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Wandering the World

Stories and tips from around the world.

East Africa Day 10

Masai Mara to Kilimanjaro

We had to be out of the camp by 07:00 but was running 10 minutes late. On the way we took a stop overlooking the Great Rift Valley to take photographs. We were back in Nairobi at around 13:00 despite a 20 minute stop at another shop, and a 45 minute stop to get petrol.

The Great Rift Valley Upon arrival at the Somak Lounge they served us fish and chips and prepared the flight paperwork for us. We then had to leave for the airport at 14:30, and we were waiting at the gate by 15:05. Strangely they didn’t mind water being taken through. The security desk confirmed that our existing Kenyan visa would get us through for transit when passing back through from Tanzania a week later.

The Nairobi airport is quite basic and the shops are overpriced. As an example, a box of quality street you’d expect to see in the UK for around £3.99 was 13USD. To be fair though this is pretty typical of airports all over the world.

When the gate opening time came there was no announcement like there had been for other flights; luckily we saw others going through the gate. It was then a 40 minute wait, 10 minutes after the gate had closed before there was any sign of boarding. We were then led across the tarmac, past several large planes until we reached a 68-seat plane with propellers.

To Kilimanjaro! The flight landed 13 minutes early, and we had disembarked within minutes. Before entering the terminal you have to present your yellow fever vaccination card; I couldn’t remember where mine was (I did later find it), but they let me through anyway. For immigration you have to fill out a card, pay 50USD for the visa, go to one window and get the visa approved, your biometrics taken, and then proceed to another window to have it checked. Even though this process of going from one window to the next only took 15 minutes our luggage was waiting for us on the belt. We also by pure chance met up with a couple who would be on the same tour as us for the next week.

There was then a 45 minute drive to the Serena Mountain Lodge. Here I changed some money into Tanzanian Shillings and went for an evening meal at 20:45. It was a very slow served meal, especially compared to the Ashnil Mara Lodge. We sat talking to a couple on the same safari with Somak as us and didn’t leave the dining room until 23:15.