NWA / KLM Airlines
The most convenient and efficient point of entry into Tanzania is Kilimanjaro Airport via Amsterdam on the daily Northwest / KLM Airlines flight. Kilimanjaro Airport, which is next to the small town of Arusha, is the origination point for all Northern Tanzania safaris. The only major airline serving Kilimanjaro is KLM Airlines, a code share partner of Northwest Airlines (NWA). NWA / KLM flights can easily be booked directly at www.nwa.com. Airport codes for major East African cities are Kilimanjaro (JRO), Dar es Salaam (DAR), Nairobi (NBO), Entebbe (EBB) and Zanzibar (ZNZ).
KLM/Northwest Airlines offers daily flights from most major cities in the U.S. to Kilimanjaro International Airport. The flight consists of two segments. The first segment is from your departure city in the U.S. direct to Amsterdam. The second segment is from Amsterdam non-stop to Kilimanjaro. The daily flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro arrives into Kilimanjaro in the late evening. Accordingly, we highly recommend Arumeru River Lodge, which is located close to the airport, on your arrival night. Our signature fly in and drive back safaris begin early the following morning with a short flight to the Serengeti. On the outbound flight from Kilimanjaro to Amsterdam, the KLM flight departs late at night and we normally incorporate a day room at Arumeru River Lodge to relax before your departing flight.
For planning purposes, if you were to depart the U.S. on a Monday, you would arrive Kilimanjaro on Tuesday night. On the contrary, a departure from Kilimanjaro on a Monday would yield a Tuesday afternoon arrival back in the U.S. You may wish to add a layover in Amsterdam for a night or two to help break up the long flight. If you do choose a layover in Amsterdam, it is recommended that you incorporate the layover at the beginning of your trip. Additionally, you may wish to add a 2nd night in the Arusha/Kilimanjaro area at the beginning of your trip to recuperate from the flight and before beginning your safari.
KLM operates 747-400s on its U.S. to Amsterdam routes. From Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, KLM operates 767-200s, which are comfortable wide body aircraft. Flight time from the east coast to Amsterdam is about 7 hours while it is about 10 hours from the west coast. Flight time from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro is about 8 hours. The return flight times are a little longer. Please note that there is a 45-minute stop over in Dar es Salaam on the return flight from Kilimanjaro to Amsterdam though you are not permitted to leave the aircraft.
For those individuals adding an extension to Zanzibar after a safari, it is more optimal to depart from Dar es Salaam (15-minute flight from Zanzibar) as opposed to Kilimanjaro (1-hour and 15-minute flight from Zanzibar). Additionally and as discussed above, the daily return KLM flight from Kilimanjaro stops in Dar es Salaam before continuing on to Amsterdam. In conclusion, for those adding a Zanzibar extension, we recommend a Kilimanjaro arrival and a Dar es Salaam departure. This routing is not considered an ‘open jaw’ ticket and can easily be arranged. For those individuals adding a Kenya or Uganda safari extension, we recommend a Kilimanjaro arrival with a Nairobi departure. Again, this is not considered an ‘open jaw’ ticket and can easily be arranged.
Arrival Procedures on Northwest / KLM Airlines
Tanzania Visa fees are included in your safari price and are prepaid. Our dedicated Visa specialist will meet you in the customs area upon arrival into Kilimanjaro International Airport at 8.00pm on the daily NWA/KLM flight arrival. He will have your name posted on a sign and will issue your Tanzania Visas enabling you to avoid the long custom lines. Each person will simply need to provide a passport valid for at least six months past your arrival date. You will be immediately transferred to Arumeru Lodge, which is only 30-minutes from the airport, for a late dinner and a good nights sleep. The next morning you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your short flight to the Serengeti to begin your safari. Upon arrival in the Serengeti, your driver-guide will welcome you to the most prolific wildlife viewing area in the world. Your expert guide will accompany you from this point forward until your departure from Kilimanjaro Airport at the conclusion of your safari. All Africa Dream Safaris are 100% escorted.
Alternative International Flights on British Airways, Swiss Air, Emirates and SAA
As discussed above, the most convenient and efficient way of getting to Tanzania is on the daily NWA / KLM flight directly into Kilimanjaro via Amsterdam. Again, the Kilimanjaro-Arusha area is the launching point for all Tanzania safaris. If a direct Kilimanjaro arrival on NWA / KLM is not possible, there are several good alternatives on British Airways, Swiss Air and Emirates Airlines. Each of these airlines has arrivals into Nairobi, Kenya and/or Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Besides our main Africa Dream Safaris office in Arusha, we have satellite offices in both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam to facilitate transfers, visa processing, overnight layovers and connecting flights to Kilimanjaro to begin your safari. The flight time from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro is 50-minutes and the flight time from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro is 1-hour and 15-minutes. Upon arrival at either Nairobi or Dar es Salaam, we can issue visas (similar to our standard Kilimanjaro visa process) and provide connecting flights to Kilimanjaro. Depending on your specific flight schedule, an overnight may be required in Nairobi or Dar es Salaam before connecting onwards to Kilimanjaro. If this is the case, we can also arrange hotels, corresponding transfers and both Kenya and Tanzania visas upon arrival.
