As an International Travel Specialist and ambassador of travel, I made the leap to return to Tanzania for a couple months with my husband, Moses. Tanzania has been open to tourism since mid-July 2020 and being a country in which I specialize, I wanted to experience first hand the travel changes in place for COVID-19.
I booked our tickets with KLM and we departed from Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario on October 14, 2020. Policies are constantly changing these days but we were required to have a negative Covid-19 test for boarding. Since arriving, the policy has changed, a PCR test is no longer required if travelling with KLM from Canada to Tanzania (unless you have a medical condition and are unable to wear a mask - in this case a doctors note is required and a negative PCR test result must be shown at check-in and in Amsterdam, results must be valid 72 hours prior to travel).
Getting ready to board in Toronto, I said to Moses, “it feels like pre-Covid travel, but everyone is wearing a mask.” Extra safety precautions and additional procedures (temperature checks, Covid-19 screening questionnaires and limited contact with the flight attendants) were taken every step of the way, which made us feel very safe. I was pleased to see the airlines implementing these changes so efficiently. We were still served one plated meal on each flight and were each given a bag with snacks and drinks for the remainder of the flight. There were very few people on the plane to Amsterdam from Toronto which was great for a long sleep. From Amsterdam to Tanzania the plane was over half full.
From Safaris, Mountain trekking to Beach Holidays I customize complete packages for Tanzania - and other nearby countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, should one wish! A positive thing about travelling during this time is that tourism is low, so it’s not crowded in the National Parks or at the beach resorts. With so much culture to see in Tanzania you can really take advantage at this time.
Our trip ran smoothly from check-in, customs, boarding and throughout the flights. We had a 4.5 hr layover in Amsterdam so we decided to get a room at YotelAir, to rest and freshen up with a nice shower. It cost 55Euros for a single room for 4 hours or 80Euros for a double room. We managed just fine in the single and felt we had enough room for a short nap.
We arrived Kilimanjaro Airport at 8:15pm on the October 15. As I stepped off the plane the warm breeze swept across my face, all my stress disappeared. Social distancing was in place in the customs area and one by one we had our temperatures checked, presented our health screening form, purchased our tourist visas (you can also get an eVisa prior to departure), grabbed our luggage and were on our way to meet our driver. Greeted with the regular happy faces of Tanzanians saying “Karibu sana Tanzania!” (Welcome to Tanzania).