Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

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6 April 2021

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the preferred arrival airport for safari-goers and Kilimanjaro trekkers. Located just 40 minutes from Moshi town or 50 minutes from Arusha, this is the ideal international airport for those with Northern-circuit safaris or planned mountain treks.

What is JRO like?

Kilimanjaro International Airport is still growing, while offering modern amenities.

Restaurant and Cafe

There is a restaurant and lounge area, as well as a cafe on the second floor, for travelers to relax or grab a quick bite before their flight. The airport offers modern toilets and a few souvenir shops, including your last option for purchasing Tanzanite before you fly. 

Currency Exchange

There is a currency exchange desk so you can either change some notes into Tanzanian Shillings as soon as you arrive, or you can conveniently change back any remaining cash before flying home.

Immigration

You can receive a tourist visa upon arrival at JRO. Please come prepared with US dollars ($50 or $100, depending on your country of citizenship), other currencies are not recommended.

However, we suggest organizing your visa online before you travel. This is purely to save time, as waiting in line at immigration after a long flight is not very enjoyable.

Please see the official Tanzania Immigration Webpage here.

The e-visa is an efficient option for travelers to speed through immigration, allowing them to access the “Passport and Visa holders” line of Immigration upon arrival. Since you already have permission to enter Tanzania as a tourist, you can speed through immigrations and get started on your holiday.

WiFi

The airport advertises free WiFi for waiting passengers, but please don’t depend on it! Some of our guests have passed through JRO when the internet was down, so be prepared for no internet, or to use your phone’s data instead of WiFi throughout the airport.

Transportation

As soon as travelers step outside the arrival doors of JRO, they are sure to be greeted by friendly and eager taxi drivers. Altezza guests are always picked-up by our professional drivers, who usually bear a large signboard with your name for you to find them. This service is included into our Mt Kilimanjaro climbing and safari packages. The vehicles we use are clean and comfortable Toyota Alphard vehicles, a type of minivan imported from Japan with plenty of space for your group and all your luggage.

Simply share your flight arrival time with us and we will communicate with you regarding your pick-up, which is offered 24-hrs a day, no matter what time your flight arrives in Tanzania.


What to Expect

When your flight arrives in Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be advised to collect your hand-luggage and descend a set of stairs to the tarmac of the airport’s runway.

While many planes exit directly into the airport in Europe and North America, throughout East Africa the majority of airports do not have the structure to allow passengers to exit through a ramp directly into the airport. Instead, a stairway on wheels will be attached to the exits of the airplane and you will disembark directly outdoors, a few hundred meters away from the airport building. If you need assistance with carrying your hand luggage into the airport, please make sure to ask the flight attendants, who will be happy to help.

You, and all the other passengers from your flight will be directed to Immigration, where several immigration officers wait to stamp your passport and welcome you to Tanzania.

If you’re already secured your visa through the electronic service, simply have the printed page ready to present to the officers and choose the “Visa Holder” line.

Next, you may collect your checked baggage at the baggage terminal, which is immediately after immigration. Once you have all of your luggage, Customs may request to see your bags. Often, customs officers are just looking for contraband items or if you are trying to bring products in bulk to sell. If you have typical items for a safari or mountain trek they will probably wave you through with a friendly smile.

Now, you’re done! Continue through the exit doors to the arrival area, which is outside. Here you will see many drivers ready to pick up newly arrived guests. Look for your Altezza guide or driver, who will help you carry your luggage to the spacious Alphard and bring you to your nearby hotel.

Many Altezza guests choose to say at our nearby Aishi Machame Hotel, as it is a mere 40 minutes from the airport and the best option for travelers arriving late at night in Tanzania, or who need a rest before starting a safari or mountain trek the next morning.


How far is Kilimanjaro Airport from Arusha?

JRO is approximately 50 kilometers, or 30 miles from Arusha town.


How far is Kilimanjaro Airport from Moshi?

