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Please advuse me on my proposed flights from NBO - JRO & ZNZ - NBO.

Please advuse me on my proposed flights from NBO - JRO & ZNZ - NBO.

Oct 24th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Please advuse me on my proposed flights from NBO - JRO & ZNZ - NBO.

By getting a roundtrip ticket from Amsterdam to Nairobi and then getting a separate ticket from Nairobi to Kiliminjaro and then from Zanzibar to Nairobi, I am able to save about $150 per person. I would fly on KLM from AMS-NBO-AMS but then on Kenya Airways/Precision Air for the NBO-JRO, ZNZ-NBO flights. Is this too risky all in the name of saving $150 per person???

The flights are as follows:

Sun, Feb 26 Depart Amsterdam: 8:05pm
Arrive Nairobi 6:35am next day, (AMS) to
Nairobi, (NBO) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Mon, Feb 27
8:00am Depart - Nairobi, Kenya (NBO) Kenya Airways 6724 operated by PRECISION AIR
8:50am Arrive - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (JRO) Nonstop

Wed, Mar 15
7:40am Depart - Zanzibar, Tanzania (ZNZ) Kenya Airways 491 operated by PRECISION
9:10am Arrive - Nairobi, Kenya (NBO) Nonstop

Wed, Mar 15 Depart Nairobi: 10:55am
Arrive Amsterdam 6:10pm (NBO) to
Amsterdam, (AMS) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

The only downside I see here is that there are relatively short layover times and that my morning flight out of Zanzibar leaves so early. That may force me to spend my final night back in Stone Town rather than ending at the Palms Zanzibar as is my intention.

My itinerary would be as follows, beginning on Friday, Feb. 26th:

Amsterdam, best possible hotel under $400 per night (2)
Overnight flight on Sunday, arriving in Kiliminjaro (JRO) at 8:50AM. From here I would transfer straight to Lake Manyara rather than spending any time in Arusha.
Manyara Tree Lodge (2)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Olduvai Camp (1)
Nomad Masek (2)
Nomad Piaya (2)
Mbuzi Mawe (2)
Air transfer from Seronera to Zanzibar.
Zanzibar (5)

I am confused on how to best handle Zanzibar since if I go with the above-mentioned flights I would need to be on a flight back to Nairobi at 7:40AM. What time would I likely arrive in Stone Town from Seronera? If I arrive by about 1PM, I would not mind starting at the Palms Zanzibar, possibly spending four nights there and then finishing with one night at the Emerson & Green.

How long is the flight from Seronera to Zanzibar and is it a direct flight? I had previously planned on flying out of Dar Es Salaam at 11:55PM, but it is a more expensive option.

I looked high and low for a flight from South America to East Africa, but for the life of me, I could not find one. I would much rather spend even three or four nights in South America rather than a couple nights in Europe in February, if possible!

Thanks for your help.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
Here's what I would try to find out -

- Can you through check your luggage from LAX to JRO or do you need to claim/re-check bags at NBO?
- Does your Precision Air flight to JRO depart from the same terminal as your arriving Kenya Airway flight from AMS?
- What's the minimum check-in time for the Precision Air flight?
- What time is the next flight to JRO (I think it's at 10:00am)?

There's a possibility you might mis-connect on arrival in NBO in which case, the worst case scenario is you may have to purchase two new tickets for a later flight.

What's your other option for $150 per person more? If it's the AMS-JRO/DAR-AMS nonstops on KLM, I'd definitely take that over a connection in NBO. I don't think the extra stop and possible mis-connect are worth the savings. The downside of the KLM flight is that it's a daytime flight so you would need an overnight near JRO/Arusha on arrival. On the plus side, you don't have to leave Zanzibar so early on your final day.
Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
Of course, the same questions apply on your return connection. What's the minimum check-in time for your Kenya Airways flight back to AMS and what happens if you miss that one?
Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 06:11 PM
Posts: n/a
Roccco -

You can certainly find a lovely lux hotel room in AMS for less than $400/nt. Besides, there is so much to do and see in AMS, you'll have little time in your room. Whatever savings on room here can go towards the $150 savings on this new air itinerary.

Agree, the layovers are tight and don't take into consideration any delays for weather since you're traveling during the European winter.

As to your flight from Seronera to Tanzania... there is a connection in Arusha or Kili (depending on the carrier, loads, or whatever). The flight from Seronera to Arusha/Kili should be less than an hour. From here to ZNZ a little over an hour. But there is a layover between the two flights. So figure arriving ZNZ somewhere between 1pm - 1:30pm.

From Stone Town, the airport is less than 15-minutes, which is good if going with this new air itinerary to make that early flight to NBO. But if sticking with the original flights departing DAR in the evening, staying out at The Palms pays as you have most of the day here before heading to the airport (about 1-1/2 hrs) for a late afternoon/early evening flight to DAR.

