East Africa Travel Diaries- Kilimanjaro

On the first night of our trip we had an unexpected stay in Kilimajaro. Ben and Nicole were running a day behind, as the road from Lusaka to Arusha was under construction; so their pace was pretty slow going!


 As we weren’t quite sure where Ben and Nicole were going to be, we could only book the flight a few days before (we’re talking 3 days!). We flew economy with Kenya Airways because at the time they were the most reasonably priced route with the least stops.

The flight was a night flight from London Heathrow to Kilimanjaro. Our one stop was in Nairobi for about an hour and a half, but enough time to grab a coffee and conveniently for us book a last minute hotel. Both flights were absolutely fine with two meals and drinks throughout.


  • Grab some snacks and water for the layover; we arrived in Nairobi airport really early in the morning, so not many food places were open.
  • Make sure you take US Dollars to buy your visa at Tanzania airport, as there are no cash machines ($50 per person if you’re from the UK and $100 per person if you’re from the USA). 
  • If you’re travelling from the UK make sure you’ve had your yellow fever vaccine before leaving. You’ll need to have it 10 days before your flight, as otherwise you won’t be able to enter the country. You’ll also be asked whether you’ve had the vaccine before you leave the UK. 
  • A taxi from Kilimanjaro airport to the lodge cost us around $50. If possible I would recommend trying to organise transport from the airport prior to arriving, you could do this through your accommodation.


After a quick search we found Kaliwa Lodge nestled 25km away from Mount Kilimanjaro, which had a sun deck with an unbelievable view of the Mountain.

This was a great little hideaway for the night, the rooms are spaced out across the garden, so you feel like you’ve got your own little space. After a mammoth nap we headed down to the deck to catch the sunset, though it was cloudy we still caught a glimpse of the mountain; which was genuinely one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.

We had dinner at the hotel that night, which was surprisingly good. A couple of Kilimanjaro beers later we headed back to the room to get ready to catch some last views of the mountain before we left in the morning.


  • The hotel only accepts cash payments so make sure you’ve picked some up on the way. 
  • The three course dinner is $20 US Dollars and then drinks are extra. Breakfast, however is included. 

It was a great place to stay for our first night in Tanzania and definitely got us excited for the trip to come! Next stop is camping in Lake Manyara and the Serengeti (my favourite part of the whole trip!).