K & T May 18, 2024

We have done this a few times, but I think it is a blessing that the flight from SFO no longer connects to the the flight to Kilimanjaro. One hour will not work. So we are happy to get a night in Amsterdam. Has anyone here stayed at the Sheraton Schiphol? It looks good. A walk from the gate to the hotel. It has pretty high reviews.



  • We stayed only once when we had a connecting issue. It was fine...cleanliness was really all we cared about at the time.

  • Seaford - we stayed there for one night in 2018, Prior to the K & T tour. Very pleased. It is close to terminal and train to City Center. We arrived early morning. Although we were unable to check in, they were very accommodating and allowed us to use the spa changing area to freshen up and prepare to go into town. They would have stored our luggage, but we learned that our travel companions had arrived and checked in, so we put the luggage in their room. We then took the train to the City Center, went on a walking tour, had lunch, went on a canal boat tour, had an early dinner, returned to the Hotel. Our room was fine, and most importantly, quiet. We did not dine at the Hotel.

  • The Sheraton is very nice and part of the Marriott group.

  • We stayed there for one night before our Kenya and Tanzania tour - pre pandemic. Very nice, clean and quiet hotel. Also very easy to take the train into Amsterdam city center

  • Thanks. We booked it. The non-refundable member rate for a king room was $274 if anyone is curious. I think we are pleased that we get to have a break in AMS.

  • I would have done the same.

  • It’s time to wake up this thread. I’m starting to get lots of emails from Tauck and the airline about getting it in gear. Visas are probably the biggest issue to deal with. We have done it before of course but one time they sent us a visa for a previous trip, and I did not notice that the date was wrong. It caused a big delay and I had to buy one additional visa that I had already paid for. I felt like a real rookie. I was so embarrassed that I bought everyone a Martini at the Savoy. (;-). If my count is correct, Tauck is doing fifty two K&Ts in 2024, and forty of them are ‘Sold Out’. That should make the TDs happy. There are a few trips that show “Available”, but most that are not “Sold Out”, show limited availability. That normally means one or two seats.

    Contrary to some posters here, I will say if you are on this trip, bring your own binoculars … you will not get mine which I will be sharing with my wife. And, for the photogs, all the animals are not close. You need a lens that goes to at least 300 mm. For the close stuff an iPhone works fine.

  • Hi Sealord, is this the trip you've taken a few times before?
    Dumb question: When you say "all the animals are not close" do you mean "Not all of the animals are close"? (and hopefully you didn't mean "None of the animals are close".)
    Thanks for the heads up about the visas.

  • SeaLord, I haven’t used the evisa for Tanzania before because there was no such thing when we last went. I’ve only just started researching, we need one passport size phot to scan and send, correct? We have nine visas to process for our family group, one with a British passport, so that is for a single entry and half the price of the multi entry one the rest of us require with American passports. Thank goodness Mr. B will tackle those, not me……maybe I’ll make sure I’m not in the house when he does them,
    I was however really annoyed that the Tauck website has the incorrect hotel and address showing for the first hotel that is required for the visa. Don’t know if it’s the case on the K and T tour.

  • Sorry Wan: Well thought out semantics. “Not all of the animals are close.”. In our four trips the most difficult animals to get close to where the leopards. In the above pictures which I have not looked at the order, the closest lion was three feet from my wife when she took the picture. The animals are not scripted. On one trip we could practically touch the chetahs, and on the next we saw none.

  • British, after Mr. B finishes the Elisa’s can he do ours??? I may need guidance.

  • I meant evisas

  • Sure Choc. I’ll ask him 😅😅
    We have exactly the same experiences as SeaLord on safaris, animals you could reach out and touch, including lions, elephants, rhinos, zebra, annd so on, and once even a leopard….unforgettable! Just even finding a cheetah is luck, we went a couple of entire safari vacations without seeing any and then the next one, we saw a mom and six cubs and another chase down and catch a young antelope and then a hyena run up and steal the kill….also unforgettable. that cheetah was running so fast it was like a blur.
    The funny thing is, people go on the first safari ride and struggle to try to take photos of animals yards and yards away, and then the next thing, the same type of animal is standing next to you and you immediately delete the photo from before that you struggled and panicked to take….I’m including myself here. But the thing that upsets me most,…and I’ve never done this, is the people who are so demanding of the drivers to find certain animals and then after they’ve seen them a few times, just tell the driver to move on and not bother stopping….those guys work so hard to give us fantastic experiences, they should be thanked and respected.

