“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”
– Ernest Hemingway (American author and journalist)
Kia Lodge, Arusha Tanzania – Day 1 & 2
September 29-30, 2018
After an 11-hour flight from Los Angeles to Amsterdam followed by a 9-hour flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, we walked out of JRO airport weary and uncertain for what awaited us. I had originally planned to stay at a upper-middle hotel in Arusha, but fortunately our Safari planner recommended Kia Lodge.
Kia Lodge is a welcome respite with 3 minutes of Kilimanjaro Airport. The facility offers 40 ensuite rooms in 20 separate cottages that are scattered around the lodge grounds. The lodge includes a restaurant, bar, and a hilltop swimming pool with wonderful views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and the Maasai plains.
After a long series of flights, we had the luxury of spending an entire day at the lodge before heading to our first destination. It as while enjoying our leisurely breakfast that we spotted our first African wildlife of the trip, Sunbirds. Sunbirds are small nectar feeding birds that are unique to the Old World. The occupy the same niche as our New World (North, Central, and South America) hummingbirds. Like hummingbirds, they eat nectar from flowers and are very brightly colored, but Sunbirds are completely unrelated to hummingbirds.
While we were enthralled with the Sunbirds, the incredibly friendly staff arranged a table setting where we were sitting and brought us food and drinks so we could continue to enjoy uninterrupted views of the sunbirds.