Travel to Tanzania


Trip Participants
Selecting the Route
Guide/Trekking Company
Training for the Climb
Gear List

Travel to Tanzania
Pre-Climb Orientation
Day 1: to Forest Camp
Day 2: to Shira 1 Camp
Day 3: to Moir Camp
Day 4: rest day at Moir
Day 5: to Lava Tower
Day 6: to Arrow Glacier
Day 7: Western Breach
Day 8: Summit day
Day 9: Descent

Safari After the Climb

Hiking  Distances
GPS Coordinates
Contact Information

Pauline, Rick, and I traveled together from Albuquerque to Tanzania, with connections through Minneapolis and Amsterdam. Our first flight was Tuesday morning at 8:30 am, so we got to the airport to check-in by 6:30 am (because of our international travel). While waiting for our flight, I found that my friends Winston and Mary from Sonlight Camp were also on our flight; they were heading to Maine for a week of sailing with some friends.

I took my day pack on the plane as carry-on luggage. Just in case one of my checked bags was delayed or lost en route, I packed as much of my hiking gear as I could get into the day pack. That way I would still have enough of the "essentials" to head up the mountain, in case my checked bags never arrived. I managed to cram the pack with: my rain shell pants, down parka, rain shell jacket, liner gloves, heavy gloves, heavy shell mittens, heavy fleece pants, mid-weight layer pants, heavy fleece top, mid-weight layer top, fleece cap, balaclava,  batteries, sun glasses, LED head lamp, all my meds and over-the-counter drugs, and GPS. I also wore my hiking boots, trekking pants, and a propylene tee-shirt.

We arrived in Minneapolis around noon, and had a scheduled 3-hour lay-over before the next flight to Amsterdam. Kevin and Ellen were scheduled to arrive on a flight from San Francisco to connect with the same flight over seas. However, the Arrivals board said that their flight was delayed, and with an estimated arrival of 3:07 pm. Our flight left at 3:20 pm, so it wasn't looking very promising. Sure enough, our plane left the gate without them; we found out later that they ran up to our gate about 2 minutes after the doors shut. They were able to take the next flight to Amsterdam, leaving 3 hours later.

We had a 7 1/2 hour flight to Amsterdam, and arrived at 6 am (local time). We had a 4 hour lay-over in the Amsterdam airport. The flight that Ellen and Kevin took arrived on time. We were all able to take the final leg of the journey together, a 9 hour flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. We arrived in Tanzania at 8 pm Wednesday (local time), which made it a total of  27 hours of travel time from Albuquerque (with no sleep to speak of along the way).

We had to stand in a line about 20 minutes to get a Tanzanian visa ($50) to enter the country. (It turns out that they did not require the extra passport photos that we were advised to bring along for the visas.)  After clearing customs, we went to pick-up our checked luggage. Ellen's bag didn't arrive with the rest. She reported it with the airline representative, who assured her that it would probably come-in the next evening (on the same daily flight that we just took), and that they would rush it out to the Keys Hotel in Moshi, where we were staying. Of course all of that was "wishful thinking" at the very best, and none of it was true.

A driver from Tusker Trail was waiting for us outside the baggage claim area, and drove us to the Keys Hotel, about 30 miles away. Along the way, we passed through several small towns. Each town seemed to have a small cafe, bar, and store. These were usually still open (at 10 pm), with quite a few people sitting around, just hanging out.

After checking into our rooms, we all returned to the hotel dining room for a late dinner. The cooks were still there and ready to prepare a full meal. We could choose off the menu an appetizer, entree, and dessert. All of the meals (on the entire trip) were included in the price of the Tusker tour, so I guess we all wanted to take advantage of anything we "had coming."



Copyright 2005. Michael E. Coltrin, Albuquerque, NM. All rights reserved.