  • edited February 14

    On our first K&T we had great luck with Chetahs. Leopards at telescope range. Then we could not find a Chetah on the next couple trips. This one is on the first trip, and I have great videos. I don’t know how the drivers knew they were there. No other safari vehicles. All of a sudden they just took off like it was the Indy 500. It was after sundown. I wish I had taken more still photos.

    Another “by the way”. If you do this trip, don’t be surprised if you are out in the tanga tanga after dark, or before the sun comes up. It’s all about the animals. You can eat and sleep when you get home. I’m already getting excited, and this is not our first rodeo.

  • Having also gone on safari in Kenya and Tanzania, we found South Africa to be the best for high numbers of close leopards. We never saw any leopards in K or T. Just nature being nature. Enjoy.

  • We have always seen leopards but sometimes at long range.

  • We also so a leopard in K&T, although it was quite a distance away. . Really looking forward to South Africa in September.

  • Has anyone gone through the visa drill recently. This is always the most difficult part of the trip. I know they are both evisas now, but any tips would be appreciated. I do know that getting the visas on your own is the way to go … you don’t need an agency that wants all the same info, but charges a bunch of money. I don’t need anyone to hold my hand through the process, just need to know the most recent procedures.

  • We went August 2023. We made our photos with an iPhone against a white wall at home. Scanned passport pages on home printer to Mac file. Main thing is to resize the photos and documents to no more than the size the application specifies. This took some research on my part so if I can do this anyone can. Seems like the Kenya application was more straightforward. I emailed the Tanzania contact after a few days to check on the approval and someone responded quickly.
    BTW, the Gran Melia Arusha is just lovely and the staff is so gracious. Don’t miss the workshop for challenged individuals at the top of the grounds and their gift shop. Very reasonable and the people love showing you how they make their various items.
    We flew Lufthansa Atlanta through Amsterdam and were pleased.

  • SeaLord, I think I was asking you the same question a few weeks ago! All I know is that it is $100 for us and $50 for our daughter who is still a British citizen, so she gets a good deal,

  • I went a couple of years ago and it was a nightmare to get those visas! I had the tech guys at my husband's office try to do it for me and they had a hard time between apple products and their system, things just didn't go well. I will send away next time if that is an option.

  • Looked at the vendor option but you still have to do the work so less expensive and simpler to do it oneself IMHO. Just a hassle, no question should be an easier way. If we were doing it over we would just do the Botswana South Africa Zambia it’s wonderful and no hassle.

  • You do need a visa for Zambia but you get it on entry.

  • U.S. passport holders are no longer required to obtain a visa for Zambia.

  • Good to know!

  • I have always done these visas on my own, but it is a bit of a trial. I found the resizing of the pictures to be difficult. Then, as mentioned before Kenya sent me visas that I had gotten for a previous trip, and I did not notice the date. I had the required info in the ‘cloud’, but I could not get them to let me into their wifi system to get it out. They did let me buy a new visa on the spot, but that’s not a given. They actually were very nice and helpful except for the wifi issue.

  • I think visa/eTA (Kenya) is almost upon us … just another week or so. I’m going to dig out my file for our 2022 trip as that has some key information (locations, addresses, phone numbers) that I had to call Tauck to obtain. Even when you think you have all the required info and documents, the first time around you probably will be missing something. It looks like they are set up now in a way that lets you exit, and continue later.

  • edited March 14

    As mentioned in another thread we had a small glitch with one visa, but it took less than a week to get all four visas. I think we are down to waiting for the new duffels. We used ‘older’ duffels the last time because they were a bit larger than the new ones they sent us. Anyone know what they are using now? We plan carrying everything we ‘need’ on the airplane, and checking one back with the liquids and a few odds and ends. We also wear clothes that are appropriate for safari on the airplane. People on this trip sometimes arrive without luggage, and wearing ‘travel’ clothes that are inappropriate for safari use. They are uncomfortable until the luggage arrives, which can take days. We are about two months away from, “Flying on a Jet Plane.”

  • Good advice SeaLord, we do the same for the Arusha arrivals, too many people don’t get their bags.

  • When I went to K & T in 2021 my bag arrived but my friends didn't, it took her 2 days to get her luggage.

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