British Airways Alternative
British Airways offers flights to both Nairobi (NBO) and Dar es Salaam (DAR) where you can connect to Kilimanjaro on a regional flight to begin your safari. There are 3 flights a week from the U.S. to Dar es Salaam and daily flights from the U.S. to Nairobi via London.
The British Airways Dar es Salaam flight arrives about 7.00am into Dar es Salaam. Upon arrival we can provide Tanzania visas, transfers to the domestic terminal and a Precision Air flight departing Dar es Salaam at 8.20am and arriving Kilimanjaro at 9.35am or a Coastal Aviation flight departing Dar es Salaam at 9.00am and arriving Arusha at 11.00am. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro or Arusha, we can either fly you to the Serengeti (Coastal Aviation Arusha to Serengeti 12.30pm - 2.10pm) to immediately begin your safari or you may wish to spend the night in Kilimanjaro-Arusha before flying to the Serengeti the following morning. We highly recommend the latter. The return flight departs Dar es Salaam at about 8.35am and an overnight stay in Dar es Salaam is required the night before. The afternoon before your return flight we would fly you on Precision Air from Kilimanjaro to Dar es Salaam at 3.50pm to 5.40pm or Air Excel from Arusha to Dar es Salaam at 12.30pm to 2.35pm. We would then provide transfers and accommodations at the charming Hotel Sea Cliff in Dar es Salaam. The following morning we would transfer you back to the Dar es Salaam Airport for your morning British Airways departure.
The British Airways daily Nairobi flight arrives about 9.00pm requiring an overnight in Nairobi. Upon arrival we can issue Kenya visas and provide transfers and hotel accommodations at the charming Palacina Hotel in Nairobi. The following morning we would transfer you back to the Nairobi airport for a 50-minute flight to Kilimanjaro on Precision Air at 8.00am to 8.50am or 10.00am to 10.50am. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro, we would issue your Tanzania visas and fly you to the Serengeti to begin your safari. There are two flights from Arusha to the Serengeti that you could connect with including Coastal Aviation at 12.30pm to 2.10pm or Regional Air at 3.00pm to 4.05pm. The return flight departs Nairobi at about 11.00pm, which conveniently lines up with a Precision Air flight from Kilimanjaro to Nairobi at 7.40pm to 8.30pm.
When routing through either Nairobi or Dar es Salaam, the beginning and ending of your safari itinerary will be adjusted accordingly to provide the most efficient logistics.
Swiss Air Alternative
Swiss Air has several flights a week between the U.S. and East Africa via Zurich, Switzerland. The second leg of the flight departs Zurich in the morning and arrives Nairobi at about 6.30pm and then continues onwards to Dar es Salaam arriving at about 8.30pm. The return flight departs Dar es Salaam at about 9.30pm to Nairobi and then departs Nairobi at about 11.30pm arriving Zurich the following morning. When using Swiss Air, we recommend flying into Dar es Salaam and out of Nairobi. This is the less expensive option as you avoid Kenya visa requirements.
Upon your evening Swiss Air arrival into Dar es Salaam we can issue Tanzania visas and provide transfers and accommodations at the charming Hotel Sea Cliff. The following morning we would transfer you back to the Dar es Salaam Airport for your Coastal Aviation flight departing Dar es Salaam at 9.00am and arriving Arusha at 11.00am. We can then fly you to the Serengeti to begin your safari on Coastal Aviation departing Arusha at 12.30pm and arriving Serengeti at 2.10pm. The return flight on Swiss Air departs Nairobi at about 11.30pm, which conveniently lines up with a Precision Air flight from Kilimanjaro to Nairobi at 7.40pm to 8.30pm.
Emirates Airlines Alternative
Emirates Airlines has daily flights from New York (JFK) to Dar es Salaam or Nairobi via Dubai using the brand new A340-500 aircraft. Emirates Airlines consistently receives the highest ratings and awards for service and comfort. The economy seats are a little larger then most other airlines and each comes equipped with a personal entertainment system with video on demand. The flight consists of two non-stop segments with the first from JFK to Dubai and the second from Dubai to Dar es Salaam or Nairobi.
South African Airways Alternative
South African Airways offers daily flights from Johannesburg (JNB), South Africa to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This is a good option for those individuals routing through South Africa for any number or reasons or for those adding a South African extension to Cape Town or Victoria Falls. The daily flight (approximately 4-hours in duration) departs Johannesburg at 9.50am and arrives Dar es Salaam at 2.20pm.
Upon arrival into Dar es Salaam, we can provide Tanzania visas, transfers to the domestic terminal and a Precision Air flight departing Dar es Salaam at 6.00pm and arriving Kilimanjaro at 7.15pm or an Air Excel flight departing Dar es Salaam at 4.20pm and arriving Arusha at 6.25pm. The return flight on SAA departs Dar es Salaam at 3.20pm and arrives Johannesburg at 6.05pm. To facilitate this return flight at the end of your safari, we would fly you on Precision Air departing Kilimanjaro at 9.15am and arriving Dar es Salaam at 10.30am or departing Kilimanjaro at 11.00am and arriving Dar es Salaam at 12.50pm via Zanzibar. An overnight at one of the lodges in the Arusha-Kilimanjaro area is required the night before.
Confirming International Flight Reservations
Please make sure to confirm your international flight reservations prior to departure and obtain seat assignments (window, aisle, etc).