Kilimanjaro Airport and start of Tanzania

We are due to depart from Kigali on the 7.20pm flight. We arrive at the airport, security is raised due to the political situation in Kenya, so we have to go through a security pre-check, this envolves pulling out all our luggage and a sniffer dog checks for any suspicious material before we are allowed to enter the perimeter of the airport.

That done we find that all flights that day are clustered together departing every 15 min from each other. It is an interesting set-up, there is only one common departure lounge and at one end are all 6 departure gates.Basically six doors that swing open when a flight is announced. The monitor shows all the flights and which departure door they will leave from . Both flights to Nairobi one direct, one via Entebe are listed departing the same gate 15 min apart, that should be interesting. What adds to the challenge for the tourists is that the announcements are incomprehensible  due to faulty acoustics.The monitor above the door that is departing shows the details of the next flight not the departing flight and the door that swings open is not the door displayed on the monitor. You must have your wits about you. By the time it’s our turn for a lucky dip door to open we are ready having seen the previous four flights depart. We get on the plane that is going to our destination Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, phew!!

We arrive with a 30min delay at 10.20pm but Andrew our guide that we met 3 years ago in Zambia, who has driven up the 1000km to do this trip with us is there. Big hugs all round and we head out to find our hotel in Arusha.

Here we encounter a memorable error as Andrew somehow has locked in his mind that the first night is meant to be spent in Moshi at the base of Kilimanjaro. We go through a police block checking why a Zambian vehicle is driving in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, but here having the vehicle filled with André and me is an advantage and we get waived on. The GPS can’t find our hotel, we resort to Andrew’s Swahili and find out we have driven 60km east instead of west. Ah well an adventure begins, we double back, same road block and get to our hotel at 12.45am.

Good nights sleep gets us  to a good start and after some fruit provisions bought in the local supermarket, we leave Arusha for Tarangire NP.

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