Posts Tagged With: nairobi

Journey to America, Part II

Mom declared it a computer-free Christmas so I haven’t been able to finish telling you about my journey until now, so here’s the rest of the story about how I ended up in the frozen tundra of Upstate New York.

Here’s what my looooong trip looked like from Nairobi to Amsterdam to Detroit to Syracuse to Seneca Castle:

NBO to AMS to DTW to SYR to COLD

NBO to AMS to DTW to SYR to COLD

We spent the day of December 19th hanging out in Nairobi.  I want to re-iterate how super awesome the people are at the Nairobi Hilton!  Every single person knew my name and loved on me like you wouldn’t believe.  To all my East African canine travelers, stay there next time you’re in town!

Throughout the day I alternated between walks around the city (to a chorus of “he’s so cute”) and napping on the couch until it was time to get back in the car and head to the airport.




















7:05 pm

We’re in the car headed to the airport in Nairobi.  I can hear mom’s heart beating and because I’m her therapist I know she’s nervous.  I’m pretty sure it’s my fault.  We’ve got a really long trip ahead of us and I know she’s nervous that something will go wrong with me.  I try to reassure her.  I know that I’ll bark and bite (just kidding, I don’t bite) my way through any problem and that eventually we’ll get to where we need to be.

Mom’s carrying me in my custom-made African dog sling so we’re looking super stylish when we arrive at the airport.

Slinging around

Slinging around


8:04 pm

We enter the airport and go through the first of many “security checks”.  The people want to know what I’m doing there, but mom just ignores them because she knows they won’t understand.  At the check-in counter we’re told that we have to go see the manager even though mom confirmed me on the flight months ago with Delta.  Oh Africa, when will you ever understand the awesomeness of the dog?

We spent almost 45 minutes with the manager explaining what I do and showing him all my paperwork.  When he was finally satisfied, we were released and allowed to check our bags.  We still had more than 2 hours before the flight so mom wanted to take me outside for a potty-break since I’d be forced to hold it for a really long time once we were inside.

As we tried to leave the airport the Security man asked if there was a problem and mom told him she was taking me to the bathroom.  The man said, “but there’s a bathroom just over there” and pointed to the human women’s bathroom.  What a dummy!  First, I’m not a human and second, I’m not a woman.  Mom laughed and explained that I didn’t use a toilet, and that I needed to be OUTSIDE to do my business.  I guess I should come with a sheet of instructions to hand out to people in Africa!

10:34 pm

We’re finally on the plane!  When our seat-mate came, mom said, “I hope you don’t mind dogs” to which he replied, “They’re not my favorite”.  But let me tell you, I won that man over like nobody’s business and had my head in his lap by the end of the trip.  In fact, mom asked him if he was now a dog lover and he said that yes, he was, as long as they were all like me!

Also, a big shout-out to the KLM flight crew.  They were so nice and made sure that I had lots of water so I wouldn’t get dehydrated on the 9 hour flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam.

On the KLM plane to Amsterdam with my new friend in the background

On the KLM plane to Amsterdam with my new friend in the background


6:19 am

We’re in Amsterdam!  We don’t have much time here so we go straight to the gate for our flight to Detroit  I’m a little embarrassed to say that I had to go potty so bad that I tinkled on the floor and they made mom clean it up with the only thing she had available: her scarf.  Sorry mom!

In Amsterdam. More waiting.

In Amsterdam. More waiting.


8:35 am

And we’re on yet another plane. Our seat-mate this time is a dog-lover and he’s also from Upstate New York just like mom and me.  He doesn’t mind when I snuggle up against him and sleep the 9 hours between Amsterdam and Detroit.

AMS to DTW on Delta

On the Delta plane to Detroit


11:03 am

We’re back in America!  We have to wait in a long line to actually get into the country.  Lucky for me theres’s a rug that looks like gravel so when I stealth-pee no one can tell and I don’t get in trouble.  (And even if someone did see, I dare them to hold all that fluid in for more than 9 hours.  Humans are lucky because they can get up and go to the bathroom anytime they want on an airplane, but us dogs, we’ve got to be strong!)

After getting through customs, we get our bags and a nice man looks at my papers and writes DOG OK on a form and we’re off to yet another gate to wait for yet another plane.

There’s a bit of culture-shock in store for me in this Detroit airport.   First, there are these scary moving stairs thingies so mom puts me in my sling so I don’t have to figure out how they work.

Moving stairs = scary

Moving stairs = scary

Then we enter a colorful hallway with a moving sidewalk!  Can your imagine, Americans are so lazy they need their sidewalks to do the walking for them!  Mom knows I need the exercise so we just walk the normal way that humans and dogs have been walking for centuries, one foot in front of the other.

