Planning a Kilimanjaro Expedition takes time, money, and a whole lot of training if you are to reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895metres above sea-level, but it’s getting to Kilimanjaro that could be your biggest challenge of all.
Don’t get me wrong, there are several airlines that fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport, but there are no direct flights from the UK, and unless you want to arrive at silly o’clock in the morning and spend extra money on accommodations before departure, you need to do your homework and perhaps pay a little extra on flights that will fit in with your expedition.
Flights to Kilimanjaro with KLM
One of the best airlines for Kilimanjaro flights would have to be KLM. Not only do their flights have just one stopover in Amsterdam, but they also come with a generous luggage allowance of 35kg (23kg checked and 12kg hand luggage), which is ideal when carrying lots of extra gear that you wouldn’t normally take on holiday such as a sleeping bag and spare loo roll!
The thing I love most about KLM flights, is that they are day flights. You flight departs at around 06:30am, and you arrive in the evening at around 08:00pm. Hardcore climbers may wish to start their expedition the next day, but it is recommended that you allow at least one day for contingencies (i.e. delayed baggage), and start refreshed and revitalised on day 2.
Kenya Airways Flights to JRO
Kenya Airways offer daily flights from London to Kilimanjaro via Nairobi. While flight times vary, they do offer some overnight options that arrive early in the morning, and so you only need one night’s accommodation before your expedition. A good choice for travellers on a budget, Kenya Airways regularly run special offers, and many flights include a checked luggage allowance of 46kg (2 x 23kg).
The planes, food and service could do with a little TLC, but hey, this is Africa!
Kilimanjaro Flights with Qatar Airways
Much like Kenya Airways, Qatar offer several flights to Kilimanjaro each day with one stopover in Doha. Well priced and with a checked luggage allowance of 30kg, this is a good option if you don’t mind flying a few extra hours.
Ethiopian Airways Flights to Kilimanjaro
With daily connections from most European cities, Ethiopian Airways is another great choice for your Kilimanjaro flights. Connecting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airways flights have a good on time record, and a generous luggage allowance of 30kg.
Fly to Kilimanjaro with Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines come at the bottom of my list, quite simply because their flight times are terrible. You arrive in Kilimanjaro at 01:40am, and depart at 02:35am – which is just horrible pre and post climb. Lost luggage is also a problem, and unless you want your hiking gear to go to Singapore while you try to climb Africa’s highest mountain (yes, that really happened!), you might want to book elsewhere!