View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Made it to Tanzania!

The last blog post ended with us sitting in Istanbul (SAW) airport waiting for our Qatar Airways to Doha, Qatar.

We boarded on time and the plane was maybe one third full. We have to say, what a great way to travel. Qatar Airways has been voted Airline of the Year five different times. Essentially, they are an award winning airline! So combine that standard with the fact that the plane was only a third full, and you get some pretty good customer service!

Waiting to take off at sunset...

Not the nicest day in Istanbul.
Temperature hovering around the freezing mark, and some snow on the ground.

They hand you a Covid Protection Kit.

Mask, hand sanitizer, and gloves.

Sunset in Istanbul.

Dismal day leaving Istanbul.


We weren't in the air very long and they brought out dinner. Along with a full bar, and we were "only" in economy class.

The bar cart.

With a very nice Chilean Red Wine, I had the very tender beef stew.
With a quinoa salad and a very smooth light chocolate mousse. 

Ruth had the chicken and rice gluten free meal.

They kept telling us to ask if we needed anything at all, so we didn't hesitate to ask for refills on the wine, and I had a nice cognac after dinner. 

I can't imagine how well they get looked after in first class!

We took an odd flight route. I won't bother trying to recreate it, but essentially we avoided all airspace close to the Syrian border. I did notice that we were over Iraqi airspace for about 45 minutes as I was tracking our route with my app on the phone.

Watched a couple of movies on the entertainment system, and before we knew it we were landing in Doha, Qatar.

The famous giant teddy bear in Doha airport.

There is a British Harrods department store in the airport.

Some interesting play structures for the kids.

Pretty fancy airport.

We had a four hour connection time so we decided to use another two of our six free priority lounge passes that came with our Scotiabank Visa card.

The main lounge was full, but the girl at the desk didn't hesitate to put us into the main Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge!

Wow, talk about being treated like a king. Now we know how the other half lives!

What a great way to waste time in an airport.

And before we knew it, our three hours was up and we went to the boarding gate for our next flight from Doha to Dar es Salaam and then on to Kilimanjaro. 

It was a 787 Dreamliner, and again it was only about one third full. Very strange seeing all those empty seats!

Great breakfast on the plane. Like the other meal, it was even with real silverware.

Watched a couple of movies again, and got a little bit of sleep. Next thing you know, we are landing in Dar es Salaam, the big coastal city where some people got off the plane. We had about an hour wait, and we got to talking to the younger couple sitting in front of us.

Marti and Ryan are from Texas, and it turns out they are also hiking Kilimanjaro. They didn't have a ride planned from the airport yet, so I suggested maybe our guy might have room for them.

Our first view of Kilimanjaro as seen from the airplane!

It was another 45 minutes in the air to JRO airport. Can't say enough good things about Qatar Airways. Canada and U.S. airlines could learn a thing or two. As a small example, you know how they go around and tell you to put your seat up from the reclined position before you land? Our flight attendant said "Can I help you adjust your seat?" It's all in the wording of course, but Ruth and I both noticed the little touches like that.

Our Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner.

We made it to Tanzania... country #40 for us!

Temperature around 30C (86F).

We made it through the Covid reporting area, then through immigration. Customs didn't stop us either, and then we were outside. We had Marti and Ryan with us, and sure enough there was our contact Justin from holding a sign saying Kevin and Ruth.

It turned out that we could just barely squeeze in Marti and Ryan's luggage, and the five of us made our way into the city of Arusha (pop 500,000).

Ryan sent me this shot he took of us packed in the car with them.

Okay, that's enough for today. There is definitely more to tell you though! Stay tuned tomorrow...

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  1. Amazing airline food. I haven't seen airline food like that since I was a kid.

    1. We were expecting food like that from all the good things we have heard about Qatar airlines and they certainly held up to those standards. I also remember being very young and traveling on Wardair, a charter airline that we took on from Canada to England and they would serve delicious steaks on Royal Doulton china. It felt like first class but it was the same for everyone on the plane.

  2. Nice Meals. Glad you made it Safely to Tanzania.
    Enjoy the Adventure.

    It's about time.

    1. They were good meals, and the service was fantastic.

      We are happy that all our flights went well and that we safely landed in Tanzania, now the new adventure starts!

  3. Were there any Covid checks when you arrived at either of the Tanzania airports? Curious as it appears as though the level of attention to Covid matters for visitors varies from country to country.

    1. The only Covid check at any of the airports we stopped at was just a temperature check. If we had wanted to leave the airport in Doha, Qatar then a PCR test would have been needed but it wasn't necessary for transiting passengers When we arrived at the airport in Tanzania, we had to fill out a tracing form and get our temperatures checked but that was all. Leaving will be another story as we will most likely need a PCR test to go almost anywhere else but that is also two months away and we all know how fast things change.

  4. We've enjoyed ALL your posts but are most excited about the upcoming blog since we lived in Zimbabwe for a while and never did make it to Tanzania like we had hoped. Happy travels!

    1. We are so glad that you are enjoying our blog, I think we are going to have some interesting blog posts coming up. :-)

  5. The airline food (and drinks!) looked amazing. Wow, haven't experienced anything like that other than in first class -- and business class to/from Tokyo 21 years ago! Kind of surprised to see you all in the car with no masks, though. Had everyone been tested? That would make me nervous, if not.

    1. They were amazing, Qatar airlines didn't get their reputation as being the top airline for nothing. We were really impressed with them and would fly again with them any time!

      No, we were not tested but they had told us that they had had Covid back in November. Having said that no one here in Tanzania wears a mask, well I shouldn't say no one because the bigger hotels I believe will still make you wear one in certain conditions but other than that, NO one wears a mask here, life goes on as normal.

  6. Nice to have experienced some “royal” treatment while flying. China Airlines also provide good meals and a full bar. But having real silverware was a real pleasant surprise! Wonder if you will cross paths again with that young couple on your hike?

    1. It was a wonderful experience to be treated so well on a normal economy class ticket.

      We will not see the other couple on our hikes as we will be hiking at different times. They will be finished their hike before we start ours. We did however spend an afternoon with them in the city of Arusha of Friday.


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