How to get to Kilimanjaro arport  | Arusha Airport | Nairobi (JNIA) Airport | Dar-es-salaam International Airport | Zanzibar International Airport

How to get to Kilimanjaro airport


Before you start your hiking escapade to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or going to Safari to the Northern part of Tanzania, you will need to establish how to get here, and the best mode of transport to suit your itinerary or tour. Travellers flying from the UK, the US, Australia or Canada and other parts of the world have a few options to explore, the most popular being the Kilimanjaro Airport.

Each of these options should be carefully considered based on your budget and how much time you have to explore Tanzania before, or after your trek. Most importantly, don’t be tricked into booking the cheapest flight without considering if there might be a catch; including long layover times, additional visas or transport arrangements.

The best option would be to pick one of the direct flights into Kilimanjaro airport, located approximately 45 kilometres from the towns of Moshi, Marangu or Arusha as this is where most climbs / Safari will start or where your small group tour will meet. Airlines that fly into Kilimanjaro airport include: KLMTurkish AirlinesEthiopian Airlines , EmiratesQatar.

If you don’t want to pick one of the direct flights to the Kilimanjaro Airport, the next option for travellers is to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, as this is the main hub for domestic and international travellers. 

Domestic flights within Tanzania are operated by regional airlines, including: Precision Air, Fastjet, Zanair, Hanh Air, RwandAir, Kenya Air.

Another option that is sometimes overlooked is for travellers to fly into Nairobi Airport in Kenya and book a one-hour connecting direct flights to Kilimanjaro airport. If you do arrive in Kenya, there is the option for you to arrive by land into Arusha via shuttle bus or a private transfer (depending on your budget). Flights to Nairobi are likely to be cheaper than flying directly into Kilimanjaro Airport and allow for the opportunity to explore another region before trekking to Mount Kilimanjaro.

It is worth noting that while the initial flight into Kenya might seem cheaper, travellers should consider the cost of an additional visa to Kenya, local taxis, and accommodation if spending a night in Nairobi before travelling onwards and starting the tour in Arusha.

4 ways to go to Kilimanjaro airport

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Kilimanjaro airport - FAQ's

Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code JRO) provides a convenient way for visitors to fly in and out of Tanzania for their climb and safari trips. It is the closest airport to Kilimanjaro, located just 40 minutes from the gateway towns of Moshi and Arusha by vehicle, which makes it easy to begin your adventure soon after you arrive.

Direct Flights

Several international airlines operate flights to Kilimanjaro Airport, including Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways and KLM. Several regional airlines fly here from local hubs, including Air Tanzania and Precision Air.

Direct flights to Kilimanjaro Airport originate from only two major international hubs, Doha with Qatar Airlines and Amsterdam with KLM. There are no direct flights to Kilimanjaro from the USA or Canada.

Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport

When you arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will deplane on the tarmac. Inside the building, you will need to clear immigration. There are lines for people who have their visa already and lines for people who are getting their visa on arrival. Be sure to stand in the correct queue.

Once you are through security, grab your checked baggage and head for the exit. You will be required to scan your baggage before leaving.

There is usually a crowd of drivers just outside the airport who are waiting to pick up their passengers. Ultimate Kilimanjaro provides pick up and drop off services to our clients. These must be pre-booked ahead of time. If you have transfers booked with us, look for the friendly driver wearing a blue Ultimate Kilimanjaro shirt and holding a sign with your name on it. He will help you carry your bags to the vehicle and then drive you to your hotel.

Departure from Kilimanjaro Airport

When you are departing Tanzania, it is recommended that you arrive at the airport two hours before your flight time. Note that you will not be able to get your boarding pass from the airline booth until it is within three hours of your departure. So do not come to the airport more than three hours beforehand or you will have to wait until the airline booth is open for your flight.

With your boarding pass and passport, you clear security and enter the common waiting area. There are six gates at Kilimanjaro airport. The seating at the gate faces outdoors through large windows so you can see your plane as it arrives.

Restrooms are located downstairs.

