The Easy Way to Get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro by Bus

Do you need to get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro? Are you starting a hike on Kilimanjaro? Maybe you need to get to the Kilimanjaro Airport?

If so, let me help you out with that!

In all the time that I have spent working as a tour guide in Africa, this is one route I have taken the most. That is to say, I have travelled from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro at least once every couple of months. However, I know that as a first timer to Africa, this might not seem as straightforward. After all, the websites for bus operators in Africa are downright confusing.

Anyway, here is the short answer, quickly followed by a more detailed account on how you can take a bus from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro.

Quick Answer: Taking a Bus from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro

  • Book the Nairobi to Kilmanjaro Shuttle
  • Take a matatu or local taxi to either the Silverprings Hotel or the Heron Portico Hotel.
  • This bus will take you to Arusha, Tanzania.
  • Change buses and get off in the town of Moshi.
  • Take a local taxi to Kilimanjaro

How to get to from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro

Do you need to get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro?

Step 1 – Book the Nairobi Kilmanjaro Shuttle

Taking a bus from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro is very straightforward. However, you will need a ticket for the Nairobi Kilimanjaro Shuttle.

You can book your ticket with either Impala Shuttles or Riverside Shuttles. I suggest Impala and request that they collect you at a hotel.

Just so you know, this shuttle will usually stop in Arusha, Tanzania. From here, you will need to change buses and travel to the next town, Moshi.

Step 2 – Take a Matatu or Taxi to City Centre Hotel

Sometimes this shuttle can do pickups at the Wildebeest Camp in Karen. However, you are best to select a pick up for either Silversprings Hotel or the Heron Portico.

My suggestion is that you stay overnight at this one and save yourself the stress of getting through horrendous Nairobi traffic.

Step 4 – Travel from Nairobi to Arusha

This journey is usually split into two separate trips. For this reason, you will travel from Nairobi to the Namanga border. The driver will usually help you with directions at the border. In fact, the drivers are fantastic and sometimes come inside to make sure everything is going okay.

When you reach Arusha, you will change bus but again, the driver will help with this part of the journey.

Step 5 – Take a local Taxi from Moshi to Kilimanjaro

Next you will arrive at the town of Moshi. This town is located right next to Mt. Kilimanjaro and not far from Kilimanjaro Airport.

If you need to get to Kilimanjaro Airport, there is another bus from Moshi but I suggest taking a local taxi.

If starting a Kilimanjaro climb, you will probably stay at a nearby hostel or hotel. From there, you are likely to be picked up by your tour operator.

About the Bus Route from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro

The standard of comfort on the Nairobi Kilimanjaro shuttle is pretty good. That being said, try to manage your expectations. As for the journey, it can feel a little long-winded but with a border crossing and this kind of distance – that should be expected.

All considered, the bus from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro is a straightforward process and the drivers are usually super friendly.

Is there a Train from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro?

No. You can take the SGR Madaraka Express train to Kibwezi but even if you took a local matatu to the border, this takes you to Kilimanjaro NP but there is no border crossing.

Is there Any Other Way from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro?

Of course, there are other bus services but I have found Impala Shuttles to be the most reliable.

PS. Do you need somewhere to stay in Nairobi or Moshi? I know the place like the back of my hand – Get in touch!

Derek Cullen
Derek Cullen
Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

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The Author - Derek Cullen

I worked as an overland tour leader in Africa for many years. I now want to help you book the trip of a lifetime and find out everything you need to know about taking an overland tour in Africa.

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