The Treasures of Tanzania - United Hub

The treasures of Tanzania

By The Hub team

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By Flight Dispatcher Jonathan Uhrig

I originally intended to do this trip as a Kilimanjaro climb and trip to Zanzibar Island, however, I settled on two safaris due to time constraint. The first part of the safari was visiting four national parks and the second was visiting Selous Game Reserve in the south of the country via Cessna on a dirt airstrip. I used for my planning. I flew from Chicago to Dubai and from there to Dar Es Salaam. I then flew on Dar Es Salaam to Kilimanjaro Airport, which is surprisingly a very modern airport.

A bit of history about Tanzania: It was formerly the German colony of Tanganyika and was taken over by the British as part of Germany's war reparations from World War I. Tanganyika got its independence from Britain in 1961 and was renamed Tanzania to incorporate Tanganyika and the former independent colony of Zanzibar Island hence the name, Tanzania.

During my first two nights, I stayed in the African View Lodge in Usa River near the town of Arusha. On the first full day of my vacation, I had a free day so I went to the Arusha Central Market where spices, coffees and souvenirs can be purchased. I also visited a snake farm and the Maasai museum. The Maasai people are natives who live in mud huts in the area and are mainly farmers. It is not uncommon to see children, as young as five, with a stick on the side of the road guiding 50-60 head of cattle.

On the first full day of the safari, you get a safety brief and meet the other people you will be traveling with. All safaris use Land Cruisers with a capacity of seven passengers. There is a small compartment in the back for luggage as you travel from lodge to lodge. I traveled with two German couples and a man from Minneapolis. Our first stop was Tarangire National Park, known for its native Baobab Tree. As we made our way to this National Park I saw every animal imaginable, including lions, elephants, giraffes and hippos. I didn't see a rhino until I got to Ngorongoro Crater.

We spent the second day at Lake Manyara, which has more than 600 species of birds. I saw a ton of baboons -- about 200 migrating from one area to another. Lake Manyara is also part of the African Rift Valley, the mountain chain runs from deep in the continent north to Kenya and beyond. The mosquito and Tse Tse fly is prevalent in this area so be sure to use repellent. The Tse Tse fly has a long needlelike proboscis and its bite can be painful.

The third day was the height of the trip with a visit to the Serengeti and a hot air balloon ride. The hot air balloon stays low initially so you have great views of the wildlife below, including the hippos in the river. Then the balloon gently climbs to an altitude of 3,000 feet. From this height, I saw giraffes, gazelles, lions and many acacia trees. It is the only way to see the Serengeti. Afterwards, there is a champagne salute at the landing site to commemorate the first balloon flight in the 1700s. After the toast you are treated to an outdoor brunch and get to sit and talk with the balloon captain. You are even given a certificate for the ride.

The balance of the trip was spent going to Ngorongoro Crater which is home to 27 rhinos. The rhinos are protected here because their horn is coveted by illegal hunters/poachers. I saw hundreds of animals in Ngorongoro Crater thanks to migration season - mainly for zebras and wildebeests. After Ngorongoro, I spent time at a real Maasai Village where they greeted us with their native dance and we got a chance to see their mud hut first hand. Their "kitchen" consists of an open fire, and a typical mud hut has two simple compartments for sleeping. That night, we drove to Ngorongoro Farm House located on a coffee plantation. We took a coffee walking tour and were briefed in detail about the seeding, planting, harvesting and processing of Arabica coffee.

The last two days were spent in the Selous. I flew there in a Cessna Caravan out of Arusha Airport - not as modern as Kilimanjaro but interesting nonetheless. The Selous has its own dirt airstrip so our pilot had to do two go arounds because there was a giraffe on the active runway. In the Selous, I went on another safari that also included walking the safari the next morning and a river cruise on the Rufiji River.

On the last day we were in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. I had just enough time to witness the colorful and chaotic atmosphere at the fish market before heading home.

If Tanzania is in your travel plans, you won't be disappointed - it was a wonderful learning experience and very fun.

Things to note before you go:

  • A Visa is required for Tanzania.
  • Yellow Fever vaccine is not required, however, see your physician about other medical requirements.
  • If you plan on doing the hot air balloon trip, be sure to bring plenty of sun block, a hat and warm clothing.

United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020

Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, April 22, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment throughout your travel experience.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

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