Avoiding the moving sidewalk

Avoiding the moving sidewalk

Disco Detroit

Disco Detroit
















1:31 pm

We’re on a tiny plane this time, headed to Syracuse.  Mom and I are pooped.

2:58 pm

We’ve landed in Syracuse and we’re done with planes for a few weeks, hooray!  Uncle Ben and Grandma meet us at the airport for our last leg of the trip, a simple one-hour drive from Syracuse to Seneca Castle.

Uncle Ben has brought me a big puffy coat to wear and I quickly realize it’s because it’s FREEZING in America.  Seriously mom, after all this travel (66 hours to be exact) we’re in an inhospitable ice land.  WHY?

New coat

New coat

Also, while I appreciate the new coat, it makes me look fat.





Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Live Blogging: Journey to America, Part I

6:31 am

I’m going to attempt this live blogging thing today as mom, Tito taxi, and I make our way to Nairobi in the car. Almost exactly one year ago I did the exact journey, except in reverse.

Here’s what our journey will look like:

Mwanza to Nairobi

Mwanza to Nairobi

Of course it’s pouring rain this morning, but I suppose it will make me miss Mwanza a little less…

Don't leave without me mom!

Don’t leave without me mom!

Grrrr, that’s my annoyed dog sound. I tried to upload a photo but I guess we’re already too far away from Mwanza and so the connection is too slow. Don’t worry, mom’s taking lots of photos and will upload them just as soon as she can!

6:43 am

We’re just past Kisesa, where mom works at the Health Center, and the sun is rising in front of us.  It’s super pretty but also reminds me how early it is.  This puppy needs his sleep!

Brilliant sunrise through the rain-soaked windshield

Brilliant sunrise through the rain-soaked windshield

6:58 am

I just had my first cow sighting of the day and we all know how much I love cows…HOORAY!

Cow, YES!

Cow, YES!

7:10 am

Our car problems have started just outside of Magu.  There was a funny noise as we went over one of the many speed bumps on the road from Mwanza to Sirari.  Tito taxi pulled over and sure enough, the car was broken.  Also, mom and I are a spectacle so we’ve gathered a bit of  a morning crowd of assorted drunk men.  Eww.

I'm pretty sure that all these men were drunk.  On principal, mom refused to give them money to buy beer at 7:30 in the morning

I’m pretty sure that all these men were drunk. On principal, mom refused to give them money to buy beer at 7:30 in the morning

8:15 am

The C-V joint on Tito’s car broke just outside of Magu so we had to pull over and Tito went to town to find a new car part. And my brilliant mother accidentally locked the keys in the car. So now we’re standing outside on the road surrounded by people who are fascinated by me and my mom. Wish us luck!

The broken C-V joint, whatever that means

The broken C-V joint, whatever that means

9:08 am

Guess who got to see more cows while we were waiting for the car to get fixed?  This little doggie, that’s who!  Oh, and then I tried to eat some of their poop, which got me in trouble with mom.  Oops!

Cows!  And check out those horns.  JEALOUS!

Cows! And check out those horns. JEALOUS!

9:20 am

While we were waiting for the car to be fixed (it’s going on 2 hours now), a nice man from a little shop nearby brought over some of the tiny fish called daga and let me have some.  Amazingly enough, this is my first time eating daga since moving to Tanzania, even though most local dogs eat daga everyday.  They were interesting.  Salty and slightly crunchy, but I didn’t have time for breakfast before we left so they were good enough for me!

Trying daga

Trying daga

10:41 am

We’re finally on the move again, YAY!  We’re just now crossing the ‘Narrow Damaged Bridge’ which makes mom and I laugh every time we see it.

HaHa, I wonder how long this bridge will stay damaged?

HaHa, I wonder how long this bridge will stay damaged?

11:19 am

Now we’ve passed Speke Bay, one of my favorite places in Tanzania.  Too bad we can’t stop in and say hello to everyone.  They’re also doing roadwork in this area and we have to drive on a dirt road (I’m unsure if you can actually call it that).  This road gets Tito taxi’s car all dirty, something which really, really annoys him.

Um, I suppose this is a road

Um, I suppose this is a road

11:28 am

We’re driving past the Serengeti Western Corridor gate.  I really wish I can go inside, because I love me some animals, but I guess I’m too much animal for a National Park.

11:35 am

Zebra sighting.  This basically makes my day.



1:58 pm

We’ve finally arrived in the border town of Sirari.  Mom and Tito taxi do something at an office while I wait in the car.  Lots of people gather around to stare at me, so i go and I hide underneath the seat so they can’t make fun of me.

