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Arusha visa and Immigration

Arusha visa and Immigration

How to get here/ Visa/ Kilimanjaro International Airport: 

 Getting to Arusha from oversee – Three airports can be used: Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam and Kilimanjaro:

Flights to Arusha – Non-stop flights from Kilimanjaro (JRO):

Kilimanjaro Airport (IATA: JRO, ICAO: HTKJ), also known as Kilimanjaro International Airport, is the third largest airport in Tanzania. It is an international airport and serves the area of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Kilimanjaro Airport has non-stop passenger flights scheduled to 17 destinations in 7 countries.

At present, there are 8 domestic flights from Kilimanjaro.

The longest flight from Kilimanjaro JRO is a 4,288 mile (6,901 km) non-stop route to Amsterdam AMS. This direct flight takes around 8 hours and 25 minutes and is operated by KLM.

Airlines flying from and to Kilimanjaro:

In total there are 14 airlines flying from and to Kilimanjaro. Most flights are operated by one of the following carriers:

Precision Air
Air Tanzania
Rwanda Air
Ethiopian Airlines
KLM Airlines
Qatar Airways
Coastal Aviation
Regional Air Arusha

How to get to Arusha by bus:

  • You have the option of landing in other airports and come to Arusha by Bus, these airports are: Nairobi International Airport, Dar Es Salaam International Airport, and Zanzibar International airport (You will need a boat to Dar before taking your Bus to Arusha.
  • The most recommended bus service providers along this route are:

Booking can be done either online or at the various service provider offices in Kisutu within Dar es Salaam’s city center.

Bus trip duration: 12 hours

Earliest bus departs from Ubungo bus terminal to Arusha at, please arrive 30ms before! – This is reporting time.

There are no luxury buses, these buses are basically semi-luxury, they have no washrooms, air conditioning may or may not be working and seats are usually not very comfortable. For a better experience take VIP seats, these buses have 2 types of seats VIP and economy class seats.

Alternative route:

Other travelers may choose to first arrive at Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi, Kenya then head over to Arusha by bus. It basically takes almost the same time as taking a bus from Dar.

From Nairobi you’ll find buses that are heading to Arusha along River road in the city center, buses depart for Arusha between 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm via the Namanga border point where you’ll have to stop for document checking and currency exchange.

NOTE: Whether going to Arusha through Dar or Nairobi, brace yourself for the weather change. As you move from either cities towards Arusha it becomes cooler so pack some heavy clothing.

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Kilimanjaro International Airport:   When it comes to the African safari gateway the Kilimanjaro airport is without a rival. With a massive of 110 sqm, rather than screaming the airport unfolds with patience at the middle of three voted natural wonders of Africa: Kilimanjaro Mountain, Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti national park, a home to the cinematic wildlife show on earth. The airport gives it apogee welcome note to the starting of Africa Safari.

Immigration: Some airlines hand out forms on the plane to be completed. If not, you need to complete it in the arrivals hall. When you made it to the top of the queue at immigration,  your visa is processed and a photo of you as well as fingerprints are taken, this only takes a few minutes. After you got your luggage from the conveyor belts everything will be scanned. 

Please make sure you don’t have any plastic bags in your luggage, except zip block bags, since they are banned in Tanzania. In case you want to exchange money, you can do so while you wait for your luggage although you usually get better rates at the exchange bureau in Arusha town.

In order to avoid any stress at departure: check in well in advance, minimum is two hours before departure! After the initial queue to get into the departure hall, your luggage/bags are scanned. If the airport staff see anything suspicious on the scan they will ask for the suitcase to be opened and it will be thoroughly checked. Do not pack any aerosol sprays in your luggage, for example. They will be confiscated. Then you join the queue at the check-in counters. 

Fortunately, this hall nowadays has aircon. If needed, toilets are in departure hall, at the far left of the restaurant. Then you proceed to another hall, produce your boarding pass and passport and fill in the immigration forms. Toilets are at the end of that hall. Around the corner you find the immigration counters and thereafter your hand luggage is scanned again. Now you made it into the boarding hall, which has aircon. Here you find a duty free shop and some kiosks where you can do your last shopping. At the end of the hall  (walk around the corner) you find a small kiosk for snacks and coffee, fridges with cool drinks and water. There are also toilets in that section.


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Since November 2018, an official tourist visa can be applied for online  This is the only official website. Please only use this website for your visa application! Other companies or agencies are far more expensive and I even heard of cases were applicants lost the money they paid.

NB: The new e-visa facility is still in its infancy. According to posts on Tripadvisor people still didn’t get their e-visa 2 weeks after applying and paying for it. Email queries are not replied to. It might be better for the time being to apply for your visa on arrival.

Visa exemptions for stays of less than 3 months: for a complete list of countries check above webpage, section “guidelines”

You can also get your visa for stays of up to 3 months on arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport*. They are equipped with cameras and laser fingerprint check. You need a valid passport and the completed visa form to apply for it.  The visa costs US$ 50 per person (adults and children), for US citizens US$ 100. Immigration is open day and night.

Payment for the visa is in cash or by credit card**. If you bring cash, they apparently only accept US$ 50 notes, new notes only (US$ notes 2013 or after). No other currencies are accepted, only US$!

**As per feedback received from tourists, sometimes the counter for the credit card payments is closed. And every other day, US$ cash is not accepted, only credit cards… Rather bring both, credit card and US$ cash, just in case.

Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months from the date of departure from Zanzibar!

*Some rumours are floating around that visa can only be applied for online and that the visa facility on arrival at the airport was closed. This is not true. The visa application facility on arrival is still open and there are no plans to close it!  (February 2020)

More Arusha Trip Ideas

Planning your Arusha trip? Whether you’re looking for things to do in Arusha such as events and attractions, key traveller information to make your Arusha visit run smoothly or are planning where to stay in Arusha, you’ll find everything you need for your Arusha holiday on Our Website. Arusha City Travel guide has the information about latest events not to miss while you visit Arusha – there’s always something going on, so don’t miss out on the latest exhibitions, shows and more on your trip to Arusha.

Discover the best day trips from Arusha or try one of the best Arusha tours. If you’re here as a family, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Arusha with kids and find suitable accommodation such as Arusha holiday apartments. Whether you’re looking for the best weekend breaks in Arusha or planning a longer holiday in Tanzania, you can be sure you’ll find all the information you need.

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