JRO is approximately 42 kilometers, or 26 miles from Moshi town.

Length of travel time depends on traffic, but there is a smooth highway connecting both towns to the international airport, and delays are not common.

Hotels near Kilimanjaro Airport

There are plenty of hotels near Kilimanjaro Airport, some of which are more like ‘motels’, or 2-star quality, offering only a bed and breakfast with the expectation that guests are departing on a flight the next day. Often, they are situated near the highway without a spectacular view or many amenities.

Guests could choose to stay in hotels in Moshi or Arusha towns before their departing flight, but they may be asked to pay additional transport costs or a private taxi to reach the airport.

Altezza’s Aishi Machame hotel is just 40 minutes drive from Kilimanjaro Airport, situated in a beautiful location, surrounded with lush gardens and trees that welcome tropical birds and several endemic species of monkeys. Every morning, chilling on our restaurant verandah, you may see them frolicking in the garden. A stay at Aishi Machame before your departure flight is sure to end your Tanzanian adventure on a high note, with a wonderful rest in a beautiful hotel before your return home.
 


Other International Airports in Tanzania

JRO is not the only International Airport in Tanzania, but we think it’s the best option for travelers. Here’s why:

Julius Nyerere International Airport

Located in Dar es Salaam

If you’re visiting the Serengeti or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, this is not an ideal airport to fly into, it is a 12-hour drive from Dar es Salaam to Moshi or Arusha. Some guests choose a local flight from Julius Nyerere International airport into JRO to avoid this drive and hassle, others book directly to JRO when selecting flights.

Also, Dar’s traffic is notoriously congested and travelers should give themselves an extra hour or more to reach the airport in case of a traffic jam.

However, some guests who have ended their safari at the beach in Zanzibar, or Mafia Island, prefer to book outward-bound flights departing from this airport, as it is more conveniently-located near these attractions.

Zanzibar International Airport

This international airport is located on the Island-Archipelago of Zanzibar.

As above, some guests book an out-bound flight from this location, if they have ended their holiday with a relaxing beach vacation in Zanzibar.

However, there are limited international departure flights out of Zanzibar, so guests may find it cheaper and easier to take a reasonable charter-flight from Zanzibar back to JRO, and then fly out of Kilimanjaro International Airport, anyway.

Kilimanjaro International Airport

Located 40 minutes from Moshi (the closest town to Mount Kilimanjaro), and 50 minutes from Arusha (the hub for northern safaris in Tanzania, such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro). Guests will save time and hassle when flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport. Flight delays are easy to address when the distance is less than an hour’s drive, and you’re not likely to get caught in heavy traffic, such as with a large urban center like Dar es Salaam.

If your flight arrives during daylight, you have a good chance of getting an aerial view of Africa’s highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro as your descend (or take-off, during your flight back home).

Being an international airport, all immigration services are available here, and with the convenience of location, there is nothing to lose with arriving close to the big national parks, or the chance to check out Mount Kilimanjaro from your window-seat.

Transfers

Altezza travel organizes airport transfers for all types of clients - even those who aren’t doing a safari with us. Our comfortable Alphard minibuses with air conditioners and wi-fi can comfortably seat large groups up to five, and are a reasonable option when compared to expensive taxis (which may not be big enough for you and your luggage!).



Whether you are arriving at JRO and want to start your trip off on a high note, or you need a late-night transfer from your hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport, contact us for an easy, on-time transfer for you and your entire travel group.


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Tanzania
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ellen is a Tanzania-based travel writer. She is passionate about exploring every corner of this beautiful East African country and she loves sharing her experiences with new or prospective travelers through her writing.

Ellen has written for Altezza Travel since 2019. Her ongoing goal is to climb one mountain, anywhere in the world, every year. Ellen writes about climbing Mt Meru, Ol Doinyo Lengai and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as visiting Tanzania's incredible national parks.
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