Your flight has just landed. You have been traveling for close to a day. As you debark the plane, what do you do need to do upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)?
First, be diligent about getting off the plane. Some large planes like the ones used for KLM flights will open doors at the front and rear of the aircraft. As you make your way down the steps and towards the building, have your passport, boarding pass and arrival declaration form in hand. You may be asked to see your boarding pass before entering the airport by an official. They check to make sure you didn’t get off the plane on accident for those who are continuing on the flight to Dar es Salaam.
The arrival declaration form shown below is a card that should be given to you on the plane. Fill it out on the plane so you do not have to waste time doing so while others are lining up to clear customs. If you did not receive one, they are available on tables at the airport. Grab one as you enter and fill it out while standing in line.
Obtaining a Visa
To gain entry into Tanzania, US citizens and most other nationalities will need a passport and visa.
The passport must be valid for six months after the intended length of stay.
Visas can be obtained prior to departure from the USA or at your point of entry into Tanzania. If you have enough time before your trip, we recommend applying for your visa in advance. The visa cost for US citizens is $100 and $50 for European citizens, payable in US dollars only. More information can be found here.
If you obtained a visa in advance, look for the sign above that says “I HAVE A VISA.” Watch each line to see if they are open, as the airport staff will let everyone stand in one line even if there are three lines open.
If you didn’t obtain your visa in advance, you can get one upon arrival at JRO. Look for the sign that says “I NEED A VISA” and get into that line. Depending on how many people are in front of you, this line can be very slow moving. It is not out of the question to take up to two hours if you are the last person in line and arrived on a large, full flight. After purchasing your visa, a sticker is put on your passport. You will need to stand in another line to get through customs. These are the same lines that people who already had visas beforehand will be in.
The customs official will examine your passport, visa, and arrival declaration form. They will take your photo as well as scan your finger prints. Afterwards, your passport will be stamped and you can proceed to the baggage claim area.
Typically by the time you clear customs, your bags have already been removed from the conveyor belts and lined up on the floor. You should be able to find your bags quickly. They will scan the bags before you exit the airport.
If your bags are not there, speak to an airport official and file a lost luggage claim. Our staff will follow up with the airport to retrieve your luggage when it arrives. (If you are climbing Kilimanjaro when the bags arrive, a porter will deliver them to you on the mountain.)
Outside the airport, you’ll see a crowd of people waiting for tourists. Look for a person holding a Peak Planet sign. That’s our driver who will take you to your hotel.
If you cannot find your driver, contact our local staff. Since we are 10 hours behind, if you have any issues during your trip or while you are on your way, please contact our Tanzanian staff directly at +255 753 896962 (calling from outside of Tanzania) or +255 0753 896962 (calling from inside of Tanzania). The second emergency line before you arrive is: +255 769 079525 (calling from outside of Tanzania) or +255 0769 079525 (calling from inside of Tanzania). This is our 24-hour duty phone number. We recommend downloading WhatsApp to your phone and saving these numbers so you can text us with any delays or issues.
Transfer to Your Hotel
Once you are in the vehicle, sit back a relax. It is about a 40-minute drive to Moshi. You will either be staying in the Stella Maris Executive Lodge, Weru Weru Royal Resort, or comparable accommodations.
Hopefully, you scheduled an extra arrival day so you’ll have time to recover from your long flight and in case your bags didn’t arrive with you. This will allow us time to either track them down or take you into town to rent replacement gear.
At the hotel, you may look for your scheduled trip briefing time. It will be posted in the hotel lobby.