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trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

Alberta
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trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

Ok I need help again! Go figure! LOL I have had zero help from a local travel agent in arranging flights to Kilimanjaro. Because we are traveling with 4 kids and we sort of have to keep the cost of the flights on the low end. So I have been able to get us from Calgary to London, London to Nairobi. Then on the way back, we leave from Dar es Salaam to London (stay there for three days) then back to Calgary. My problem is trying to find a way from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro. I was hoping to find flights from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro, but am having little luck for the days I would need (feb 2008) am I looking too far in advance? I know we would be able to fly right into Kilimanjaro via Amsterdamn, but it would cost us aprox. $6000 more. Not sure that is worth it when we are already paying $35000+ for this vacation. We would be flying into Nairobi at 9:30 at night, so we would have to stay over night. (anyone have a suggestion as where to stay for a quick over night?) My husband would be willing to take the bus (4 hour bus ride) into Kilimanjaro. Anyone know the ease of doing this? I am a planner, so I like to know for sure we are going to get 6 on a bus no problem. I am not so good at flying by the seat of my pants when we are in Nairobi, but I am sure I could manage. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

What is it with flights from Canada to Africa? The price is outrageous. Book two seperate legs is one answer.

2nd is Book a night at the Fairview in NBO and then either

a. Take the shuttle which is easily bookable and will get you to Arusha OK. or

b. With six in the party consider a private transfer to Namanga (Border post) where you can be met by your Safari Operator. 6 @$30= $180 and the private Tf won't be much more, maybe even less.

PS. If you can take a day at NBO then the kids will oove the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.

nyc
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2. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

Have you checked fares from the closest US city for flying to Tanzania or Kenya. Maybe you can get an inexpensive fare - Alberta/US??? - or drive and from there be on your way to Africa!

I ask, as my brother in Toronto, often drives to Detroit to fly almost anywhere!

Look at all options.

Unless you arrive on a BA or Virgin flight into NBO early morning (by 6am or therabouts) can you make an ongoing flight to JRO/Tanzania. Other flights, BA, KLM, Swiss, Brussels arrive at night; Emirates arrives 2:15pm.

So if a night arrival, you have to overnight. The Panari is the closest hotel to the airport, but a tad more expensive then if going into NBO for a stay at the Fairview or Intercontinental.

Next morning early, you have options:

1) Shuttle bus departs 8am, arriving Arusha between 1-2pm, and adventure, but least expensive.

2) Private transfer by vehicle to Namanga border where your safari operator can meet you for drive into Arusha. With 6/pax this would sure be more comfortable and you'd arrive Arusha earlier.

3) 8am or 10am flight from NBO/JKIA airport to JRO, a 50/min flight, the most expensive, but quick.

- if as mfuwe mentions, consider a visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, daily at 11am... you don't have to stay full hour; then be transferred to Wilson (domestic) airport for 1pm flight to JRO.

Keep us posted!

London
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3. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

i second you on that one

Findlay, Ohio
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4. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

dogtired... Does Frontier still fly from Calgary to Denver? If so you might be able to catch a flight to Denver and then on to Tanzania. Go out on the Internet and skip the travel agent and find your own tickets. It's very easy. Try www.orbitz.com www.ba.com www.nwa.com www.cheaptickets.com and many others. I just looked on Orbitz.com and found some fares in Feb 09 for $1,700 from Calgary into Nairobi (use the flexible dates and you'll find the best fares); and that's about the best you'll probably be able to do. This was on Canada Air to London and Kenya Air to Nairobi. I've also caught inexpensive flights out of Toronto to London using an airline which I've never heard of. The layover in London is not so great but it may give you some time to get into London and do some sightseeing there (10 hours).

There are some cheaper hotels in Nairobi in the downtown area (they're safe and clean to Africa standards, a bit shabby around the edges sometimes). I stay in them sometimes for under $50 a night and they will arrange for a pickup to the shuttle. Hotels that the travel agents try to put you up in will cost from $100 at the lowest to up to $900 a night. You can get a hotel room at many of the small booths set up in the Nairobi airport (tell them that you want a cheaper hotel and they'll have them) and they can make arrangements for taxi into town (about $15 - $20) and for the shuttle the next day also if you want to wait until you're there to get that. They have a service which will pick up customers at different hotels (they'll go to most downtown hotels) and take you to the shuttle early in the morning and I would advise using that, no charge for the service.

