Shuttle – ( Rainbow Shuttle)Nairobi to Arusha
As promised our drive arrived at 7:30 AM to take us to Arusha. What some said would be a 5-hour trip in actual fact took 7 hours. It was a rough trip for at least ¾ of the way over dusty bumpy dirt roads. I guess if they ever finish the construction it might be easier…but it looked like a very slow process as most was being done by hand. We were happy we brought some peanut butter sandwiches with us as the short rest stop just before the Tanzania border didn’t have much to offer. We were happy we took the 8AM shuttle as we now realize the 2PM shuttle would have been arriving well after dark. I’d much rather do the drive during the day.
Along the way we got our first glimpse of some African wildlife. We saw a troop of baboons, some zebra and some giraffe.
We had about a 30-minute wait at the Tanzania border as everyone on the bus had to get his or her picture taken and buy a visa. It was all pretty straight forward …just pay $50.00 each and you’re done. There were lots of shuttle buses there with everyone doing the same thing.
We found the best exchange for US dollars is on the $100.00 bills. We got a rate of 1360 on the $100 and only 1225 are offered on the smaller bills. This was at an exchange office in Arusha. The hotels will all exchange money but the rate we saw was between 1150 and 1200. The money exchange at the Tanzania/Kenya border was across the street from the visa office and not that convenient.
We got our first look at Arusha the morning we set out for our Safari. It’s a bustling, dirty, poor city of 2 million or so people. Less traffic than we are used to seeing as many more people rely on their feet to go about their business than by vehicle. We say hardworking locals carrying huge loads piled on a back of a bike or maybe on their head. We love their colorful dress and I hope to buy some of the wonderful printed fabrics before we leave. We get a kick out of the Obama T-Shirts. He’s very popular here.