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The plan: Fly from Hong Kong to Tanzania, undertake an 8-day trek of Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route, go straight into a 7-day safari of the Northern Circuit, followed by an 8-day Southern Circuit safari, and finish with 5 days on the island of Zanzibar. I had wanted to climb Kilimanjaro for years, and we thought we might as well check out what else the country had to offer. All of this was a last minute decision, and amazingly it was planned and booked (plus all the necessary gear purchased) less than two weeks before we were due to depart.


The problem: a 24-hour flight delay one week out (causing our 8-day trek to become a 7-day trek), a two-hour flight delay on the day of the flight, the cancellation of the last leg of our flight only hours before departing, organising two new flights to get us from Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro via Dar Es Salaam, another 4-hour flight delay while at Hong Kong airport, missing our connecting flight in Addis Ababa, adjusting our flights to depart the following day, attempting to reshuffle our tour to start a day later, miraculously scoring a seat on a different flight in Addis Ababa straight to Kilimanjaro just as it was boarding, changing our plans with the tour company yet again, thankfully being met at Kilimanjaro airport by the tour company, only to discover our luggage didn't arrive with us. I don't recommend Ethiopian Air.


The result: luckily our first two tours were booked with the same company, and we were fortunate that everyone involved allowed us to swap the tours around. We didn't need a lot of gear to go look at some animals compared to trekking the tallest mountain in Africa, so it made sense that while we didn't have our bags we would start off with the 7-day Northern Circuit safari, then climb Kilimanjaro in 7 days (hopefully with all our belongings), followed by the 8-day Southern Circuit safari and relaxation time on Zanzibar. We were exhausted before we even commenced our holiday.


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