You can book the shuttle using Riverside Shuttle at www.riverside-shuttle.com. This will be a 4 to 5 hour ride depending on how long you're at the border crossing. With all the kids I would advise getting on the bus as early as possible so that you don't get stuck over the rear wheels because this can be uncomfortable. You will need to get a transit visa (cost was $20 but I've heard they've raised that to $30, so it may be better to get a regular visa so that you don't need one coming back into Kenya) for travel from Nairobi to the border, and then another one coming back. On a Canadian passport you will need to either buy a Tanzania visa at the border and this will be $50, have the correct change in US dollars; or you can get this visa before you leave at the Tanzania embassy in Canada.

Findlay, Ohio
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5. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

Dogtired... I forgot to mention the last time that I got a private car to take me from Nairobi to Arusha the cost was $300 each way. But that's much cheaper then taking a flight, you might be able to get this a bit less if you shop it around.

Alberta
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6. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

You guys are so helpful! I have looked at orbitz and they have great deals, but to be honest I am nervous about booking that way. I am just worried about being bumped or some other kind of tragedy and being stuck somewhere with 4 kids. The other problem I run into is we are starting our trip in Arusha and Ending in Dar es Salaam. I am not sure how to make those changed on orbitz, but I have figured it out on British Airways. So I would only need a travel visa for Kenya as we are only ariving there, not going back from there.

Karen at Access 2 Tanzania I guess is able to get us hooked up in Nairobi, so I feel much better. (for some reason I thought her connections were all for Tanzania). As far as layovers in London, travelling with four kids, I kind of would love a 10 hour layover, grab a hotel for the night, might be easier on all of us then flight straight on through. Hopefully it might make it easier to end up with our luggage, instead of having the airline transfer it, we can just claim it between flights.

My husband has been reading books on Tanzania, and is confident that we can get our visas while in Kenya and Tanzania. He said the book says as long as we have proof of our flights out of the country it will be no problem.

Findlay, Ohio
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7. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

dogtired... Your husband is correct you'll have no difficult in getting your visas (they really just want the money).

For going into Northern Tz (Nairobi or Arusha) and then leaving from Dar, you can always get a flight from Dar to Nairobi on Precision Air (www.precisionairtz.com) and you can book this online, and pay for the tickets when you are in Arusha or Dar at their office.

I always go out on the internet and get my tickets, and never have any problem. Some carriers actually will give you preference when you do this because they want you to use this way of ticketing. You get the same e-tickets as everyone else does from the carrier so there's no bias on bumping or anything like that. I am always more confident that the tickets are what I want because I make certain that they are correct before I book them; when I've done this through a travel agent I've had them all screwed up at times which is why I don't use them anymore when I can easily do it myself.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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8. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

dogtired... make certain that you have the yellow fever vaccinations that they are now looking for the international vaccination certificate at the borders. It's better to have this done before you get there.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

First up, your visas are not a problem. I have not checked the costs but seem to recall they were not as dear for Canadian Passports holders as others. You will get them at the airports of arrival. This brings me to flights.

I still have problems with the quote for KLM to JRO. simply book NW to AMS & KLM AMS-JRO. I am sure that Karen at Access would know how to do this.

Also consider nipping over the border to Seattle and taking the new direct N/S flight to LHR from there.

nyc
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10. Re: trying to find a way to Kilimanjaro

dogtired -

Yup, get into the States onn a short-haul, inexpensive ticket, as fares will be more competitive than out of Canada.

If you're uncomfortable booking the tickets online, then pop into your local travel agent, tell him/her what you want and let them do it for you. But check the specifics carefully that they are exactly what you need. Travel agent will charge a fee (from $25-$50 each, do ask), but it is what it is. You still get an e-ticket which all carriers are now issuing.