Shopping

If you want to do some last minute shopping, you are in luck. Next to the common waiting area is a row of shops, including a:

a) Book shop
b) Garment Shop
c) Souvenir and Snack Shop
d) Gemstones & Jewelry Shop
e) Currency Exchange
f) Duty Free Shop

These stores will have the same items you have probably seen over and over again while touring the country albeit at higher prices.

Restaurants

There is a restaurant with a bar and comfortable booths.

In the center space, the restaurant seating area has wooden tables and chairs.

Upstairs, there is another cafe.

And plenty of additional seating.

Airport Lounges

Two business / VIP lounges are available for business class passengers or qualified passengers with flying status. It is also possible to purchase access to these lounges. And yes, there is free wifi throughout the airport!

In summary, if you have time to kill before your departure, going to the airport a bit early (3 hours) is not a bad idea. There are places to shop, sit, eat and lounge so you can relax before your potentially long flight out.

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To start things off, we’ll look at Where is Kilimanjaro Airport and the different ways of accessing it.

Kilimanjaro International Airport is in Hai, Kilimanjaro region, about 45 kilometers east of Arusha. Here are the different ways you can access the airport:

By Road – The airport is accessible by road from the nearby towns of Moshi and Arusha. It takes around 1 hour to drive from Arusha to the airport, depending on traffic conditions.

Using Shuttle Services – Several tour operators and hotels offer shuttle services to and from Kilimanjaro Airport. These services can be pre-arranged and it’s advised that you check with your accommodation and operator about the availability.

We at Serengeti Trips Tanzaniaoffer airport transfers included in your package to and from the Tanzania Destinations you plan to visit.

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) offers convenient facilities and amenities to ensure a pleasant travel experience. Here are some key features of the Closest Airport to Kilimanjaro:

Terminal Building – The modern terminal accommodates both domestic and international flights, providing a range of services to meet passenger needs.

Check-in and Security – Multiple check-in counters are available for airlines operating at the airport, with strict security measures in place for passenger safety.

Departure Lounge – Passengers can relax in the departure lounge, which offers seating, shops, and eateries. Comfortable seating, charging points, and free Wi-Fi are provided.

Duty-Free Shopping – Explore duty-free shops offering a variety of products, including local crafts, clothing, accessories, and electronics.

Restaurants and Cafes – Enjoy a meal or snack at the airport’s restaurants and cafes, offering a selection of local and international cuisines.

Currency Exchange and Banking – Convenient currency exchange services and ATMs are available for foreign currency conversion and other banking needs.

Car Rental – Various car rental companies have desks at the airport for easy transportation arrangements.

Medical Services – The airport provides medical facilities for minor emergencies, with nearby hospitals or clinics available for more significant medical issues.

Wi-Fi and Internet Access – Stay connected with free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal building.

Accessibility – Facilities for passengers with disabilities include accessible restrooms, ramps, and designated parking spaces.

Many airlines offer direct flights to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) from different international destinations. Here are some of the more popular airlines that operate flights to Kilimanjaro Airport:

NAME OF THE AIRLINEORIGINFLIGHT SCHEDULE
KLM Royal Dutch AirlinesAmsterdamMonday, Wednesday, and Friday
Qatar AirwaysDohaDaily
Turkish AirlinesIstanbulMonday, Thursday, and Saturday
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis AbbaDaily
RwandAirKigaliDaily

In addition, here is a list of airlines offering connecting Flights To Kilimanjaro International Airport:

NAME OF THE AIRLINECONNECTING CITY
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul, Turkey
Qatar AirwaysDoha, Qatar
KLMAmsterdam, Netherlands
Kenya AirwaysNairobi, Kenya
EmiratesDubai, UAE
South African AirwaysJohannesburg, South Africa
RwandAirKigali, Rwanda

Kilimanjaro International Airport is located about 35 km (25 miles) east of Moshi town and 45 km west of Arusha town.

 

Yes, visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport. However, it’s recommended to obtain a visa in advance to avoid delays.

Yes, there are hotels located near Kilimanjaro Airport that can be booked for convenient accommodation.

Distance: 46.9KMTime: 1.5HR

Arusha Region in Tanzania


Arusha is the nearest major city to iconic parks of Northern Tanzania like Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara & more. So most Tanzania safari tours start from Arusha and the majority of the tour operators and guides are also located in Arusha. Before you start your Tanzania safari, we recommend to arrive in Arusha a day in advance and rest in the city.

Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code JRO) provides a convenient way for visitors to fly in and out of Tanzania for their climb and safari trips. It is the closest airport to Kilimanjaro, located just 40 minutes from the gateway towns of Moshi and Arusha by vehicle, which makes it easy to begin your adventure soon after you arrive.


Serengeti Trips Tanzania


Find all the transport options for your trip to Arusha to from anywhere in Tanzania  right here. We displays up to date schedules, route maps, journey times and estimated fares from relevant transport operators, ensuring you can make an informed decision about which option will suit you best.

How to get to Ngorongoro

From Arusha to Other areas

Things to do in Arusha

From Kilimanjaro (JRO), it's approximately 4 hours on a tarred road to Karutu and another hour to Lake Eyasi. Manyara Airstrip is the closest to Lake Eyasi, which takes around 40 minutes to fly from Arusha and two hours from Manyara to Lake Eyasi.

Cultural tourism programmes are organised in several nearby villages to introduce visitors to the indigenous Wa-arusha and Maasai tribes. They are great alternatives to the safari scene.

These programmes are built around village activities and they can be half-day tours or overnight trips. If you stay overnight, expect basic accommodation – either camping or staying in a traditional homestay.

Some excellent tours include MkuruMto wa Mbu, and Longido. Located north of Mt Meru, Mkuru stands out from the other villages as one of the only camel riding communities.

You can explore the local culture by arranging a camel riding safari guided by Maasai warriors. You can choose between a short safari that lasts for a few hours, or a longer trek to Lake Natron or OI Doinyo Lengai.

Longido town offers splendid walks around the village, with rare wildlife like gernuk, lesser kudu, and klipspringer antelopes living in the bush. Mto wa Mbu is a very interesting tribe with a diverse population, and many residents were attracted to the area by the fertility of its soil.

Each community farms its own produce according to the tradition of their tribal backgrounds. In this village, there are some basic guest houses for accommodation.

With any cultural tourism programme, there is a fine line between community empowerment and simply empowering the entrepreneurs that run them. Nevertheless, the programmes still provide employment for locals, and many of the programmes near Arusha raise money for projects that will benefit the local communities.

For example, the Longido village tour is raising money towards a new cattle dip to protect the herd, which suffers around 1,000 deaths per year.

Other projects fund educationirrigation, or ecological work. Moreover, these programmes are an excellent chance to educate yourself about other people, culturesand history.

Learn about the history and rarity of tanzanite. This precious gemstone is unique to Tanzania and you can visit the small museum and makeshift mine on India Street.

Here, you can learn how this coveted stone was created, named, mined, cut, polished, and graded. And of course, you can purchase one of Tanzania’s proudest exports if you wish.

Arusha is filled with craft and curio markets to satisfy travellers who are looking for souvenirs and unique gifts. This is one of the best places to buy Maasai beadwork and jewellery, either from street venders or from the curio shops.

The Arusha central market is a good place to start, and it sells traditional Maasai fabrics, hand-woven baskets, exotic fruit, coffee, nuts, and spices.

 

The town is home to several interesting museums, including the Boma Museum, which chronicles the fascinating colonial history of the town alongside the tribal history of the area, and the Cultural Heritage Centre, which is dedicated to Tanzania’s culture.

The Cultural Heritage Centre explores Tanzania’s historywildlifeand culture, and has an excellent shop which sells unusual souvenirs. This shopping experience is hassle free and you will find some truly unique experiences, although the prices are a little higher.

The Mt Meru Curios and Crafts Market, sometimes referred to as the Maasai Market on Fire Road, is another popular shopping destination. It may take some confident bartering and time to pick out the best items, but this has some of the best options in the city.

Other shopping options include the Maasai Women Fair Trade Centre, Shwari, Shanga, and Jamaliyah.

The area has a strong coffee and café culture. Numerous coffee plantations surround the town, and many have small guesthouses on the property, including Arusha Coffee Lodge.

You can either stay overnight and enjoy a ramble across the plantation or take a ‘Bean-to-cup’ tour to learn about the coffee-making process.

