I can't tell you much about the flight, I think I have mostly blanked it from my memory.
Kilimanjaro airport is tiny. Essentially one small room with immigration and bag collection. We were met by a man who guided us through immigration (we already had our visa sorted so this was quite easy) and helped us to collect our bags.
We were then met by a driver organised by our tour company, he took us the hour and thirty minutes to Arusha, giving us information about the various villages as we passed.
Driving to Arusha from Kilimanjaro airport
Once we had checked into our hotel and shown to our room (we really had to get our heads around tipping) we collapsed on the bed. By this point it was about 4:30pm local time, we decided to set an alarm for an hours time and crash out.
At 7pm we woke up..... managed to groggily drag ourselves downstairs for some dinner before coming upstairs and passing out again.
Our Hotel room, complete with an empty kitchen. There was also a lounge area.
The next morning we were feeling generally better.
Because the rest of our stay at the hotel was booked separately, we had to check out and leave our luggage in storage for the day.
We had decided to make the most of our extra day to explore Arusha. We walked towards the clock tower, and as we were waiting to cross the road we were joined by two men who started chatting to us. They helped us across the busy road and towards the market. (yes... we know...).
It quickly became apparent that we were getting a tour of Arusha, and after some questioning "So what do you do for work?" "We give tours to tourists and sell paintings" Aha, there we go, that's how this was going to go.
We were told the history of Arusha and shown the memorial for the independence day, the football stadium and the extensive markets. Most of these markets we would not have been able to explore on our own, but with guides with us everyone was very welcome. Despite being told that it was ok, we didn't feel comfortable taking too many photos, and anyway it was so busy there wasn't room to.
The markets were really interesting, they were absolutely enormous and we would have very quickly got lost on our own. There were so many different stalls of local fruit and veg, medicines, dried fish and butchers. The locals kept stopping us to say "Jambo!" (Hello) and "Karibu" (Welcome). One small child was particularly interested, we aren't sure if he had ever seen a white person before.
Tanzanian Independence Monument
After the markets we went to the Tanzanite experience. 10 x rarer than diamonds these blue stones are only mined in a very small section of Tanzania, making them incredibly valuable. We had a tour around a replica mine and told the history before having a look at some of the jewellery on offer (way beyond our price range!)
After a traditional lunch of rice and meat, we were feeling the jet lag and ready to have a lie down.
The agreement was that we would buy 4 paintings - 2 of each men.
When we had selected which ones we wanted, the price came to $300 USD!!!!
They weren't keen on bargaining, but as we had left most of our money and our cards in the hotel we eventually came away with 4 paintings for $250. They were very nice paintings, we will share some pictures of them in a later post.
Us and our Guides
(that look when you relieve people of $250USD)
Feeling suitably scammed (although we later found out that we had actually paid the market rate for these paintings) we headed back to the hotel to check in for our second night. In the lobby we bumped into our tour manager, Haron. After introducing ourselves we made our way to our room for a much needed rest.
This was not to be. As we were crossing the courtyard there was a yell of "Oi!". We turned to see a group of young people at a table who asked us if we were with the Contiki tour. When we said yes they introduced themselves a s the rest of the group.
A large number of the group had done a 2 week tour of Kenya and Tanzania, so we were joining them for the second week. We spent a while chatting whilst they ate lunch before everyone dispersed for a rest.
We reconvened later in the evening to meet the final addition to our to our group and spent time getting to know each other.
Next Time, The start of our Safari!!
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Day 242 - Safari day 4 (Hot air balloon and hippos)
August 29, 2019
Day 241 - Safari day 3 - Drive to Serengetti
August 25, 2019
Day 198-199 - To Townsville
June 24, 2019
Days 195-197 - The Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef