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Does this seem like a good deal for my international Tanzania flight?

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Nov 7th, 2005, 07:53 PM
  #1
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Does this seem like a good deal for my international Tanzania flight?

I found what I believe to be a dirt cheap flight from LAX - Chicago - London - Nairobi. It is only about $1,250pp. I can get a flight from Nairobi - Kiliminjaro and then from Zanzibar - Nairobi for only $350pp. That is a total of only $1,600 pp with my only other flight that I need being the Seronera to Zanzibar flight.

Do I jump on this now?

The only downsides to the above is that I have to stopover in Chicago and then I have to be on my departing flight to Nairobi at 7:40AM. This may break up my stay in Stone Town or may require me to start with 3 nights at the Palms and then finish with 2 nights at the Serena. This may be better, anyhow, for shopping opportunities, right?

Thanks for any feedback.
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Nov 7th, 2005, 07:57 PM
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From someone who bit the bullet and paid A LOT more SFO-AMS-JRO, I can only say that price is sweeeeet.

Although flying into/out of Chicago in Feb (is it?) could be a little problematic if you encounter inclement weather.
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Nov 7th, 2005, 08:16 PM
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$1250 for LAX-NBO is a great price, but do you have enough time on the return to connect to the NBO-LHR flight (I assume it's BA?)?

What's the fare for KLM into JRO and out of DAR (or JRO) for your dates?
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Nov 7th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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LAX to ORD.
Sounds like United.
Of all the flights we had last September, United was by far the worst. Being the most crowded and uncomfortible. At least they were on time. But let me tell you, next time I wil pay more $$$ to fly on a better airline. Any recommendations anyone?
regards - tom
ps - shopping you say, the Mrs. is going with you?
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Nov 7th, 2005, 09:19 PM
  #5
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cary999,

Yes, I finally broke the news. I took my lumps but it is a done deal on that end. Now I just need to book the international flights and Zanzibar extension.

To keep things simple, I am going to go with Zanzibar rather than Dubai or anywhere else.

Now I am just trying to see what will work out best for my flights. Ideally, I would fly nonstop to Amsterdam, hop on a nonstop flight to Kiliminjaro and find a nonstop flight from at least Dar Es Salaam back to Amsterdam. This would give me the option of spending a couple nights in Amsterdam...I will be arriving on a Thursday morning, and rather than getting home on a Thursday afternoon, why not spend a couple nights in Amsterdam and get home on a Saturday afternoon?

One frustrating thing is that certain flights do not pop up in my searches that I know exist. For example, there may be a flight from Zurich direct to Nairobi that will not pop up if I search Zurich-Nairobi but that pops up if I search Amsterdam-Nairobi. I really don't understand this, but it is a common occurence.

While the price of $1,250 for LAX-ORD-LHR-NBO is incredibly good, I do worry about the weather in Chicago delaying my flight and screwing everything up.
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Nov 7th, 2005, 09:33 PM
  #6
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Will there be any likely weather issues if I fly out of New York to London or Amsterdam?

Best case scenario I will be able to find a good priced trip direct from LAX-AMS or LHR, but if not, I have to consider other options.
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Nov 7th, 2005, 11:48 PM
  #7
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About the Zurich - Nairobi flight.
I think that this is not a daily flight which may explain why it doesn't show .



LX 292 Zurich Nairobi 09:45 - 08 Feb 19:15 - 08 Feb

I don't think you could get a cheaper flight price than $1300.

Out of Europe the cheapest flights to the LAX are approx. 500 euro
From Europe to Kilimanjaro on KLM : 850 euro
From Europe to Nairobi on SN : approx 740 euro
Which makes a total of at least 1240 euro (= 1450 $)

Need to know more about the KLM flight?
I took that one last year.
Feel free to ask.



 
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Nov 7th, 2005, 11:50 PM
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Kiwayu would be a great place for you Rocco!
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Nov 8th, 2005, 12:23 AM
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Alejandra,

Have you been to Kiwayu? It looks nice but its website does not have as much information as I would like to see.


Regarding the cheap flight that I mentioned in my first post on this thread, although it is through Chicago, it does have some nicely timed layovers, none fewer than three hours, and a four hour layover in Chicago. Also, if this is a plus, it is American Airlines from LAX - ORD and then it is British Airways the rest of the way, including a direct flight from LHR - LAX at the end.

On the way over it is a four hour flight (LAX - ORD), followed by a seven hour flight (ORD - LHR) followed by an eight hour flight (LHR - NBO). With a 9:20PM arrival in NBO, I would spend the night here, before going onward to JRO the next morning.

Are there any nice hotels that are less expensive than the Norfolk? By the time I get to the hotel it will be nearly 11PM and I will more than likely be on a flight to JRO the next morning by 10AM, if not earlier. So, I just need a nice and secure 4* hotel to rest for a few hours.

It looks like the very best option will be to get myself to NBO and then I will have an easy time of cheap connections to each JRO and Zanzibar.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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How much is the Norfolk? The downtown chain hotels such as the Intercontinental or Hilton are generally around $100 or less per night. You can check their respective websites for rates. I haven't stayed at the IC but understand it's been recently refurbished so it's probably a little nicer than the Hilton though I think either would be acceptable for the amount of time you're spending. Don't forget to figure the cost of the Kenyan visa. I believe you'll qualify for the transit one at $20.

