OnSafari: Lost Bags

OnSafari: Lost Bags

baglostThe family I’ll be guiding for the next ten days arrived cheerful and ready to go!

The McGraths/Bumsteads/Farahs come from Washington and Providence, two families with 4 teenagers and grandma McGrath leading the pack! The kids are 13-18, so older than my typical family safaris and I’m looking forward to fewer video games and more conversations!

We’ll see. Stay tuned.

Practically every safari spends the first night in Arusha, and we’ll be at the Lake Duluti Lodge. There are a dozen decent places to stay in the Arusha area, and a second EWT safari led by Steve Taylor is currently down the road at the Serena Lake Duluti Lodge.

Yep, a names travesty, and the excellent company Serena is completely at fault. For years their lodge was named Mountain Village, and I continue to call it that. But some marketing whizz decided lakes are more important than mountains, and the enormous confusion began.

It hurts this very nice Lake Duluti Lodge much more, because this is a stand-alone property and Serena is a chain.

It seems like this year a lot of people have lost luggage, including me. My bag was lost for 3 days before it arrived with a bagtag that included a transfer in Moscow. I didn’t fly to Moscow. I hope it had a good time.

Poor Audrey from Dallas, the sweetest southern belle you can image, was finally reduced to tears in frustration this afternoon because of the extraordinary bureaucratic confusion that attends some baggage transfers, and as a result, she and her daughter are without their bags.

The devil of the internet led Audrey down a primrose path that ended in Hades. She got her frequent flyer ticket on Aadvantage all the way to Nairobi, and then as any of us, booked a connecting flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro on some service like Expedia.

Only BA didn’t arrive in time. Her safari company here signed off on a bad combination of airlines, since the connecting airline has no baggage agreement with BA. So she was forced into a late night after an around the world journey last minute decision: make her connecting flight and hope the bags would make it, or miss her connecting flight and try to retrieve the bags in Nairobi.

She made the right decision and lost her bags. It was the last connecting flight of the day.

From my point of view, the woes of travel are often self-inflicted, but because of the awful allure of the internet that you can do everything yourself. Audrey has learned her lesson the hard way, and perhaps the rest of you can learn from Audrey.

My family arrived fully in tact. KLM arrives at night, and it’s nearly an hour’s drive from the airport to the lodge, and that was followed by dinner. The first night on safari ended probably among its latest, but they all seem in excellent spirits!

Stay tuned! We head tomorrow into Tarangire!