Entering the Tourist Compound...

Moshi Travel Blog

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Today I entered the compounds of Springlands Hotel.  When I asked the taxi driver to take me there, he rolled his eyes.  I was very self- conscious of going to the hotel and felt like a snobby tourist.  I seem to be the only American and definitely the youngest.  There were lots of older Germans.  The staff are not very friendly and seem to work for tip alone.  Almost the first words out of their mouth is "cash only", visit the gift shop (spend $). 
Also my room is in the far corner down a dark hallway infested with mosquitos and flies.  Not very nice at all or worth $50 a night compared to the $15 I paid in town.  Also there was a huge price markup compared to the town:  1000 Tsh for water versus 360 I paid in town.

I say it is a compound because it is outside of the city tucked behind a securely guarded gate complete with high walls, blocking the poverty and starvation just outside.  Many who go there are whisked from the nearby airport in a private air conditioned car to the hotel, then go on their tourist arranged trip:  climbing the mountain or going on a safari without ever really seeing Tanzania.  They don't care to learn about the culture or see the local life.  Springlands aptly guards you from this, complete with a pool and 24 hr guard. Everything is provided at the hotel.  You could stay there without venturing 1 foot outside its walls during your entire vacation.  They obviously know how to cater to the tourist who do not want to step too much outside their comfort zone.  I didn't realize till later that I could have opted not to stay at the hotel thru Zara tours.  Oh well you live and learn. 
I can't wait to get out of here and start my climb.
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Today began my first day to encounter how efficient my pre travel planning really was.
I woke up early...still somewhat jetlagged...to an absolutely amazing sunrise.  Breakfast was served on the roof with an incredible view of Mt Kilimanjaro.  Mmmm the food was amazing.  I don't believe I have ever tasted pineapple so sweet, but then again they do sell piles of it on the side of the road. 
After taking a million pictures of Kilimanjaro with a huge grin on my face, I set off to town to see about bus rides, flights to Zanzibar and of course a safari.
In a few short hours, I arranged my flight via Precision Air ($175), found when and where the bus for Dar Es Salaam, and even wrote back home to the States.
With plenty of time to kill, I wandered around town, exploring the markets selling all kinds of things, enduring the catcalls, stares and constant "Jambo, I can arrange a climb, safari, whatever you want."
Finally I landed in a small Indo Italian restaurant complete with checkered tablecloths offering personal size pizzas to authentic Indian food.  The only downside were the multitude flies and the insanely long wait time.  After the great meal, I waddled back to Kinderoko hotel, to pick my bags and head to Springlands hotel arranged by Zara tours.  It cost me roughly 3000 Tz ~ just under $3 for about a mile ride. 
My $50 room at Springlands
My $50 room at Springlands
photo by: joseph98