How to Get to Kilimanjaro
Best way to get to Kilimanjaro
Before you start your hiking escapade to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need to establish how to get there, 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.
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.
Mount Kilimanjaro from Kilimanjaro Airport
The best option would be to fly directly into Kilimanjaro airport, located approximately 45 kilometres from the towns of Moshi, Marangu or Arusha as this is where most climbs will start or where your small group tour will meet. Airlines that fly into Kilimanjaro airport include:
- Turkish Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
Travellers should note these routes or airlines may be subject to change.
Mount Kilimanjaro from Julius Nyerere International 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
- Hanh Air
- Kenya Air
Julius Nyerere International Airport is located just 12 kilometres from the Dar es Salaam city centre. Depending on how your tour or itinerary is planned, there are also many operators that will start their tours in Dar es Salaam and travel overland to the towns of Moshi or Arusha.
If time allows, you could always stay in Dar es Salaam and enjoy the time before your hike on a few of the beaches including Kipepeo Beach, Coco Beach or Mbezi Beach.
Mount Kilimanjaro from Nairobi Airport
Another option that is sometimes overlooked is for travellers to fly into Nairobi Airport in Kenya and book a one-hour connecting flight 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 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.
How to climb Kilimanjaro
How do I prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro?
Any physical activity you can do beforehand will help make your ascent more enjoyable. As for how hard you train, this will depend on whether you're aiming for the Uhuru Peak or embarking on a shorter journey and will be different for everyone.
When should I climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
You can climb Mount Kilimanjaro year-round, but it may be wet and cold which means you should be equipped with the right waterproof gear. Consider climbing between January–March and June–October. Note that April, May and November are the wettest months.
What permits do I need?
Each visitor will be required to pay a fee per person, per day for the conservation fee to help manage the national park, however, most tours will cover the permits and entry fees are included in the price.
Do I need a guide to climb?
Yes. All hikes or treks on Mount Kilimanjaro can only be completed with a licensed guide. Depending on what route you take, the assistance of porters may also be included in your tour price.
How much does it cost to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro may vary depending on a season, the route you choose and the length of the journey. Usually, the prices start at $1,000 USD and above, however, this may vary if you need to purchase any extra equipment, accommodation or add any additional transportation.
What should I pack and what equipment do I need?
While trekking tour operators may supply some of the gear you’ll need, there are a few non-negotiables you will need that includes waterproof gear, a headlamp, sunglasses, appropriate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle and a cap or a beanie for example. Learn more.
Mount Kilimanjaro routes
- Machame Route. Distance: 62 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 75%-85%
- Marangu Route. Distance: 72 km, average duration: 5-6 days, success rate: 50%
- Lemosho Route. Distance: 70 km, average duration: 7-8 days, success rate: 65%-90%
- Rongai Route. Distance: 73 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 65%-80%
- Shira Plateau Route. Distance: 56 km, average duration: 7-8 days
- Umbwe Route. Distance: 53 km, average duration: 5-6 days, success rate: 60%-70%
- Northern Circuit Route. Distance: 98 km, average duration: 8-9 days, success rate: 95%