K/T Classic Safari: Aug. 20, 2022

Anyone going on Aug. 20? We arrive on 8/19 via Amsterdam.

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Comments

  • Going on this tour. Chris and Mary Smith

  • My sister and I, along with our parents above, are all on this trip. We were originally scheduled to go summer 2020 so we are all so excited to be so close to experiencing Africa for the first time.
    Mom and Dad are also transiting through Amsterdam. My sister and I are on Qatar through Doha.
    Just in case anyone else is starting to work on visas, The Kenya visas all took less than 48 hours. I was able to do all four through my login. The Tanzania visas took about 2 weeks.

  • Been to Africa on both flights. Qatar is so superior. Doha airport is fun too

  • We have both of our visas and the Kenya travelers QR code (which is a new requirement). Looking forward to meeting all who are on this tour. Flying KLM ORD-AMS-Kilimanjaro arriving on 8/19. Looking into possible activities from the Gran Melia on 8/20.

  • ARUSHA National Park as it is so different to the rest of the tour. Best to have cash for park entrance fee. And you can do an excellent walking tour

  • It appears we can book a tour of Arusha National Park directly through the Gran Melia. For anyone on this tour who might be interested, the cost is $230 per vehicle (6 max) and $59 park entrance fee; an additional $24 per person for walking excursion. Tour is operated by Kearsley.

  • Wow, prices have gone up!

  • Gorgeous African art, British! Great souvenirs and easy to bring home as opposed to baskets and woodwork. I had some things shipped DHL from the Arusha cultural center, and two women in my group custom designed tanzanite rings there which were ready when we came back through in our way home. It was an OAT trip in 2014.

  • This is the very first painting I bought at the Cultural Center around 2007. It’s an original oil and I discovered it’s by a quite famous artist.
    People buying Tanzanite, be careful, it is quite a delicate and easily chipped stone.

  • Love your African art British

  • jan_page511
    10:23AM
    It appears we can book a tour of Arusha National Park directly through the Gran Melia. For anyone on this tour who might be interested, the cost is $230 per vehicle (6 max) and $59 park entrance fee; an additional $24 per person for walking excursion. Tour is operated by Kearsley.

    A solicitation like that here on the forum is how we met two great people who we have traveled with on a half dozen Tauck tours since then!

    When we did this tour in 2015 the driver and vehicle for Arusha National Park were supplied by Asilia who provided the guides to Tauck for the tour- our driver, Julius, was also one of our on-tour drivers. Kearsley is another one of the outfitters who supplies guides and vehicles to Tauck (the current supplier?).

    Something you should check with the Gran Melia about is box lunches. I don't remember if we ordered them from the Lake Duluti hotel where we stayed, but they were waiting for us in the morning and we had to pay additional.

  • Thanks, Alan. Yes, Kearsleys is the local supplier for Tauck for our tour. I do know about the box lunch, and currently I’m awaiting a response from Kearsleys on some questions we have. Once we book, and we probably will, we’ll contact the Gran Melia about box lunches. As we won’t arrive at the hotel until mid evening on the 8/19, I want all of our arrangements made in advance. Love your pictures—hope to get many, many photos as well!

  • Our TD who was one of the few over the years who contacted us before a tour told us we wouldn't see anything in Arusha National Park that we wouldn't see with Tauck, but for those new to Africa it was a great warm-up and introduction to the animals we would see and how close, what the safari vehicles were like, how to take photos from the vehicles, etc. In my mind it was well worth it.

  • It is our first trip to Africa. Even with jet lag, the adrenaline will be flowing, and just staying around the hotel for the day is less than appealing. Even if we see the same animals as we will on safari, it will still be exciting and fun. As you said, Alan, it will be good practice!

  • edited July 8

    jan_page511
    7:59PM
    It is our first trip to Africa. Even with jet lag, the adrenaline will be flowing, and just staying around the hotel for the day is less than appealing. Even if we see the same animals as we will on safari, it will still be exciting and fun. As you said, Alan, it will be good practice!

    Do you need anyone to carry your bags, maybe your camera? :D:D:D (I don't do windows.) I am free and have a passport.

  • Jan, if you pay for my tour I’ll pitch in for the Arusha Park vehicle! See that’s more generous than Alan

  • I'll pay for two vehicles, and a gourmet picnic!

  • You guys … lol! I think our tour is sold out!

  • You mean no room for a valet or footman? Dang!

  • Wow, Alan, you got a great photo of a seated(?) giraffe. I have never seen one sitting or drinking, but I hope I will on my upcoming Z, B and SA trip. 🦒

  • I have a question for those who have been on this tour. I know US dollars are widely accepted in Tanzania, but not sure about Kenya. Would you advise bringing some local currency for either Kenya and/or Tanzania?

  • No, not needed. Newish crisp dollar bills with no tears or writing on them. Bring plenty of one, five and ten dollar bills to buy purchases. They prefer payment in dollars and it’s easier for him to change bills of low denomination too in case of fakes.

  • edited July 8

    Ladybombay
    8:02AM
    Wow, Alan, you got a great photo of a seated(?) giraffe. I have never seen one sitting or drinking, but I hope I will on my upcoming Z, B and SA trip. 🦒

    Here is a seated giraffe two-fer :D (Arusha Nat'l Park, K&T) and bonus- one tired zebra foal sleeping in the grass.

    The southbound end of a northbound giraffe splaying legs preparing to drink and another one drinking from a small stream: (near Belmond Khwai River Lodge, B,SA,Z):

  • Alan, I can only hope to be so lucky to see such beauty!🦒

  • Just made our reservation for Arusha National Park on Day 1, which includes a walking safari. British, the price has increased even more—vehicle cost is now $260! Hopefully, others may wish to join us, but if not, oh well, it is vacation and it’ll be great!

  • Jan - I did the same tour last September even thought I had been in Africa before, it was totally worth it, loved the walking tour to the waterfall.

  • Just out of curiosity, how much cash should we consider taking with us on our K/T tour (not including the gratuity for the TD)? From my reading, it appears some places may charge anywhere from 3-10% surcharge for using a credit card. Is that true also for the lodging properties? Relying on the experience of others for accurate information. Thanks!

  • Unless you plan to load up on Tanzanite- whatever surcharge is levied will be budget dust compared to cost of tour and airfare.

  • edited July 12

    In addition to my ‘normal’ wallet money I bring one hundred ones, one hundred in fives, one hundred in tens, and one hundred in twenties. I bring the TD’s tip already in an envelop in one hundred dollar bills. They carry a lot of money and small bills take up a lot of space. All the money needs to be the latest series with no cuts, tears, or stray markings. You don’t want local schillings, and there are no ATMs that give dollars. I think the only ATM I saw was in the Kilimanjaro airport, and it gave schillings. I haven’t sorted this out yet …. Well, I just sorted it out. I hate it when a business does not use the business name on their credit card charges. I had what appeared to be a ‘mistaken’ charge for items I paid cash for in the Nairobi Serena gift shop. The charge was for $101.75 and I had paid $102 dollars in cash but the charge was to “The Norfolk Hotel” which I thought I remembered from a previous trip as a Serena property. Still curious about how they got my credit card number I googled it and discovered that it is a ‘Fairmont’ hotel. I had a ‘missing’ charge for our stay at the ‘Fairmont’ Mara Safari Club of 11,995 KES. I divided that by the current exchange rate and … bingo. $102 dollars. The Fairmont Mara Safari Club ‘does business as’ The Norfolk Hotel’ and the charge was valid. I just reversed the reversal. The Serena gift shop did nothing wrong.

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