Our Tanzania Egypt journey of 2022 started with the knowledge that this would likely be the last big trip lasting over a month with the kids. Caroline will start high school next year preventing us from withdrawing the kids from school in the manner that we have done in the past. The kids are also very happy in school and will miss being away from their friends. We also were facing the headwinds of the Corona pandemic and the more contagious omicron. To be truthful, I though there was a decent probability of our trip being cancelled.
After making it through Christmas we shifted to preparations for the trip. We were extremely busy with getting PCR testing done within the 96 hour window for entering Tanzania (this would come into play later) and preparing visas for both Tanzania and Egypt as well as QR documentation for our vaccines. Not to mention packing and preparing all our business, projects and the house build for being gone for a month.
As typical once we finally packed ourselves into the car to begin our journey the stress of it all began to wane. We drove the 2 1/2 hours to O’Hare and encountered lots of lines and lots of extra Covid documentation. I still wasn’t convinced we would actually be able to go until we took off on the plane in Chicago. Once off the ground we settled in for the 13 hour plane ride to Doha Qatar, which wasn’t bad with lots of movies and ipad time for the kids and parents. The kids slept for part of the flight although Jules didn’t seem to get enough sleep and was very crabby in Doha.
We attempted to leave the airport in Doha with a transit visa but due to the restriction with Covid-19 our PCR tests were not taken within their 72 hour window and therefore were not valid. So we ended up having a lay over in the airport for 12 hours. After a few hours exploring we found several quiet/sleep rooms and bedded down for the night as the hotel in the airport was full. It was pretty obvious the airport was designed for travelers staying for looooonnnnggg layovers.
The next day we boarded our flight to Tanzania and the Kilimanjaro airport. After rapid Covid tests upon arrival (all negative) and a bit of hassle about our visas we were unleashed upon Africa. Happily our driver for the next five days on safari was on time and holding a sign. He drove us to our the Mount Maru Game Lodge where we dragged our weary bodies to dinner and then immediately to bed.