2:49 pm

It took us almost an hour to do all the nonsense required at the border and we’re now on the Kenyan side of the border in a town called Isebania.  Mom and Tito taxi had to go and do more stuff in another office and again I had to stay in the car.  Then they went to a funny little office where mom argued with a man about something and eventually forked over some money.  He then proceeded to sit behind a weird, loud machine and made a paper that Tito taxi had to keep with his car in case there was an accident.  They also made me go to the Veterinary office where they looked at all my paperwork.  Mom told them that I was healthier and better vaccinated than any human who crossed the border so they sent us on our way.

Funny man, funny machine

Funny man, funny machine

4:45 pm

There’s Christmas carols on the radio in Kenya.  I almost forgot this is why mom and I are going to America!

5:13 pm

A crazy or drunk person (or maybe both) jumped on our car in a town called Sotik.  I did not like this man so I barked until he got off and was chased away by some other people outside.

6:16 pm

We’ve been driving for 12 hours now, but then we see a double rainbow and all of us are instantly happier.

Smile, it's a rainbow!

Smile, it’s a rainbow!

6:31 pm

More zebras alongside the road.  We were going to fast to get a photo, but I promise you, they were there and I saw them.  Mom says we’re near the Maasai Mara so that’s why there’s zebras here.

8:17 pm

We’re now passing the Great Rift Valley overlook, but unfortunately it’s dark so we can’t see it.  Luckily I got a nice view last year when we drove this way so I’m not too upset.

The sun is setting on our long day

The sun is setting on our long day

11:15 pm

I’m finally here in the Nairobi Hilton with some food and some water and I think that’s totally awesome.  Mom’s too tired to type up all the stuff that I made her write down today after we lost our internet connection, but I promise I’ll make her fill in the rest of the trip with photos first thing tomorrow!

Good Night!

Really?? I finally get to sleep now?

Really?? I finally get to sleep now?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dog-Friendly Hotels in East Africa

In general, people in Tanzania and Kenya seem not to like me, which is weird because in the US everyone loved me.  I’m discriminated by Precision Air, and many other places because I’m a dog, but there have been a few gems in my travels.  I want other doggies to have an easier time than me while traveling Africa so I’m going to keep a running list here of the places where I’ve been welcomed.

The Places I've Stayed

The Places I’ve Stayed

1. Hilton Hotel, Nairobi

All the people that worked at the Hilton were excited to see me and quickly learned my name.  Everyday at breakfast they would greet me by name and also they gave me my first meal of goat, yummy!  When my mom went back to the Hilton a month after our stay without me, everyone remembered me and asked where I was, they missed me!

The bed was super comfortable at the Hilton

The Pool at the Hilton











2. Ryan’s Bay Hotel, Mwanza

  • Website:
  • Telephone number: +255-28-254-2347
  • Location: On the shore of Lake Victoria just next to downtown Mwanza
  • Price: $120/night for a double room

The people at Ryan’s Bay were super welcoming to me after a long drive from Nairobi.  Even though I only stayed there for one night, I kept going back for dinner because the people were so nice to me.  The room was huge and I had a great view of Lake Victoria every night at dinner.

View of Capri Point from Ryan’s Bay

The view from dinner at Ryan’s Bay











3. Speke Bay, Lake Victoria

  • Website:
  • Telephone number: +255-28-262-1236
  • Location: On the shores of Lake Victoria, about a 2 hour drive from Mwanza and 15 minute drive from the Western Corridor Gate of the Serengeti
  • Price: $300/night for a triple room, includes dinner and breakfast

This was my first real beach and it was beautiful!  There’s only 8 bungalows at the hotel so we basically had the whole beach to ourselves and I got to run up and down, digging and swimming!  They even let me come in the restaurant and when we left they asked me to bring back 3 more dogs just like me 🙂

Post Lake Victoria-swimming at Speke Bay

The view of Lake Victoria from our bungalow











4. Setavin Hotel, Musoma, Tanzania

  • Telephone number: +255 282 622 282
  • Location: The center of Musoma town, which is located on Lake Victoria, 1 1/2 hours from the border of Kenya and 2 1/2 hours from Mwanza
  • Price: $50/night for a double room, includes breakfast

Mom and I weren’t expecting much from the hotel selection in Musoma because Marcel had warned that the town was similar to Butare in Rwanda, however I was pleasantly surprised with Setavin Hotel.  The people who worked there accepted me right away and all learned my name and also helped me practice the ‘sit’ command.  The room was super clean and I had fun playing on the balcony while mom had dinner and breakfast.  Before I left, all the staff made sure to say goodbye and one of them even fed me by hand!

