While visiting Tanzania during the month of July to see family, my mom and I also had a chance to see some of the country. After a couple of days spent on airplanes and in airports (detailed here in a previous blog post), we relaxed at the KIA Lodge, which is just over a kilometer from the Kilimajaro airport.
The rooms are actually separate thatched huts with adobe walls, like little cottages. To find your room, you can look on the map just outside the reception building.
Our room was actually one half of a cottage, with one other room on the other side. We dressed for dinner Tanzanian-style (long skirts), although most other guests were Europeans in the area for safari or to climb Kilimanjaro and wore western-style pants.
The pathways between the cottages and around the grounds were almost a vacation in and of themselves. Winding paths take visitors to cottages, the pool, the bar, and the open-air restaurant, with native African fauna along the way.
Many plants had long thorns attached, like this one.
The rooms were designed as mini-retreats, as you can see from this view outside our room looking in.
Mosquito netting surrounds every bed I saw in Tanzania, where malaria is a real danger. We took anti-malaria meds before traveling, but most people (native and others) living in Africa are simply treated if they become infected. The mosquito netting helps prevent bites during the night, when mosquitos carrying malaria are most active.
The KIA Lodge restaurant, lit from the inside for dinner.
Staff also prepared a fire in the outdoor firepit, surrounded by tables for guests to dine on.
The patio outside the restaurant was separated from the surrounding plains by a low stone wall, although my sister-in-law assured us later that the entire Lodge area is surrounded by high fence that also encircles the airport.
The views are definitely gorgeous. In the distance, Mount Meru can be seen. Supposedly on a clear day, you can also see Mount Kilimanjaro, although we weren't able to see it while we were there.
At breakfast the next morning, my mom took this shot of the rising sun through the trees on the patio.
Coffee on the open-air patio, with wooden bowls holding sugar and other spices.
I enjoyed the breakfast immensely, although we had to share the patio with these guys:
I am decidedly not a bird lover, or even a bird watcher. I welcomed the KIA Lodge dog when he came around to shoo them away, especially as we ate!
At the open-air bar, you can even check your email:
Here is my mom, sitting at the computer the KIA Lodge provided for guests. (They also have wi-fi access for use on your personal devices.)
These cool cement couches are on either side of the bar. We took a moment to take a mother-daughter picture, before heading up to the pool area.
Where I took a reading-by-the-pool picture just for the blog (and also for my new Twitter profile picture)!
And then a reading-on-the-stairs-coming-down-from-the-pool picture. Isn't the stonework simply beautiful?
We left the KIA Lodge for the Kilimanjaro airport after our photography session, where my mom snapped a photo of this tree growing in the middle of an open-air courtyard inside the airport.
I read some more while waiting for our plane...
And snapped yet another bird photo, this one of a bird running around inside the airport.
And at last, we were off on our last leg of the journey to Tanzania -- a flight from Kilimanjaro to Mwanza, where my brother and sister-in-law picked us up for our trip to their town of Geita. I wanted a picture of myself standing outside the Kilimanjaro airport, so here I am as we walk outside to get on the airplane.
We didn't see Mount Kilimanjaro on our first trip through the Kili airport, but my mom snapped this photo as we left three weeks later. How majestic is that mountain?