K/T Classic Safari: Aug. 20, 2022

13

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  • Renee_111 are you on the trip that officially starts on Aug 10?

  • @jan_page511 Hi! We will be on the K/T tour in September. We will hopefully arrive a day early and I'd love to schedule a tour like this. Did you make your arrangements with Kearsleys or with the hotel? I don't see it on the hotel website. Can you cancel if there is some sort of disruption in your flight causing you to be delayed? Thank you for any info you are willing to share!

  • @British Somewhere I saw a post saying you flew Qatar through Doha. We are doing this and have a 9 hour layover. What did you do during your layover? I can make a reservation in the Al Mourjan Business Lounge for $96/each, but don't know if I really need to do it in advance. If something were to happen and our flight was changed I doubt there would be a cancellation.

  • CaraBeth, I don’t recall having such a long layover. We flew from Philly but we have also flown from one of the NY airports on Qatar in the past, so it may depend where you are flying from
    Are you flying business class? If so, you will not need to pay to get into the lounge. It is huge with plenty of places to sit comfortably and incredible food. If flying economy, with such a long layover, then $96 may be worth it. There are lots of great shops to look at including Harrods. I think you might even be able to get Afternoon tea there. I will try to find the pic of one of us there. Travel weary.
    We are hopeful of another positive experience with Qatar in September. What day will you be in Doha, if it is the same as us, we should hang out before we go our separate ways.

  • CaraBethP, we booked directly with Kearsleys. The hotel can provide a list of Kearsleys offerings, but the prices have gone up. The hotel concierge at the Gran Melia is very responsive by email.

  • @British We arrive Sept 18, 16:15. Depart Sept 19, 02:10. We currently have economy tickets, although they are premium economy and good seats. I don't know anything about doing upgrades but would love to learn.

  • Ok CaraBeth, our passages do not meet. Apparently Qatar say they do not need to have a premium economy class of seat because their economy seating is so good. Please would you post a review of your flights when you return! We are taking our family to Tanzania in 2024. We will definitely be booking Qatar, but our generosity for them will stop at economy! I think you will have a far better experience than the Delta/KLM route. And less chance of your luggage being delayed. We’ve done that in economy on our first trip to Africa. We just remember a group of young Dutch people who were so tall, they all had their legs blocking the aisles. A bit like Smilimg Sam would have to do in those seats back then 😀

  • When we go in a couple of weeks, we are flying KLM through Amsterdam (business class). We have a 4-hour layover in Amsterdam—hopefully sufficient time to transfer our luggage. Needless to say, we’ll be packing some clothing in our carryons just in case.

  • edited August 1

    Jan we just flew KLM/Delta from Atlanta to Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro. The problem with the baggage was on Delta. They never transferred our baggage to KLM. Three days later at 5:30 in the morning we received our bags. On the way home Delta sent our bags to the wrong destination. Then they forgot to give us a file number for our lost bags so the courier could not deliver the bags to our home. Therefore we got to make a return trip to the airport to pick up our own bags!
    The flights over were like clockwork the flights back were delayed by several hours not sure why .

  • For this trip, we pack our carry-on luggage as if it were our only luggage. The checked bag has liquids and ‘unnecessary’ things. If you pack or wear three sets of safari clothes, and essentials, in your carry-on and backpack, you will have enough stuff for the trip even if you never get your checked luggage. We had less than two hours in Amsterdam, and we connected fine. Another couple had four hours scheduled in Amsterdam, but their flight from Atlanta was so late they misconnected. They came the next day, and that flight was hours late, and they did not get their luggage until three days later. All you need for this trip is clothes suitable for the game drives. Everything else is ‘extra’. Make sure you have a warm jacket with you.

  • Someone asked about the facilities after the balloon ride over the Masai Mara. Dual facilities with hot water to wash up afterwards. My wife said it was certainly a room with view!