Thanks to the abundance of coffee in the area, the town also has a surprisingly good café culture, with shops selling a selection of flat whites and iced lattes.

Some of the best options include Africafe and Jambo Coffee on Boma Road, or Café Barrista on Sokoin Road.

There are several day trips available from the town centre which showcase the surrounding landscape and wildlife.

One of the most popular experiences is a tour of Arusha National Park. You can visit for a half day or full day game drive. Although there are no predators, this hidden gem has some beautiful scenery and excellent bird-watching opportunities.

Another option is to go canoeing in the lake within the park. Remember to pause and enjoy the remarkable views of Mt Meru.

As well as Arusha National Park, you can reach Tarangire National Park for a chance to see the Big Five. This trip takes 8 hours, but it is a great chance to tick the Big Five off your bucket-list.

Mt Meru is a popular alternative trek to Mt Kilimanjaro. Although it is a more technically challenging climb than Kilimanjaro, it is often used as a warm-up. Hikes begin in the middle of the night so that you can enjoy the sunrise from the summit.

Alternatively, you can hike the lower slopes for a less strenuous option. And if that sounds too taxing, you can just admire this dormant volcano from afar.

For a really challenging hike, we recommend the OI Doinyo Lengai. This is the only volcano in the world to emit ‘cool’ (950°C) lava. This is a rather unforgiving hike as there are no flat areas, but most adventurers claim that it is worth the early start and physical effort.

A Maasai guide will escort you to protect you from hyenas and leopards.

The popular Meserani Snake Park is located 25km west of Arusha. Travellers can take a guided tour and learn about some of the most venomous snakes in the world, including the Green and Black mamba and the Egyptian cobra.

The park is a great day out for families. There are also crocodiles and monitor lizards, and you will get the opportunity to hold a tortoise.

You can also take a tour of the Maasai Cultural Museum with a Maasai guide.

Arusha Region Wards

Arusha Travel Guide

There is more to Arusha than initially meets the eye. With impressive museums, cultural heritage programmes, crafts, and curio markets galore, there is plenty to explore before you start your safari.

The city is multinational, with Iraqw, Hadzabe, Maasai, South Asian, and European residents.

The streets are bustling, with Maasai women sat on the sidewalks selling their beadwork, Maasai men wandering through town in their traditional red swathes, enterprising businessman trying to sell batiks, and tour guides offering various exciting 4WD adventures.

Despite this intensity, the city has a warmwelcoming atmosphere. Matching the ambiance of the city, the architecture and infrastructure is chaotic, with hectic traffic and old colonial buildings mixed with modern conveniences.

It is possible to rent a car in Arusha but parking costs $0.50 per day throughout the city. It is far more common to hire a driver, and this is particularly useful for daytrips to Arusha National Park. If you are renting a vehicle, make sure that there is no charge for ‘extra kilometres’, as this can become expensive.

 

Dala dalas (small minibuses) are common throughout Tanzania and these only depart when they are full. They cost 400 TSH/person and they operate along the major roads throughout the day. You will find a large station on Stadium Street.

You can also take a bajaji (tuk-tuk) for a one-dollar ride to the city centre. None of these options are particularly comfortable or safe, but they do offer an authentic Tanzanian experience.

Taxis are available and they can usually be found parked in front of hotels. A ride across town should not cost more than $2.50.

Due to the absence of predatory animals, such as lions, Arusha National Park lends itself perfectly for an exciting walking safari with a ranger.

Walking freely alongside the wildlife of Tanzania offers a truly unique experience. Here you´ll be walking at the foot of Mt. Meru, surrounded by green forests, lakes, waterfalls and a huge population of giraffes. A walking safari offers an amazing chance to be up-close with wildlife. The Colobus monkey is one of the highlights you can spot in Arusha NP and can often be found swinging from the trees.

There are some excellent authentic street-food options in Arusha. At Discovery Restaurant, you can sit beside Maasai men and enjoy a Myama choma (roasted meat and maize), chapati, pilau, or biryani.

Alternatively, try out Khan’s BBQ on Mosque Street, which serves great chicken dishes, Indian style chutneys, naans, and salads.

