a VirtualTourist member from Knoxville
I am traveling from Johannesburg to Livingstone in January to see the falls--we need accommodation for 3 nights then we need to get to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania. I cannot find a way to do this painlessly--does anyone have suggestions? I prefer plane or train (not bus).
Unfortunately there is no painless way to do this by air and there is no reliable train service. As you quite rightly indicate, the bus isn't worth considering unless you're a hardy backpacker type with a lot of time.
Counterintuitive though it might seem, the most practical and cost effective way is probably to fly back to Johannesburg and then connect to Kilimanjaro that way.
The Johannesburg-Kili route is fairly expensive though, due to lack of competition. I presume that you're going on safari: if so, is there any chance that your tour operator could arrange a pick up for you from Nairobi, which is a route that has far more competition - and thus more flights and lower fares? (Nairobi is pronanly easier than Dar for Kili, even though it's the other side of the border, although both are worth considering).
Quite right, my railway friend. I should have qualified that by saying "no direct train" ... thanks for the correction!
Should have mentioned that Air Tanzania offers the direct Jo'burg - Kili flight (a codeshare with South African Airways).
I used the Joburg/Bulawayo bus once and can assure you that you don't want to do that.
I don't have any answers but am keen to learn what conclusions you come to.