Me on the bed at Setavin Hotel

The outside of Setavin Hotel













5. Snowcrest Hotel, Arusha, Tanzania

  • Website:
  • Telephone number: +255 272 543 100
  • Location: Just outside the center of Arusha near the Arusha International Conference Center
  • Price: $230/night for a triple room, includes breakfast

We arrived here late at night and the guards and the reception were so nice and welcoming to us.  They smiled at me and quickly checked us in and showed us to our wonderful room.  The beds were comfy and had nice fluffy duvets.  We were really hungry so we ordered room service at 12:30am and it came quickly.  In the morning, the humans had a yummy breakfast buffet and I got to play in the huge gardens surrounding the hotel.  Five paws for the Snowcrest!

Me and mom at the Snowcrest

Me and the guard at Snowcrest Hotel











6. Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Nakuru, Kenya

  • Website:
  • Telephone number: +254 020 231 5139
  • Location: On a hill overlooking Lake Nakuru inside Lake Nakuru National Park just outside of Nakuru town
  • Price: $180/night for a double room, includes breakfast

Even though it was difficult to enter Lake Nakuru National Park as a dog, once I arrived at the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, I was treated like a star!  The individual bungalows are spaced far enough apart for lots of privacy and the view of the Lake in the morning is delightful!  Also, the beds are super comfy and have a hot water compress inside for a warm, snuggly, night’s sleep 🙂

Just outside our bungalow, overlooking Lake Nakuru

Me on the bed at the Sarova Lion Hill











7. Peacock Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Website:
  • Telephone number: +255 22 2120334
  • Location: The city center of Dar es Salaam
  • Price: $95/night, includes breakfast

This may be the only hotel that will allow dogs like me in all of Dar es Salaam, even though it’s a big city and the capital of Tanzania at that.  Mom, Sham (our awesome taxi driver), and I drove and drove and drove around the city looking for a place we could stay for almost an hour in the very early morning and the Peacock Hotel finally welcomed us with open arms.  They allowed us to check in at 7:00 am so that we could sleep after two long days of flying.  The rooms are clean with big, comfy beds, a tv, free wi-fi, and air conditioning.  We truly loved everything about our stay here!

In the bathroom on a pile of Peacock towels

In the bathroom on a pile of Peacock towels

Me on the comfy bed with LOTS of pillows

Me on the comfy bed with LOTS of pillows

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Nairobi to Mwanza

My mom is back from her weekend trip to Nairobi, so now I can post again since she took her computer and the internet with her.  Her journey home from Nairobi was so much easier than mine!

We arrived in Nairobi from Amsterdam at 9:30pm on New Year’s Eve.  Mom needed to be in Mwanza, Tanzania by January 3rd, but we still hadn’t figured out how to get there.  Unfortunately Precision Air is the only airline that regularly flies from Nairobi to Mwanza and they hate little dogs like me, so flying wasn’t an option.  Luckily we met a great taxi driver named Michael in Nairobi and he agreed to drive us from Nairobi to the Kenya/Tanzania border where we would meet my namesake and godfather, Tito the taxi driver.

Me in Tito the taxi driver's car

We set out from Nairobi on the morning of January 3rd.  We drove through the Great Rift Valley and saw Masai herders.  It was the biggest yard I’ve ever seen!

The Great Rift Valley

Masai herders with the biggest animals I've ever seen!

It took us almost 5 hours to drive from Nairobi to the border town of Isebania.  In some sections communities built speed bumps so high that the car would get stuck on top.  During the day, they helped to push us over, but during the night, it’s much more dangerous.  Mom said they even steal things from people this way.  Good thing we were driving during the day!

Using dad's neck pillow on the long car ride

Once we got to the border we easily crossed into Tanzania and the town of Sirari.  No one even asked to see my paperwork!  We met my godfather Tito at the border and transferred everything into his vehicle to finish the rest of our drive to Mwanza.

We got a mini-Safari as we drove from the Kenyan border to Mwanza since we were on the edge of the Serengeti.  I thought the cows from the Great Rift Valley were cool until I saw zebras in the Serengeti.  These giant striped creatures just blew my mind!  Mom says that elephants are even bigger and I can’t imagine what I’ll do when I see one.

Zebras in the Serengeti

After driving for 4 hours and spotting zebras, wildebeest, and baboons along the way, we made it to Mwanza!  That first night we stayed in a wonderful hotel on Lake Victoria called Ryan’s Bay Hotel.  After a 10 hour journey, I was beat and super happy to relax in my new home.

Me relaxing at Ryan's Bay Hotel

Our route from Nairobi to Mwanza

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at