After an eventful day of traveling (we arrived at the airport to find out our first leg of 3 flights was canceled!) Luckily, it was just from Nuremberg to Frankfurt and the airline had arranged for a car to drive us the 2 hours. We went from Frankfurt to Ethiopia (well that was an interesting airport) and then finally onto Kilimanjaro airport.
GETTING OUR VISAS AT THE KILIMANJARO AIRPORT
As soon as we arrived at the Kilimanjaro airport we rushed off the plane to get inside and start filling out our paperwork to get our visa.
There are two options of obtaining a travel visa for Tanzania, Africa. See here for more information.
- Send your passport prior to your trip to the embassy to get a visa.
- Pick one up on arrival at the airport.
We went with #2 as it wasn't possible for us to send out our passports as we were traveling every month prior. (I know, I know... we are lucky)
What you need to get a visa:
- Your passport (which must be valid for another 6 months)
- Your itinerary (flight details & where you will be staying)
- $100 cash each (newer than 2006) for US citizens. (for others, i believe its only $50?)
After filling out our paperwork we stood in this long, not organized line. (hey! at least the signs are in English?) To then wait in another 2 long lines. But after about 1 hour, we had our visa and we were good to go!
Recommendation: Bring a good amount of US Dollars with you from home. We had heard that there was an ATM at the Kilimanjaro airport, which there was, but neither of our debit cards worked. Luckily Andrew had brought a good amount with him already, but we were still planning to take out more as ATM's are hard to come by.
Waiting at the airport was our guide & driver for the week - Malaki. He gave us a quick run down of our week together, and then we were on our way. We hopped into our safari truck and we headed to the Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge! On the way, I think we asked Malaki every question possible: about him, about safaris, about the animals we will see - within that 30 minute drive we felt like we knew him all our life!
NGARE SERO MOUNTAIN LODGE
The Ngare Sero Lodge is adapted from an early colonial farmhouse built in the early 20th century, and it sits in the 50 acres of forest reserve. So from the start, we were in awe.
A gorgeous spacious room was awaiting us. We had a little suite, with a living room, beautiful bedroom, walk in closet and huge bathroom. I honestly didn't know what to expect from each lodge, so we were surprised with how spacious and modern our suite was.
Although we were only staying here for one night, we tried to make the most of our stay. We jumped right into our bathing suits and headed down to the pool for a swim!
Before dinner we wanted to take some time to settle down and relax. So we covered ourselves with mosquito spray, grabbed our books, ordered some local beers and sat back with the view of Mt Kilimanjaro in the background.
After a lovely dinner of way too much food, we excitedly went to sleep knowing the first day of our safari would start bright and early tomorrow morning!!