Believe Patty & I gave you the pros and cons - now, it's up to you.

Oct 24th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
As to the Seronera to Zanzibar segment, my ATR itinerary shows Zanair departure at 12:30 pm and arrival in Zbar at 15:40, so 3:40 pm. Our friend is on the same 12:30pm flight and getting off in Arusha-it shows our arrival there at 1:45pm. So our flight is Seronera-Arusha-Zbar. I do not know if there is an earlier flight for you nor what the drive time from Mbuzi Mawe is to the airport to know whether an earlier flight, if there is one, is feasible.
bat is offline  
Oct 25th, 2005, 04:21 AM
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Mbuzi Mawe is about 15-miles north of the Seronera airstrip. Estimate drive time is 1-hr. There is sometimes a 9am flight; but a regularly scheduled flight departing Seronera at about 10:20am (if on schedule and depending on routing) with a possible stop at Lk. Manyara to pick-up/drop-off pax before heading to Arusha.

At Arusha, there are a few carrier options (Coastal, Precision, Zainair) which will determine length of your layover here. Ours was about 35-min and we departed earlier then scheduled. It's Africa!

We didn't arrive from Grumeti (with stop at Seronera) as flight was late taking off, we loaded a large group at Seronera, so late into Arusha. You just have to be prepared for this. Only 2-wks prior departing the States was the carrier for the leg Arusha/ZNZ confirmed. So you'll have to be flexible - exact time of your arrival at ZNZ may be earlier or later than expected.

Once arrival ZNZ, the drive to E&G in Stone Town is about 15/minutes. From here to The Palms is about 1-1/2 hrs max.; the same on return to the ZNZ airport for connecting flight to DAR.
Oct 25th, 2005, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Just a word of warning: we had a flight at maybe 1-ish from Zanzibar to NBO on Precision. I think it was on a Sunday or a Monday. We got to the airport in Stone Town and the flight was overbooked by about 50%. People were hopping mad.

As we didn't need to be at NBO until 11pm, it worked out fine for us and it seemed everyone needed that NBO-LHR flight. But make sure you have your hotel reconfirm your flight. They didn't even have our names on any lists, although we had paper tickets.

A smile and patience worked very well for us. And who cares if you're late coming home? It's the getting there that matters.
Leely is offline  
Oct 25th, 2005, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 58
I think someone mentionned that if the other option is going through Dar, it would be better - I second that. I had a horrible experience with Kenya Air. Maybe the morning Zbar-NBO is operated by precision, but I know the afternoon is operated by Kenya Air.

We were scheduled to fly Zbar to NBO on Oct 1st (saturday) at 3pm. When we arrived at the airport everything was fine. At about 2:30 - 3 they told eveyone there was "traffic" in NBO and all flights were delayed. Eventually other (non-Kenya Air) flights like the Zbar-Arusha flight left about 2 hours late.

To make a long story short, the Kenya airways flight never arrived in Zbar. We were led to beleive until about 10:30 that it "was coming". It turns out that a cargo plane crash landed in NBO that morning and it took a long time to clear it. All the kenya air flights were backed up and the pilots maxed out their "flight" time. Again, long story short, Kenya paid for dinner and for hotels (at least to those who pushed - it was an absolute crazy experience). But the next day all flights to NBO were sold out and there was no indication of an extra flight to take everyone.

We managed to get on a charter to Dar and beg our way onto the BA flight (we were supposed to fly NBO - London the night before). As a sidebar I would love to find out what happened to the rest of the 80 people stranded, only about 4 couples made it to Dar for that BA flight.

For me, the worst was that Kenya Air should have known they wouldn't make it to Zbar way before they told us and we could have made alternate arrangements rather than staying at the airport until 11:30pm. Also, some people were put up at beach hotels 1 hour+ away from the airport.

One couple had flown Kenya Air from London the week before and had to wait 12 hours in London for another plane - I can't remember what the problem was.

Again, the short of it is that if your alternate itinerary is roughly similar but avoids Kenya Air I would choose it in a heartbeat.

sunny_days is offline  
Oct 25th, 2005, 06:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely consider Dar Es Salaam as an alternative entry point. At least in Dar Es Salaam, if I overnight the night before my safari, I can be assured of a 5* hotel to combat jetlag. Plus, it seems like an interesting city. Who knows, maybe even the first two nights in Dar Es Salaam outside the city at one of their luxury resorts?

Sandi, thanks for the distances and time schedules.

I do think that perhaps I should also still be considering starting in Zanzibar and then maybe ending with a couple nights in Europe? Although, then again, I don't think my body would handle going from the warmth of Tanzania and Zanzibar to the cold of Europe very well.
Roccco is offline  

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