Kilimanjaro International Airport
The biggest and most obvious choice is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) located near Moshi, Tanzania. With over 100 flight routes per day, it’s the busiest airport in Tanzania. This is also the closest airport to the Kilimanjaro National Park, just 58 km away. There are plenty of buses, shuttles and taxis that can take travelers to the base of the mountain, but it can take up to 4 hours depending on traffic.
Julius Nyerere International Airport
The largest airport in Tanzania is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR). Located in Dar es Salaam, this airport is favored by travelers due to its connection with the capital. It’s over 300 km away from the National Park, but buses, shuttles and taxis are available to get travelers to the mountain. The journey can be long, but with a fast bus journey it can take around 6 hours.
Other Select International Airports
Alternatively, options such as Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Uganda offer more connectivity with international flights. Both airports are easily accessible from Kilimanjaro, with NBO roughly 400 km away, and EBB over 700 km away. Long distance buses, shuttles and cars are all available from both airports, but the journey times can differ due to traffic and the distance.
Travelers can also opt for a multitude of local airports in Tanzania, including Arusha Airport (ARK), Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere Airport (TKQ) and Mtwara Airport (MYW). Of these, Ark is the closest to the National Park, but it only offers limited services. Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere is slightly further away, but with better services, while MYW is furthest away but provides plenty of connections to other destinations.
Fo budget conscious travelers, the most cost effective ways to get to Kilimanjaro are usually the budget airlines such as Fastjet and Precision Air. Fastjet offers direct flights from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro and often offer cheap fares. Precision Air on the other hand, offers flights from both Dar es Salaam and Nairobi and is also a reliable budget airline.
Lastly, there are options for travelers who are looking for a transfer airport between international and local flights. Kilimanjaro Airport is considered to be the most suitable for this, offering plenty of international connections and flights from Nairobi, the Seychelles, Zanzibar and more.
When it comes to getting to Kilimanjaro, it’s always best to do your research first to see which airport is the most suitable for your specific travels. Consider the distance, amenities and flight connectivity due to different flight routes, as well as budget airlines and third party services with competitive fares.
Security and Amenities
On the other hand, some airports may offer more amenities and safety aspects. Kilimanjaro International Airport and Julius Nyerere International Airport both adhere to international safety regulations and have plenty of amenities for travelers, including shopping and dining, car rental and lounge services.
Planning and Preparation
Ultimately, it’s important to plan your trip in advance to ensure that you have the best experience possible when traveling to Kilimanjaro. Take into account the transportation, accommodation and flight routes that are available to you, as well as budgeting for comfort and convenience.
Research and Reviews
Don’t forget to do your research on the different airports and to read reviews from past travelers to get an insight into the experience they had while flying in and out of different airports. From there, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and still save plenty of money on your travels.
Kilimanjaro also attracts plenty of tourism, and with that brings potential benefits to those airports which are considered the gateway to the mountain. This can mean better facilities, services and amenities, as well as cheaper flight fares due to the competition between airports and airlines.
Finally, make sure to take altitude issues into consideration. Kilimanjaro is known for its incline and altitude, and this can have an effect on aviation issues such as takeoff, turbulence and decreasing oxygen levels. Check with your airline to see if any adjustments need to be made to your tickets depending on the airport you’re flying from.