Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, and it is a popular tourist destination in east Africa. If you are looking for a place where you can hike or take a safari, this is the right destination. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most critical activities that you can do on your vacation. There are multiple routes and all of which you can summit Mount Kilimanjaro, and in a matter of days, you will move from the hot plains in the lowlands to the alpine meadows and moorland as you head up the mountain.
There are different routes that you can get to Mount Kilimanjaro, whether you are headed to Dar es salaam then to Moshi or directly to Kilimanjaro, or you choose to go to Nairobi then Nairobi to Kilimanjaro. Many people tend to combine their trip from Kenya with that of Kilimanjaro. If you plan to explore Kenya before moving to Kilimanjaro, your best route is to fly from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro or Arusha. Tanzania borders many African countries; hence, you can use multiple routes to reach Mount Kilimanjaro. However, of all the available routes, the most perfect way for you to access the high mountain is to begin your trip from Nairobi, Kenya.
Reasons to visit Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is an excellent travel destination, and you will enjoy your time on vacation in this beautiful unspoiled area. Located near the Kenyan border, the mountain attracts over fifty thousand people annually, and it is a trip that you will break new barriers. The most critical aspect that you should ensure is getting proper hiking boots and summitting the mountain to see the most amazing views from the top. Although you may not need to train hard, like when you are visiting mount Everest when planning to go to Kilimanjaro, you should have some physical stability.
Further reading: Find out the best hiking spots in Kenya
There are multiple reasons you should visit Mount Kilimanjaro. The stunning environment coupled with the icy peaks makes the journey memorable. There are a couple of towns that you can explore as you take the fantastic views of the mountain.
Best time to visit Kilimanjaro
The best time to visit Mount Kilimanjaro is from December to March or May through October. These are the best times because the weather may be a little accommodating. During the dry season of December to March, you will find many climbers in the region, and you should be prepared to interact with a massive crowd. However, if you choose to visit, you should choose the less popular routes that will be less crowded.
However, you can make your trip to Kilimanjaro more memorable by visiting around February or March. This period is perfect because you will experience the great wildebeest migration firsthand. Some people like to summit the mountain when there is a full moon, which means that you can choose the drier months when the skies are clear.
How to get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro
The best route that you can take is the Nairobi to Arusha, which is the gateway to major tourist destinations and Kilimanjaro. This is a popular route, and you can choose to travel either by air or by road. The mode of travel that you choose will affect your arrival time to Mount Kilimanjaro. The Namanga border is just 180 kilometers from the Kenyan capital.
One of the most important factors is that you should apply for an electronic visa from Tanzania two weeks before your trip. The eVisa is critical for your travel to the east African country. When you get your visa early, you will be saving yourself the trouble of waiting at the border. This visa usually costs $50 for a single entry. You must avoid scammers at the border who will try to tell you that they can get you a ticket in exchange for cash.
Flying to Kilimanjaro
Tanzania has three international airports, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, and Kilimanjaro. The Kilimanjaro airport is the best option for you if you travel by air from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro. The airport is 42 kilometers from Moshi town. The number of flights that ply this route increased in the recent past, and the traditional airlines that served this location were KLM, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian airlines. Since the introduction of the new airlines, the air ticket prices have reduced considerably. The Royal Dutch airline KLM is a frequent company that flies on this route, and they have an extensive network of regional flights from the US and UK to this destination via Nairobi.
On the other hand, you can get Kenya Airways which has modern planes, and the journey will take you less than an hour, and you are in Kilimanjaro. If you are exploring Kenya and want a direct flight that will take you from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s airways are the best option. The other alternative is Ethiopian airlines that fly via Addis Ababa and connect from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro. You can use Qatar Airways or Turkish airlines, but you have to check at their arrival time as you might find yourself arriving at Kili at 1 am; therefore, you will be forced to pay for a day’s accommodation. You can try Precision air in case you miss all the other options.
Where to catch your flight
In Nairobi, the best place that you can catch your flight is from Jomo Kenyatta international airport. Here you have a variety of airlines to choose from, unlike the Wilson airport, where you will be forced to select a few airlines. Flights from Nairobi tend to be cheaper because there are many options, and you can choose one based on your taste and preference.
Getting to Kilimanjaro by road
If you have chosen to get to Kilimanjaro by road from Nairobi, then you have a 6-hour drive to Moshi. Traveling to Moshi is easier because you can then go to Kilimanjaro with ease. Whether you choose a 4×4 van or travel by bus, the road to Kilimanjaro is quite good from the Kenyan side. You should select Nairobi as your hub because if you go to dark es salaam and want to get to Moshi by road, you will find that the journey takes longer and the road is not top-notch.
Several tour companies and travel firms operate shuttle buses daily from Nairobi to Moshi and Arusha. These buses often leave Nairobi at 8 am in the morning and 2 pm and arrive in Arusha 5 or 6 hours later. The journey to Moshi can be quite long as it will take your 7 hours which can be pretty tiresome. You will cross the Namanga border, and here is where your eVisa comes into play.
What you need to know
If you plan to visit Mount Kilimanjaro, then there are specific local requirements that you must meet to be accepted to enter Kenya or Tanzania. Travelers from Europe and other destinations may be needed to show their yellow fever vaccination. In addition, if you are connecting through countries that are known to be endemic, then proof of vaccination will be required.
You can travel with your credit cards as long as they are updated. However, in northern Tanzania, credit cards are very welcome since the people tend to stick to the traditional hard currency. However, visa and MasterCard are acceptable. In this location, you can pay using US dollars or euros. However, this is not cash. They will require you to have travelers’ checks or cash on your phone since mobile money is accepted in this part of the world.
How do you get around?
This is a significant question to many travelers who are visiting Kilimanjaro to get around in the city. The best way to move around this part of the world is by taking a taxi or having a hired car that can take you around the area with ease. There are multiple internet cafes where you can browse the web or check your emails while in Kili. Besides, you might choose to trek or hike the mountain and the perfect time begins when you rent or purchase hiking equipment from the shops in the area. You can also use local taxis although they tend to be expensive when they spot a foreigner. However, if you have a guide in Kili, everything would be much easier because they can organize it.
Mountain climbing, hiking, or trekking can be quite dangerous if you are not careful about the temperatures that are prevailing weather conditions. Always carry warm clothes, hiking boots, and gloves to prevent any frostbite that may occur while on your hike. Now that you have all the facts about crossing the border from Kenya to Tanzania or traveling from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro, you should be adventurous and explore the pristine and natural environment around Kilimanjaro and East Africa as a whole.