Se­cure Drive

Business Traveller (Africa) - - TRIED & TESTED/CAR - ■ Dy­lan Rogers se­curedrive.co.za CON­TACT W:

BACK­GROUND:

Se­cure Drive is a global se­cu­rity chauf­feur ser­vice ori­en­tated to­wards clien­tele who re­quire se­cure trans­fers or chauf­feur ser­vices. It is ideal for clients whose risk pro­files may not jus­tify pro­tec­tive de­tails or agents, but who are nonethe­less ex­posed to po­ten­tial travel-re­lated risks, or who may be trav­el­ling in un­fa­mil­iar coun­tries or cities. While Se­cure Drive ser­vices can be tai­lored to meet the spe­cific needs and re­quire­ments of its clients, it is typ­i­cally used for point-to-point trans­fers and full or half-day as­sign­ments. As with the pro­tec­tive ser­vices of­fered by the Ar­c­fyre Group, Se­cure Drive per­son­nel are sub­ject to a rig­or­ous re­cruit­ment process and re­ceive in­ten­sive train­ing in de­fen­sive driv­ing, hi-jack pre­ven­tion, first aid and se­cu­rity skills. Se­cure Drive has a pres­ence in 26 African coun­tries.

BOOK­ING:

Af­ter I'd sent through the de­tails of my flight from Jo'burg to Nairobi, a few days' later I was emailed a ‘trip brief', which was a pdf with the fol­low­ing: a pic­ture of my driver; the names, des­ig­na­tions and mo­bile num­bers of the Se­cure Drive man­ager, jour­ney fa­cil­i­ta­tor and driver; de­tails on the ve­hi­cle; my flight de­tails; in­for­ma­tion on Nairobi's weather and plug points; a re­quest to en­sure I ob­tained travel in­sur­ance; and emer­gency con­tact de­tails for a Nairobi hospi­tal, the air­port, po­lice, Ar­c­fyre's 24-hour global se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions cen­tre, and my ho­tel. I was also urged to down­load the Ar­cWatch app, which al­lows clients and staff to ac­ti­vate the ‘Help Me' and ‘Check-In' ser­vices, which im­me­di­ately no­tify Se­cure Drive's 24/7 Se­cu­rity Re­search & Com­mu­ni­cate Cen­tre of your lo­ca­tion, as well as the sup­port re­quired.

AR­RIVAL:

When I turned my phone on af­ter land­ing in Nairobi, I had a text mes­sage from my driver, com­mu­ni­cat­ing that he would be out­side the ar­rivals ter­mi­nal with a sign that said ‘Se­cure Drive'. He was easy to find once I ex­ited the ter­mi­nal and greeted me with a friendly smile and a hand­shake. He in­sisted on tak­ing my bag from me and we walked to the car in the park­ing garage. On our way there, Peter, my driver, in­formed me that due to my ar­rival be­ing in the mid­dle of rush hour, he had re­searched two po­ten­tial routes and would be tak­ing the one he felt would be less con­gested. Once we reached the car, he de­posited my bag in the boot, handed me a chilled bot­tle of still wa­ter he grabbed from a cooler box, and I set­tled into my seat. Peter then asked me to put my seat­belt on, handed me the Se­cure Drive safety brief pam­phlet, and asked me if I needed to use the wi-fi, be­fore giv­ing me the pass­word de­tails.

THE CAR:

The car was a 2015 Toy­ota For­tuner SUV that could seat three pas­sen­gers com­fort­ably, and four at a push. Ad­di­tional soft drinks were placed in the hold­ers near my feet, whilst on the seat next to me were two lo­cal news­pa­pers, a box of mints and hand­wipes. I quickly con­nected to the wi-fi, as I had im­por­tant emails to down­load, and was im­pressed that the ser­vice was seam­less and re­li­able, not drop­ping once through­out the over an hour-long trip.

THE TRIP:

As Peter had warned me, we hit heavy traf­fic, but he re­mained calm, keep­ing me in­formed of how we were pro­gress­ing, in terms of pro­jected ar­rival time at the ho­tel. He also didn't blink when I changed my des­ti­na­tion, as I was run­ning late for a din­ner. From Jomo Keny­atta In­ter­na­tional Air­port to the Hil­ton Nairobi it took us about an hour and 15 min­utes, which, by all ac­counts, wasn't bad for rush hour. Peter of­fered to wait for my din­ner to wrap up, be­fore tak­ing me to my ho­tel, but I de­clined, opt­ing in­stead to use a taxi later. I ac­tu­ally ended up us­ing Peter's ser­vice through­out my three-day trip, which re­quired con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion via What­sApp with re­gards de­par­ture and pick-up times. Peter was al­ways avail­able and friendly, and only once was caught out by traf­fic when pick­ing me up from a con­fer­ence. My re­turn trip to the air­port re­quired an early de­par­ture, but Peter was once again bang on time, send­ing me a re­minder mes­sage on his ar­rival.

VER­DICT:

This ser­vice was clearly a notch above your stan­dard point-to­point or tra­di­tional ho­tel trans­fer ser­vice, so if you're look­ing for some­thing like this – par­tic­u­larly if you're in an African coun­try you haven't vis­ited be­fore or want that com­fort of some­thing a bit more ‘se­cure' – I wouldn't hes­i­tate to use Se­cure Drive.

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