  • edited August 3

    We leave in one week for our trip and I have two questions for those who have been on the T&K trip, does Tauck provide bottled water every day of our journey or do we need refillable bottles to fill up at the hotels before we leave for the day?
    Second question, did anyone buy Tanzanite in Tanzania and where?

  • SherriD, I leave a week after you. I was informed by Tauck that they will provide bottled water. The tap water is not safe to drink, so refillable water bottles are not necessary. From previous Tauck experiences, they always have an over abundance of water to distribute.

  • SherriD
    For purchasing Tanzanite, our Tauck Director suggested the place in Arusha (Culture Center?) where we have lunch. This is the day we left for Kenya from Tanzania. Day 7? She said the prices are pretty reasonable there compared to other shops on our tour. My wife bought some items there.

  • edited August 3

    Tauck will provide you with a water bottle at the beginning of the trip. There will be a big jug of potable water on the hood of one of the safari trucks every day to fill up your bottle. There is bottled water in each of your rooms on tour, but they are clearly trying to minimize the number of plastic water bottles. They are around, but the intent is for everyone to use their own bottle and fill them up as necessary from the jug provided. You do not need to bring your own bottle. It is my understanding that the people who own the ‘cultural center’ also own a tanzanite mine. They enjoy a good reputation. They can also purchase whatever you may want that is not in the cultural center. Just ask your TD to talk to the people who can do that. Be sure to tip the people that provide that service.

  • Does the tanzanite come with a certificate of authenticity? I have a very old tanzanite piece of jewelry that I still love to this day. If I remember, the quality can vary.

  • I like my fake tanzanite 😂😂
    In Tanzania, it is not safe to brush your teeth with the water either

  • I bought tanzanite earrings at the Cultural Center in Arusha. I wasn’t given a certificate of authenticity, but I didn’t ask for one

  • Do they take credit card or cash for the tanzanite in the Cultural Center Arusha?

  • FYI, the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre was started and is run by a family originally from India. They have one of the largest art galleries in Africa. It is a private enterprise, not associated with the government of Tanzania. They either own, partially own, or have some connection to one or more Tanzanite mines. They sell jewelry incorporating tanzanite and other gemstones, custom pieces, and raw stones. They have the largest selection of art, carvings, jewelry, fabrics, and souvenirs of all types of anywhere you will visit on this tour. I don't know how the prices compare. There is a snack bar onsite.

  • I like the color of Tanzanite, so I bought a gold ring in the US maybe 20 years ago. The stone was created Tanzanite. I couldn’t afford the real thing. I prefer to save big money for travel. It’s not a matter of showing off, most people have never heard of tanzanite, so it’s not to impress or fool anyone. and it’s a very fragile stone, so for me, a good investment for something I don’t wear much.

  • Being unfamiliar with tanzanite, I just researched it. What a beautiful gemstone! An advertisement popped up offering a used Van Cleefs & Arpel ring and earrings for a mere $156,000. I think the selling point was the offer of free shipping!

  • Ouch, that’s your opinion then 😀

  • Students, the lecture has begun.

  • I think you will find that the Cultural Center prefers personal checks over credit cards.

  • Personal checks! Not when we were there in late 2019.

  • Leaving in 10 days—we don’t bring checkbooks anywhere. Even if they prefer checks, that doesn’t mean they won’t accept credit cards, does it?

  • They used our credit card in 2019.

  • edited August 6

    I used a credit card there for small purchases. If you are purchasing tanzanite, our TD said he prefers personal checks, or there may be an added fee. I did not try it out. In Nairobi they give a discount for cash (US), but I discovered that the difference in exchange rates negated the advantage of the discount. I don’t bring a check book either, but I normally have a couple checks with me. I had someone at the Center make an outside purchase for me, and the currency required was U.S. dollars. Of course, all of this was three or four weeks ago … things can change. (;-). But, if you plan on purchasing tanzanite, I would have a check in my passport case.

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