The moment was finally here! We had planned this trip for ourselves, family and friends for over a year, and the time had finally arrived. This was the 2010 Trip to Tanzania, including Safaris on the Serengeti, an ascent to the “Top of Africa” – Mt. Kilimanjaro, and an historic vacation at the “Spice Island” of Zanzibar.
Our trip begins with flights from around the world to JRO Airport in Tanzania, and with assembling our diverse group at the Springlands Hotel in Moshi. Our group’s earliest arrival is Cliff – a good friend of ours from Houston who works as an independent exploration geologist, and who has traveled extensively. He arrives 3 days early for a private safari to Ngorongoro Crater, a must for his geologic curiosity and his animal photography hobby. On Saturday, my wife’s sister – Pam, and her husband – A.J., arrive from Ohio, and spend the day hiking the local water springs around the hotel. Pam is a civil engineering architect and her husband is a retired aeronautical engineer. They operate a farm in Ohio and care for their family of Golden Retrievers. My son – Michael, and his wife – Julie, arrive with us on Sunday, having met up with us in Nairobi airport. He is an architect in north Virginia, and Julie is a Video Editor. We are joined by my work peers from Lagos, Nigeria – Sue & Guy and Helena & Laurens. Sue & Guy are British, and Sue runs the Employees Spousal Group for our company in Lagos, while Guy is an engineer working Logistics. Helena & Laurens are Dutch and both exploration geologist with significant hiking experience. Our good friends, Peter & Nikki, arrive on Sunday afternoon from Houston where Peter, who was born in Hungary, is an engineer and Nikki sells insurance, when they’re not raising their teenage girls. Next Carlos arrives with his 16 year-old son, Gabriel, traveling from South Africa, where Carlos, a geologist in Nigeria has met up with his Brazilian son for this trip. Finally, at 10:30pm, Michelle arrives, completing our group. She is an engineer from Louisiana who joins us to make new friends and to share in our adventure. We are now complete – 16 of us aged 16 to 60 years old – representing 5 nationalities – men, women & children drawn together by the beckon of the unknown and the promise of adventure! The evening is spent acquainting everyone with each other and celebrating our safe arrivals with beer (Serengeti and Kilimanjaro brands) and wine.