Can I Fly into Nairobi to start my Kilimanjaro expedition and safari?
Fly into nairobi

Yes, it is possible to fly into Nairobi, Kenya, as a starting point for both your Kilimanjaro trek and safari in Tanzania but we recommend trying your best to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport for two main reasons, distance and convenience. Nairobi is a major transportation hub with an international airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), which offers flights from various destinations around the world.

Most Kilimanjaro operators launch their journeys from two major cities in Tanzania – Moshi and Arusha. The most convenient means of reaching these locations is by flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport, often known as KIA (airport code: JRO). Upon arrival at the airport, transportation options such as taxis or private vehicles are readily available for transfers to Moshi or Arusha. The duration of the journey to either city is less than an hour, and the cost for a standard taxi ride is approximately $50 per vehicle. However, for added comfort and convenience, we also offer a premium transportation service where clients can opt for private luxury vehicles at a slightly higher price. Flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport can vary significantly in price, ranging from around $1400 to over $4000 for international flights. We understand that affordability is key, and therefore, we recommend our clients to secure tickets that are reasonably priced at $2,000 or lower, which we consider fair. (KLM offers regular flights with competitive fares to Kilimanjaro International Airport, and for domestic Tanzanian flights, Kayak is a reliable resource that provides a wide range of options and discounts to choose from. Additionally, we can assist in booking flights for our clients to ensure a seamless travel experience.)

From Nairobi, you can easily travel to Tanzania by either flying directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or taking a bus or shuttle to the Tanzania-Kenya border and then continuing by road to Arusha, the gateway city to Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti.

Here’s how you can plan your journey:

  1. Flight to Nairobi: Book a flight to Nairobi, Kenya, from your home country or any other convenient location. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is well-connected to major cities worldwide, making it a convenient entry point for travelers visiting East Africa.
  2. Travel to Tanzania:
    • Flight: If you prefer a direct and quick option, you can book a flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Tanzania. Several airlines operate daily flights between Nairobi and Kilimanjaro, with a flight duration of approximately 1-2 hours.
    • Road: Alternatively, you can travel overland from Nairobi to Arusha, Tanzania’s main safari hub and the starting point for many Kilimanjaro treks. There are several bus companies and shuttle services that operate daily routes between Nairobi and Arusha, with a travel time of approximately 5-6 hours, depending on traffic and border crossing procedures.
  3. Kilimanjaro Trek:
    • Once in Arusha, you can arrange your Kilimanjaro trek with a local tour operator or trekking company. They will assist you with permits, guides, porters, and all necessary logistics for your trek up Africa’s tallest mountain.
    • Most Kilimanjaro treks start and end in Arusha, with transportation provided to and from the trailhead at the base of the mountain.
  4. Safari in Serengeti:
    • After completing your Kilimanjaro trek, you can extend your adventure with a safari in the Serengeti. Many tour operators in Arusha offer safari packages ranging from 2 to 7 days or more, allowing you to explore the vast plains and abundant wildlife of this iconic national park.

Flying into Nairobi to begin your Kilimanjaro trek and safari is a convenient and feasible option, offering the opportunity to experience two of East Africa’s most iconic destinations in one memorable journey.

We do not recommend flying into Nairobi.

Flying into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya may seem like the more affordable option, but it comes with additional requirements and hassles. In order to reach Moshi or Arusha from Nairobi, you would have to obtain a Kenyan visa, spend a night in Nairobi to gather your energy and prepare for the journey, and then take a lengthy 7-8 hour bus or private vehicle ride to Tanzania, enduring bumpy roads and possible traffic delays. Considering the cost of these accommodations and transportation, as well as the added travel time, it is far more convenient and less stressful to simply fly directly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you can have a smooth and comfortable landing, free of all the complications and inconveniences associated with an indirect route. Consequently, the majority of our customers, who value their time and comfort, choose to arrive at their destination via Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Why do we prefer flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport

There are several reasons why travellers may prefer flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) when embarking on a Kilimanjaro trek and safari in Tanzania:

  1. Proximity to Kilimanjaro:
    • Kilimanjaro International Airport is the closest airport to Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. It is located approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the town of Arusha, which serves as the main gateway to Kilimanjaro and the starting point for most trekking expeditions. Flying into JRO minimizes travel time and allows for easy access to the mountain.
  2. Convenience:
    • Kilimanjaro International Airport is a modern and well-equipped airport with facilities such as customs and immigration services, currency exchange counters, car rental agencies, and tour operators. Travellers arriving at JRO can easily arrange transportation, accommodations, and other logistics for their Kilimanjaro trek and safari upon arrival.
  3. Direct Flights:
  4. Scenic Views:
    • The approach to Kilimanjaro International Airport offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the surrounding landscapes. Travellers flying into JRO can catch glimpses of the iconic peak from the air, setting the stage for an exciting adventure ahead.
  5. Access to Safari Destinations:
    • In addition to being close to Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro International Airport also provides easy access to other popular safari destinations in northern Tanzania, such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park. After completing their Kilimanjaro trek, travellers can seamlessly transition to a safari experience without the need for extensive travel.

Overall, flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport offers convenience, accessibility, and a seamless starting point for travelers embarking on a Kilimanjaro trek and safari adventure in Tanzania.

See our Kilimanjaro and safari itineraries

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But flying into Nairobi is the best option if you are doing both Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro

Flying into Nairobi can be a convenient option for travellers planning to explore both Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, as Nairobi serves as a major transportation hub in East Africa. Here are several reasons why flying into Nairobi may be the best option for those considering both mountain treks:

  1. Accessibility:
    • Nairobi is well-connected to international destinations, with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) serving as one of the busiest airports in Africa. Travelers can find direct flights to Nairobi from major cities worldwide, making it a convenient entry point for their East African adventure.
  2. Proximity to Mount Kenya:
    • Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak in Africa, is located in central Kenya, approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of Nairobi. Flying into Nairobi allows travellers to easily access Mount Kenya by road, with various transportation options available from the city to the mountain’s base.
  3. Convenience for Safari and Trekking Logistics:
    • Nairobi is a convenient starting point for arranging logistics for both a Mount Kenya trek and a Mount Kilimanjaro trek. Travellers can book guided tours, arrange transportation, purchase permits, and rent equipment in Nairobi before heading to the respective mountains.
  4. Combination of Cultural and Natural Experiences:
    • Nairobi offers the opportunity to experience Kenya’s vibrant culture and diverse landscapes before embarking on mountain treks. Visitors can explore attractions such as Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre, and Karen Blixen Museum, as well as sample authentic Kenyan cuisine and interact with local communities.
  5. Flexibility in Itinerary Planning:
    • Flying into Nairobi provides flexibility in itinerary planning, allowing travellers to explore multiple destinations in Kenya and Tanzania. After trekking Mount Kenya, travellers can easily cross the border into Tanzania and continue their adventure with a Kilimanjaro trek or a safari in the Serengeti or Maasai Mara.
  6. Scenic Flights and Views:
    • The approach to Nairobi offers stunning aerial views of Kenya’s diverse landscapes, including the Great Rift Valley and Mount Kenya. Travelers flying into Nairobi can enjoy breathtaking scenery from the air, setting the stage for an unforgettable East African experience.

Overall, flying into Nairobi provides a convenient and flexible starting point for travellers interested in exploring both Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as other attractions in Kenya and Tanzania.

See our Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro package


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