Quaint and quiet KIA Lodge (‘Kilimanjaro International Airport Lodge’ not ‘killed in action’) is very close to Kilimanjaro airport, which is ideal after a long flight. The handsome grounds are landscaped with a variety of local trees, shrubs and plants that provide a great habitat for a variety of birds. The staff are very laid-back but genuinely helpful. KIA is the perfect option for climbers on a very restricted timeline whose schedules do not allow an overnight to be spent prior to their onward flight. Booking a day room here will allow us to drop you off after the climb, have a shower, relax, and book a 3 minute taxi transfer to the airport terminal for check-in, without the need to budget an extra couple of hours to cater for delays or eventualities on the road.
Similarly, if arriving on a late KLM flight and wanting to start your climb the following morning, KIA Lodge is a great choice, since you’ll have minimal delays before you get your head down for the all-important last night’s sleep in ‘civilisation’, and you won’t have to rise at the crack of dawn to be ready for us to collect you the next morning for your climb. Bear in mind however, that if you choose KIA for your pre-climb night, you won’t get a briefing the evening before your climb. In this event, it’s really important that you discuss your equipment and clothing selection in detail with your expedition coordinator, to be sure that you’re definitely not going to lack anything on the mountain. In this event, we invite you to please email us links to or photographs of, any clothing, hiking boots or sleeping bags that you’re planning to bring with you and about which you may have any qualms whatsoever. We tend ourselves to be obsessive about details related to planning, so please don’t feel self-conscious about doing this.
Rooms at KIA Lodge
The bungalows are clean, well decorated if a little careworn, decorated in a Maasai style with good bathrooms. The air-conditioning systems cannot operate if the voltage drops too low, so it can get uncomfortable at night during a ‘grey-out’. Mosquito nets are provided. The majority of the rooms are spacious, but the triple rooms can be a bit cramped if you have a lot of luggage.
KIA Lodge’s Restaurant
The buffet breakfast has been described as phenomenal, and will be laid on for early departures; both indoor and outdoor dining is available. The buffet dinner can have a limited choice, but is offered to late arrivals.
Facilities at KIA
This is a picturesque lodge, and the elevated pool itself is a little green, but is a great place to relax and take in the views of Kilimanjaro and the aeroplanes at JRO, or use the free Internet service at the bar. The tanzanite at the gift shop is charged very much higher than market rates.
Availability at KIA Lodge
Because of it’s proximity to the airport and there being no alternative nearby accommodation options in the event of this being fully booked – and your needing to accept a 45 minute vehicle transfer to Arusha instead – you are advised in the strongest possible to terms to book your climb with us and request this lodge at the earliest possible opportunity, to avoid missing a room. Indeed, even if you were not yet entirely sure of booking flights on the dates you had in mind, we would still prefer that you ask us to provisionally book this place for you, and then confirm to us that we may secure the booking when everything is fully confirmed on your end, rather than risking out on the opportunity to have a really tidy itinerary to work within the context of restricted timings.