall, he has done 24 million kilometres of flying – a sharp contrast to how many ordinary people make by the time they take on their next life.

He opines enthusiastically that Kenya is a safe haven for anyone looking for a memorable holiday and he always travels to Kenyan as an assurance that it is the place to be even when the tide seemingly is against, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to ravage the world.

This time around, he hopes to travel to Birds Island Lodge within Lake Bogoria in the Rift Valley, and to meet with Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala.

“I have interacted well before with officials from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) including its chief executive, Dr Betty Radier who have all proved to be full of energy and zeal to promote destination Kenya,” he said.

Besides the amazing jungle life Kenya has, he is more into the coastal life which he he says, he cannot trade for anything.

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“A visit to Kenya must include the Coast which has amazing people and geographical features,” he quips.

Anytime he comes to Kenya, Finn spends most of his time at the coast and spends quality time in  this part of the country.

“I always like waking up early in the morning and going for a slow walk along the white sandy beaches of Diani. The early morning walks are so refreshing each day as I meet fishermen returning their catch or encounter beach operators who have lots of stories to tell,” he said.

 

The British travel consultant is also said to have convinced Prince Michael of Kent and Sarah, Duchess of York to travel to Kenya, which they did in 1994.

 

He has met the high and mighty through his travel enthusiasm. He recalls meeting former President Daniel Moi in 1997 when he led a tourist delegation to Kenya. He prides in talking to billionaire Richard Branson – the proprietor of Virgin Group – into visiting Kenya for the first time.

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