When we were planning this trip we had found out that there were two options of getting from Nairobi to Marangu at Kilimanjaro: bus or plane. I didn’t really want to go for the bus option. First of all it would add extra stress to the trip and I would also have to pay 50 US dollar to get a visa to get into Kenya. Instead I went for the plane option and I used Precision Air to get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro International airport. When I came out to enter my Precision Air plane I knew that it would be small but I was positive surprised when I saw it was a twin engine propel plane. But then all of a sudden I was told that I was going on another smaller plane…so I ended up in a small Cessna Caravan plane with room for only 12 people. I squeezed into the seat and soon we were on our way. The flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro is only like 1 hour and on the way we got a great view of Kilimanjaro sticking above the clouds.
Kilimanjaro International airport is a pretty tiny airport but it sure saved me for a lot of time. I’m sure that if I had gone for the bus alternative it would have taken me hours to get here. When I came to the airport I had to fill out an entry card (since I didn't have a visa already) and get in line to get a visa. It took a bit of time getting this because the guy behind the counter was working on “African time” and he used his time collecting the 20 US dollars it cost, stamping the passport and handing out receipts
Flying into JRO
KLM is the only international airline flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) from outside Africa. KLM operates nonstop flights from Amsterdam (AMS) into JRO. Departing AMS at 10:55am and arriving JRO 9:30pm same day, daily except Sun and Mon.
JRO is also serviced by international flights from Nairobi and Dar.
We paid $1100 including all fees and taxes for a roundtrip ticket BOS-AMS-JRO, DAR-AMS-BOS in November.
Getting to the trailhead
No matter where you decide to stay before the trek, there will be some driving involved to get to the trailhead.
If you are wondering how comfortable your ride from the hotel to the trailhead will be, here's some info.
Depending on the number of hikers, the tour companies will employ either a bus or van. Duffels will be loaded on top or in the rear storage compartment. You will probably have to sit with your daypack on your lap or alongside you for the ride. Be prepared! Carry plenty of water and have yourself a nice big breakfast before you head out.