Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and summiting the highest free-standing mountain in the world is a bucket list adventure for many. But you’re on the go, don’t have much time, feel not quite fit enough or simply can’t get your head around not showering for a week? Not a problem.

Book a Kilimanjaro scenic flight and enjoy views of the highest point in Africa and its surrounds. Our colleague Anna-Maria did it and loved it. Here is her 101 of scenic flights over Kilimanjaro.

Our Colleague Anna-Maria on her Kilimanjaro scenic flight. From 4000m altitude, all passengers wear an oxygen mask.

 

When is the best time to do a Kilimanjaro scenic flight?

Scenic flights operated by Ruka Africa depart from Arusha Airport early in the morning at 6:45am, just after sunrise. At this time of the day, chances are good to catch a clear view of Kilimanjaro and its surrounds. The flight duration is just over an hour which means you will be back on the ground in time to continue your safari itinerary without delay. Ruka Africa offer scheduled flights from Thursday to Sunday. Whether you’re a solo traveller or a couple, you can join other travellers on these scheduled flights. From Monday to Wednesday, a minimum of 4 travellers are required to confirm your private flight. We’re happy to arrange your scenic flight, just get in touch!

Photo: Ruka Africa

We took off in our 15-seater Cessna Grand Caravan, operated by our two trusted pilots, and flew into the morning sky! I must say, our pilots were great. I felt safe at all times and appreciated that they checked in on everyone over the course of the flight, making sure that everyone was fine and comfortable.

 

What do you see on a Kilimanjaro scenic flight?

So much more than Mt Kilimanjaro! Departing at Arusha Airport, you can catch a glimpse of the local activities of Arusha Town, before you continue to Arusha National Park.

Photo: Ruka Africa

This green jewel is not only home to many giraffes and other wildlife, but you can also see the Momella Lakes as well as Mt Meru. On my flight, it was a bit cloudy, but we could still catch a glimpse of Mt Meru’s peak.

Mt Meru, the fourth highest mountain in Africa

And before you know it, you have reached Mt Kilimanjaro.

The Kilimanjaro peaks Mawenzi and Kibo
Photo: Ruka Africa

Your pilots will fly along the course of the number 8. No matter on which side of the plane you sit, everyone will get the opportunity to see Kilimanjaro and its peaks in all their glory: Shira – commonly known as Shira Plateau – Mawenzi, and Kibo.

Crater and glacier on Kibo, the highest peak of Kilimanjaro
Photo: Ruka Africa

The glaciers of Kibo peak
Photo: Ruka Africa

I could even see Barafu Basecamp and the tents of the climbers attempting to summit.

Barafu Basecamp on Kilimanjaro
Photo: Ruka Africa

 

What do you need to know before a Kilimanjaro scenic flight?

There are a few things to keep in mind before you go:

  • It gets chilly. Do bring a scarf and a warm jacket as you will be in the air for a whole hour.
  • Once the plane reaches an altitude of 13 000 feet or 4000 metres, you need to wear an oxygen mask. No worries, the pilots will explain how to put it on and check on everyone.
  • You can download the Ruka App to your phone. The app includes an audio-guide and seven chapters with information on landmarks and landscapes you see on your flight.

Photo: Ruka Africa

A Kilimanjaro scenic flight is a very exciting experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it! If you don’t have the time or the ambition to climb Kilimanjaro, flying over it is certainly a great alternative to get as close to the highest free-standing mountain in the world as possible. Get in touch! And let’s get you in the air.