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Tanzania - August 2018 a family road trip


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We traveled as a family of 5 at the beginning of August 2018.  We had Safari Infinity as our tour operator and guide. We went through several iterations of our itinerary and they happily (I think) worked with me.  We used miles for our business class flights, hence the long layover in Amsterdam. We ended up with a day earlier arrival than planned, so I booked us at the Four Points for the first night.  Now knowing the distance/travel time from JRO to Arusha and back to Macheme and back through Arusha to Tarangire, I probably would have done something different. We originally planned for a group of 4, but at the last minute our oldest son decided to join us.  And I mean last minute, it was June. We went from needing two doubles to a double and a triple, which moved us out of the family tent in some locations. But, Safari Infinity was able to move it around.


Our Itinerary

Day 1: San Diego - Dallas - London - Amsterdam (American / British Air)

Day 2: Amsterdam

Day 3: Amsterdam

Day 4: Amsterdam-Kilimanjaro (KLM), overnight Four Points Sheraton Arusha

Day 5: transfer to Machame, Kaliwa Lodge

Day 6: Machame day hike, Kaliwa lodge

Day 7: transfer to Tarangire, Kichuugu Camp

Day 8: Tarangire, Kichuugu Camp

Day 9: Mto Wa Mbu, Lake Manyara bike ride, Gibb’s Farm

Day 10: hike to elephant caves, transfer to The Highlands

Day 11: Ngorongogo Crater, The Highlands

Day 12: transfer to Central Serengeti, Nyumbani

Day 13: Central Serengeti, Nyumbani

Day 14: transfer to Northern Serengeti, Mara Mara Tented Lodge

Day 15: Northern Serengeti, Mara Mara Tented Lodge

Day 16: Northern Serengeti, Mara Mara Tented Lodge

Day 17: fly back from Kogatende, transfer to Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro-Addis Ababa-Frankfurt (Ethiopian)

Day 19: Frankfurt - San Diego (Lufthansa)


Originally, I thought my 3 boys (4 if you include my husband), would need some downtime outside the car and scheduled the Machame day hike, the bike ride, hike to elephant caves and crater rim hike.  In retrospect, it was a little too much and they just wanted to see more animals.


I chose this overland type of trip since there were 5 of us going.  There was not much downtime and we were in the vehicle most of the time.  The Land Cruiser looked like my car at the end of each day. ;) Also, I liked that the kids got to see some of Tanzania outside of the national parks.   


Days 4-6: Arrival, Mt. Kilimanjaro

We arrived in the evening on the KLM flight from Amsterdam.  The flight was great and we were first off the plane. Safari Infinity had arranged VIP Visa service and we met the representative and handed over our $$.  We were quickly through immigration, collected our 1 checked bag, sent all bags through a scanner and he escorted us to meet our Safari Infinity driver. We drove to Arusha, ordered room service, and quickly went to sleep.


The next day we had breakfast at the hotel buffet.  It was decent. My older kids went to the local market, we hit the ATM and met our next Safari Infinity driver.  He took us to get a local SIM card for my iPad (which I didn’t end up using) and drove us to the Kaliwa Lodge. We had a late lunch there and the kids took a hike down to the river.  The views from the lodge were amazing, but Kilimanjaro was in the clouds. The next morning a Safari Infinity driver and a guide picked up my the older boys and my husband for a day hike to the Machame Gate.



Hike from Kaliwa Lodge down to river




My youngest son and I took a taxi into Moshi and bought a charging cable for his Nintendo Switch and had lunch at Jay’s Kitchen (Korean).  It was delicious. That afternoon Kilimanjaro did appear and the views from the deck were awesome.


IMG_6899.jpg.fd9073d17e496068dd9e069215ca89ff.jpgKilimanjaro from deck at Kaliwa Lodge


P.S.  I'll work on the formatting.  For some reason, I can't get some of the text I cut and pasted not to be bold.

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I thought the bold was intentional for easy reading.  Your experience will be helpful for other families.  How nice your boys were so interested in the wildlife!

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2 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

How nice your boys were so interested in the wildlife

Yes.  They told me they thought it would be like 'whale watching'.  You head out on a boat all day, and see some whales through your binoculars and call it a day.  When we arrived in Tarangire and saw herds....they were dumbfounded.  Maybe mom knows what she is talking about....

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