More upmarket options can be found in the Eastern side of town. Some of the best dining options are found outside of the city. The Themi Living Gardens is a leafy spot where you can eat at the eco-restaurantEat Wild. The Mulberry is another outer-city oasis where you can sit back and enjoy cocktails as you watch the sunset. For travellers who like to party, this is an excellent spot for pre-drinks.

The city has a lively nightlife, with several bars and nightclubs (we recommend Via Via) and a growing live music scene. There are weekly acts at the Mount Meru Game Lodge, Blue Heron, and the Fig and Olive.

In the city

There are several budget options in Arusha, including The African Tulip and the Impala Hotel.

The Impala HotelA large hotel with a pool and restaurant, and it is a great option if you are looking for a place to stay after an international flight or the night before a safari.

The African TulipA quaint boutique hotel which offers an airport shuttle. Most of the upmarket hotels can be found in the eastern area of Arusha. The Gran Melia Arusha offers fantastic views of Mt Meru, a well-stocked bar, a spa, and a pool.

 

Arusha

 

In the suburbs

Some of the best accommodation options in Arusha lie outside of the city. The less expensive options include Onsea House, Rivertrees, and Arumeru River Lodge.

Onsea HouseA charming boutique guesthouse that was originally a farmhouse. It has two swimming poolsa saunaa steam roomand a jacuzzi, and its gardens are tranquil. The guesthouse also has a restaurant which serves delicious food.
The guesthouse is only an hour away from the airport, making it an excellent place to relax before or after a safari. Onsea House offers 2 double suites and a family suite that overlooks the Meru Valley. The adjacent self-contained cottage is perfect for families.

 

Arusha
 

Arumeru River Lodge: A peaceful lodge which offers great access to Kilimanjaro International Airport. It has vast gardens which are home to dik-diks, monkeys and countless bird species. On a clear day, the lodge has exceptional views of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro. The lodge organises horseback safaris and it is tastefully furnished with traditional dhow furniture.

Rivertrees Lodge: Located on an old coffee farm and with views of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro, the lodge is an excellent base for trekking. The delicious food matches the high quality of the coffee, and its oven-fired pizza pit is popular with its guests.

Arusha
 

Arusha Coffee Lodge: Just a 25-minute drive from Arusha, this old plantation brims with luxury. The exquisitely decorated rooms are spread across the grounds and each room has its own indoor fireplace. Given that the lodge is a former coffee plantation, it offers tours of the old plantation house and coffee-making process. The theme of coffee runs throughout the hotel – in the bar, restaurant, gardens, and even the spa.

Arusha
 

Arusha offers visitors a wide array of places to go and things to do. There are many coffee shops and restaurants, and the town has lively nightlife. If you want to experience a real, bustling, busy African town, stay in Arusha for a day or two.

  • The Clock Tower, situated slap-bang in the centre of town, is a great meeting point for both locals and tourists. Urban legend has it that this is the middle-point between Cape Town and Cairo. It’s completely untrue, but a great story nonetheless.
 
  • Central and Maasai Markets – chaotic and vibrant markets that sell everything from meat and fish to fabrics and electronics. Maasai Markets have a wide array of curios and African art. They’re crowded and busy but they’re a great way to experience real Africa. Beware of pickpockets and be prepared to haggle!
 
  • The Cultural Heritage Centre includes a museum, restaurant, spice centre, shops, and a garden scattered with incredible sculptures. The Makonde Museum filled with masterfully carved masks is a must-see.
 
  • At the Tanzanite Experience, learn about the history of tanzanite, and how these gorgeous gems are mined. Don’t forget to buy one to take home.
 
  • The Boma Museum, originally a fort built by the Germans in the early 1900s, chronicles the colonial history of the town and the tribal history of the area. It also houses the Natural History Museum, with fascinating info on the archaeological and paleoanthropological sites in the area and wildlife.
 
  • Shanga, out on the Dodoma Road, is a fabulous centre incorporating a workshop for disabled artists who make beautiful glasswork, beadwork, jewellery and clothes, boutiques and an open-air restaurant.
 
  • Meserani Snake Park, a little further out of Arusha, allows you to see a wide range of snakes, learn about them, and even hold some! There’s also a small Maasai Museum and camel rides there.
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