Where do you fly to climb Kilimanjaro?
Everyone’s flights are different, depending on where your departure city is and what airlines you fly. However, the best airport to fly into is Kilimanjaro International Airport. Its world airport code is JRO.
- Because we will pick you up from JRO for free. The transfers are included in your climb price.
- It is the closest airport to Moshi and therefore a shorter distance to your hotel.
- Most Kilimanjaro climbers arrive here so despite the crowds, they are more efficient at moving you along.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Kilimanjaro Airport was first opened in December 1971. It cost $13 million USD to build. The construction was financed by a long-term loan from the Italian government.
Furthermore, in 1998, it became the first international airport in Africa to be privatized and is operated by the Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company.
The airport facilitates traveling to Many of Tanzania’s National Parks. Parks such as; Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and Serengeti National Park. The airport bills itself as the “Gateway to Africa’s Wildlife Heritage”.
In February 2014, the governments of Tanzania and the Netherlands signed a grant arrangement to renovate JRO. This renovation included upgrades to the taxiways and terminal building. The project total cost was close to $41 million USD. Most noteworthy, the Netherlands funded $17 million. The remainder was funded by the Tanzania government.
In November 2015, constructions began at the airport. These improvements were added to double its capacity. Before the upgrades, JRO could handle 600,000 passengers annually. Now it should be able to handle 1.2 million.
Once you debark the plane, there are several lines. The first one is for your visa. We recommend getting your visa before your trip since this line is the longest. You can find out more here: http://tanzaniaembassy-us.org/?page_id=76#visaForms. It can take up to two hours depending on the number of people on your flight that also require a visa.
If you need a visa, hurry off the plane and get into this line quickly. If you are a United States citizen, you will hand them $100 U.S. Dollars and your passport. They will take your picture and put the visa right in your passport.
From this line, you’ll be directed to the next line where you’ll be asked several questions. Once through this line, you’ll proceed to the baggage area.
Your bags may already have been offloaded by the time you reach the baggage area. Find your bags and quickly go through them to make sure nothing is missing. If your bags are not there or something is missing. Let our driver know immediately. He will be right outside the doors with a sign that reads “Peak Planet”. Watch a video on how to pack your carry-on bag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCMJL6BxpbA
If everything is good to go, just sit back and enjoy the 40-minute drive to your hotel. It will be either the Stella Maris Executive Lodge or the Weru Weru Royal Resort. The same owner owns both hotels. They are right down the road from each other. We put you in the Stella Maris first. If however, you have a large group or there is no availability at Stella Maris, we will place you in Weru Weru. That way everyone is together for the trip briefing and we do not have to search both hotels for you.
While at the hotel, you can ask about city tours or other things to do to pass the time. Or you can choose to lounge around the hotel. There is a restaurant, and wifi is available in the lobby area. Spend this time relaxing because you have some mighty taxing days ahead. Double check your gear, specifically check your camera for batteries and SD cards. Pack and repack your items, call your loved ones since it’ll be several days until you have cell/wifi coverage again.
Arusha Airport (ARK): Arusha has a small airport in the city. Flights into and out of this airport are very limited, but if you are coming from a nearby country such as Nairobi, Kenya or Zanzibar this may be an option for you. We will pick you up, but there will be a transfer fee. Additionally, you may take a taxi. We will need to know in advance if you arrive here since ARK to Moshi is approximately 1:40 minutes each way.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO): Some clients choose to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya. From Nairobi, you can take a daily shuttle to Moshi for under $50 USD. The ride is about 4-5 hours. We do not provide any transportation to or from Nairobi. Clients must arrange this transportation themselves.
Keep in mind that if you are in Kenya for over 8 hours you will be required to get a Yellow Fever vaccination before arriving in Africa.
One of the benefits of going this route is you can get your visa fairly easily at the Tanzania border. There is usually just a short line if there is one at all.
Emergency issues while en route to Tanzania
If you have any issues while on your way to Tanzania. You’ll need to contact us right away. Issues may include delayed or canceled flights, lost luggage, missed flights or an accident on the way to the airport.
Since Tanzania is 10-hours ahead of the main U.S. offices, contacting our Operations Manager via a text message through WhatsApp is the best and fastest way to reach us. You should program these numbers into WhatsApp: +255 753 896962 or +255 769 079525. This is our 24-hour duty phone number. If you choose to call, outside of Tanzania call +255 753 896962 or +255 769 079525. Once in Tanzania call +255 (0)753 896962 or +255 (0)769 079525.
So now that you know where to fly to, who do you book your flights with? Many airlines fly to JRO. However, one airline seems to have the best record of on-time arrivals, least amount of luggage delays, and friendliest flight crew. That airlines is Delta/KLM. Especially the KLM portion of your flight. We recommend booking your flight with Delta/KLM. We have found that we have the fewest problems with this airlines.
Delta / KLM From North America, there are two main ways clients arrive at JRO. The first and most popular way is to fly KLM/Delta from a major US city to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to JRO Airport. This is a nice airline and the flight goes by quickly since they have plenty of new movies to watch. They also feed you well, and of course, alcohol is served on the international flight. We recommend not overdoing the drinking since you are flying to an unknown country and you need to keep your wits about you when traveling internationally.
There is one flight per day that arrives in JRO at around 8 PM. If you book this flight you’ll arrive at your hotel after 10 PM. This will be after the trip briefing. For this reason, we recommend coming in a day earlier. We can book additional lodging for you.
Any Airlines to Washington D.C / Ethiopian Air The second most popular way is to fly to Washington D.C. and then catch an Ethiopian Air flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and from there continue to JRO. This flight will bring you into JRO at around 1:00 pm.
Additional Airlines. There are other airlines that also fly into JRO. Here is a list of some of the more popular ones
- Fastjet – British/SouthAfrican
- Condor – Germany
- Qatar Airways – Qatar
- Emirates – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Turkish Airlines – Turkey
The map below will give you a good idea of the locations of the airports and their relation to the cities and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Also, if you are interested in adding a safari, the locations of the parks are also shown.
Keep in mind, our climbs have an arrival and departure day built in. Booking this rest day allows for any flight delays and for any delayed or lost bags. This also gives you a day to recover from the long flight.
Our trips begin in Moshi, Tanzania. Moshi is a Tanzanian municipality located on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. It has a population of about 184,000 people. Moshi covers only 23 square miles, which makes it the smallest municipality in Tanzania.
Finally, we hope this gives you a more accurate idea of where to fly to climb Kilimanjaro. Remember, if you have any issues along the way, please do not hesitate to text us via WhatsApp. If your flight times change, please let us know. We will do our best to make sure your time in Tanzania is the best it can be.