<Ideally, I would fly nonstop to Amsterdam, hop on a nonstop flight to Kiliminjaro>

That's not possible as the LAX-AMS nonstop arrives into AMS too late in the morning to connect to the JRO bound flight. If you fly straight through from LAX to JRO, you'll need to have an extra connection somewhere in the US.

If you plan to take KLM, it's easier to have your stopover at the start of your trip for this reason. Plus you don't really want to experience winter in Amsterdam AFTER you've gotten acclimated to the temps in Tanzania, do you?

Coming back, it's possible to connect same day JRO/DAR-AMS to AMS-LAX.

The SWISS flight from Zurich to NBO operates on Mo/We/Fr.

SN Brussels from Brussels operates on Mo/Tu/We/Fr/Sa. The Tu/Sa flights make one stop in Kigali enroute. The others are nonstop. Returning it's the opposite, with Tu/Sa flights being nonstop NBO to Brussels while Mo/We/Fr flights make one stop in Entebbe.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Rocco, it would be a waste to stay at the Norfolk for just a few nights sleep. I stayed there on my first visit to Nairobi in August 1999, but I stayed for two nights because I wanted to visit the city before my safari.

On my second visit to Nairobi, in August 2003, I had a similar travel schedule to you, arriving late and catching early flight next day to Entebbe. I stayed at New Stanley, which is downtown and OK for one night. The Serena is nice. On my return on that trip, I was bumped by KLM and they put me up in the Intercontinental, which is also OK for one night, and it has a casino if you can't fall asleep immediately.

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Nov 8th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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First sentence I meant a few HOURS sleep, obviously.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #13
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Rocco:

I do not know about you but I would prefer to pay a little more (the Q is how much more) to be able to fly out of Dar on the return. The flight leaves at 11:55 pm. The flight out of Zbar leaves in the very late afternoon/early evening. So you get a full day at the Palms on your last day instead of getting up early in Stonetown to catch a 7:30 am flight.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 12:01 PM
  #14
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If you can get a Transit Visa, it's only good for 7-days (if that and depending on who is checking your passport when returning to NBO), and I believe Rocco's itinerary is a bit longer.

Granted the Norfolk is an institution, but so too is The Stanley. However, there is the Serena with is about 20+ years old, lovely gardens, nice size rooms; the Intercontinental which has refurbished most all of their rooms lately - (the Casino is presently closed... believe for refurbishing).

Rocco, since you're departing the following morning to JRO, I wouldn't suggest heading out to the suburb of Karen for the likes of House of Waine, Giraffe Manor, Ngong House, Karen Blixen Coffee Cottages. You'll probably get a better price for the Intercontinental, though the Serena may be a few dollars more than the Norfolk.
 
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Nov 8th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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sandi,
I believe Rocco wasn't planning to leave NBO airport on the return connection, so he'd only be entering Kenya for an overnight once. That's why I recommended the transit visa for Kenya. Of course, he'll need the regular full visa for Tanzania.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 12:52 PM
  #16
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No difference, the Transit Visa is only good for 7-days, even if not leaving the airport in NBO when returning.

I've posed every imagineable circumstances for way a visitor/s enter, how long, heading where, etc. etc. - same answer with variations, but still generally the same.

It's confusing, but as many times as I've inquired... I get the same answer (of sorts). Seven-days and still they recommend a full Visa so there are no conflicts at points of entry.

The last place anyone should have to try to justify themselves is in a foreign country, with information provided by an unknown individual, to a border agent. It certainly wouldn't go over too well here in the good ole USofA.
 
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Nov 8th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Why would the Kenyan visa still need to be valid on the return? Is there no airside transfer from a ZNZ-NBO flight to a NBO-LHR flight? Do you have to physically transfer landside and go through immigration again? I'm not say Rocco shouldn't do whatever he's told by the immigration officials at NBO, just wondering why that wouldn't work.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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I guess a simplier way to ask the same question is would one normally need a Kenya visa at all if only connecting between 2 international flights at NBO?
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Nov 8th, 2005, 01:31 PM
  #19
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Hey, I don't make the rules. This is what Ive been advised, and who knows what anyone on the ground will say or do.

As far as the transfer from a ZNZ/NBO flight, and whether an ongoing International passenger has to recheck - believe me the ZNZ departure is not what I'd call a "security check" to the likes of the International carriers. Considering when passengers entering JKIA for their flights go thru three security checks (baggage and personal screenings) before boarding a plane. I'm certain the planes arrive/depart from different terminal and you're likely to hav to collect your luggage, recheck and obtain your boarding passes then hit that Immigration desk... and who knows what happens here without the proper Visa.

So pay for the $50 Visa and you're home free - not worth the possible aggrevation and delays.

Hey, not even 7-days... just found the latest email from Kenya:

"The transit visa is granted to persons passing through Kenya enroute to neighboring countries e.g. Uganda, Tanzania etc. The transit visa is valid only for 24 hours. If you will be returning through Kenya for homebound flight then you will be required to get a transit visa.

If, however, the transit period is longer than 24 hours the immigration department may grant an extended period e.g. two days depending on the details on your ticket.

The transit visa can be obtained at the embassy, on arrival and at the borders e.g. Namanga.

The visitor pass, however, has no charge associated to it and is granted to visitors free when they acquire the visa (which comes at a charge USD 50). East Africa citizens are granted the visitors pass."

There it is!


 
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