To get to Kilimanjaro, you must fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA): CODE (IATA: JRO), which many airlines serve daily. The closest major cities to Kilimanjaro National Park are the city of Arusha and the town of Moshi. Depending on where you are traveling from, you can usually fly direct to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) via the Gulf (Qatar airlines, Emirates) or Europe (KLM).
Mount Kilimanjaro is located on the northern border of Tanzania, East Africa, formerly known as Tanganyika in colonial times. The highest freestanding mountain globally and the highest point in Africa, Kilimanjaro, is approximately 200 miles south of the Equator.
One of the Seven Summits, Mount Kilimanjaro, stands at 19,341ft, 5895m above sea level, Uhuru Peak’s highest point. It was formed around 750,000 years ago at around the same time as the Great Rift Valley. The last major eruption is said to be approximately 360,000 years ago.
Unlike Everest, which is part of a mountain range formed by the earth’s tectonic plates moving towards each other, Kilimanjaro is a volcano, one of the largest in the world. Kilimanjaro’s summit is not a “peak”; it is the highest point on the crater rim of Kibo, the largest of the volcanic cones. The crater rim runs around the outside of the center of the volcano.
It’s possible to go inside the crater, to see the Ash Pit, where sulfurous fumes belch out, a reminder of the now-dormant, volcanic past. Camping on the crater floor amongst the glaciers is sometimes an option for adventurous, well-acclimatized climbers.
There are two other volcanic cones: Mawenzi, a technical climb, and the Shira plateau, now a flat area formed by the former peak collapsing.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Kilimanjaro National Park, was established in 1973 to protect and conserve the delicate flora and fauna of the area. The National Parks Authority is responsible for issuing permits to climb Kilimanjaro.
The Tanzanian town of Moshi is the main starting point for any Kilimanjaro adventure. Bustling with activity, most tour operators have their base in one of these towns, and there are plenty of good accommodation options, restaurants, shops, and markets.
Moshi is closer to the international airport, about 40 minutes by road, where Arusha is around 90 minutes.
The closest city to Kilimanjaro National Park is Moshi.
Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the closest international airport, which many airlines serve daily. Depending on where you are traveling, you can usually fly directly to JRO via the Gulf (Qatar airlines, Emirates) or Europe (KLM).
Alternatively, you can fly into Tanzania’s capital, Dar-Es-Salaam (DAR), for a short internal flight or to Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) airport for a connection to JRO (Kenya Airways, Precision Air).
It’s also possible to travel by road from Kenya. There are numerous bus and shuttle options to take you to Moshi or Arusha, though the streets can be pretty rough at times; you might consider this if you’re feeling adventurous, trying to save money, and have sufficient time.
We arrange accommodation before and after your climb in one of our excellent options, so you’ll have a chance to rest and relax and maximize your success and enjoyment on the mountain.
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