Fort Ikoma Airstrip

The Fort Ikoma Airstrip (IKO) is one of the rarely used airstrips located in the Serengeti National Park.

This small airstrip located in the southwest of the Serengeti is rarely used because it is closer to the busier airstrips that are a few minutes away. Owing to its size, flights use the larger Seronera Airstrip or the Grumeti Airstrip.

Tanzania is a country known for its diverse wildlife, natural wonders, and rich history. The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is one of the many historical sites in Tanzania that attracts tourists from all over the world. This airstrip is located in the Serengeti National Park, which is famous for its annual wildebeest migration.

When it comes to exploring the Serengeti, one of the biggest challenges is finding a convenient and reliable way to access the park. Luckily, the Ikoma Airstrip is here to make your travels easier than ever before. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what the Ikoma Airstrip is, how to get there, and what to expect when you arrive.

What to do at the Fort Ikoma Airstrip

Due to the airstrip being in the Serengeti National Park, a lot of activities take place here that are related to this very popular national park. These activities near fort Ikoma Airstrip include game drives, wildebeest migration safaris, and luxury Serengeti fly-in safaris whereby as you fly over the Serengeti National Park you will watch over the Maswa Game Reserve, Grumeti Reserve, and the  Ngorongoro conversation area. You may catch a glimpse of Lake Manyara National Park with its beautiful lake and several small towns

Fort Ikoma Airstrip

The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is a small airstrip located in the Serengeti National Park. It was originally built by the Germans in 1917 during World War I. At the time, the Germans used the airstrip to transport troops and supplies to their colonial possessions in East Africa. After the war, the airstrip was abandoned until it was reopened by the British in 1929.

Today, the Fort Ikoma Airstrip is an important hub for tourism in Tanzania. It is used by several airlines and tour operators to transport tourists to and from the Serengeti National Park. The airstrip is also used by the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) for wildlife management purposes.

History of Fort Ikoma

The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is named after the nearby Fort Ikoma, which was built by the Germans in 1900. The fort was strategically located on a hill overlooking the surrounding plains. It was used as a military post during World War I and World War II. The fort was also used as a prison for political prisoners during Tanzania’s struggle for independence in the 1960s.

Today, the fort is a historical site that tourists can visit. It has been preserved as a museum that showcases the history of the fort and its role in Tanzania’s struggle for independence.

Why Visit the Fort Ikoma Airstrip?

The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is a must-visit destination for tourists who are interested in Tanzania’s history and culture. Here are some reasons why you should visit the Fort Ikoma Airstrip:

  1. Historical Significance: The Fort Ikoma is a historical site that showcases Tanzania’s colonial past and struggle for independence.
  2. Wildlife Viewing: The Serengeti National Park is famous for its diverse wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros).
  3. Annual Wildebeest Migration: The Serengeti National Park is home to the world-famous wildebeest migration, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
  4. Scenic Beauty: The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is located in the heart of the Serengeti National Park, which is known for its breathtaking landscapes and scenery.

How to get there?

The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is located in the Serengeti National Park, which is approximately 335 km from Arusha, Tanzania’s tourism capital. Tourists can get to the airstrip by road or by air.

By Road: Tourists can hire a taxi or take a bus from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park. The journey takes approximately 7 hours.

By Air: Several airlines and tour operators offer flights to the Fort Ikoma Airstrip. The flights take approximately 1 hour from Arusha.

Fort Ikoma Airstrip By Air

By air Average flying distance from Fort Ikoma Airstrip (IKO) to Julius Nyerere International Airport(JRO) in Dar es Salaam is just over to 900 kilometers and will take you around 2 hours and 35 minutes from the airport to airport.

You can also fly in and out of Fort Ikoma Airstrip to Arusha, Nairobi, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Kigali, Mwanza and of course Uganda.

There are regular flights doing the Fort Ikoma to Dar es Salaam route from Coastal Aviation, Flightlink, Air Excel & Regional Air.

Fort Ikoma Airstrip By Road

You can drive to Fort Ikoma Airstrip by vehicle, although you will need a 4-wheel drive (4×4) vehicle capable of driving through the rough terrain of the Serengeti National Park.

Every now and then busses carrying passengers, drive to Ikoma, near the IKOMA AIRSTRIP. It is possible to visit Ikoma any time of the year but with a vehicle strong enough to pass through these roads in case of bad weather.

Best time to visit Fort Ikoma Airstrip

Passengers are occasionally transported by bus to Ikoma, near the IKOMA AIRSTRIP. It is feasible to visit Ikoma at any time of year, but only with a vehicle capable of traversing these roads in the event of inclement weather.

Facilities at the Ikoma Airstrip

Although the Ikoma Airstrip is small, it offers a range of facilities and services for travelers. These include:

  • A small terminal building where you can wait for your flight or arrange ground transportation
  • Restrooms and other basic amenities
  • A restaurant and bar where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink while you wait
  • A souvenir shop where you can pick up some last-minute gifts or souvenirs

Airlines at Fort Ikoma Airstrip

Several airlines operate at Fort Ikoma Airstrip, providing daily flights to and from major cities in Tanzania and neighboring countries. The following are the major airlines that operate at Fort Ikoma Airstrip:

Coastal Aviation

Coastal Aviation is a Tanzanian airline that operates scheduled and charter flights to various destinations in Tanzania, including the Serengeti National Park. The airline operates a fleet of modern aircraft and is known for its excellent safety record and reliable services.

Safari Air Link

Safari Air Link is a regional airline that operates scheduled flights to various destinations in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. The airline operates a fleet of modern aircraft and provides comfortable and reliable services to its passengers.

Auric Air

Auric Air is a Tanzanian airline that operates scheduled and charter flights to various destinations in Tanzania, including the Serengeti National Park. The airline operates a fleet of modern aircraft and is known for its excellent safety record and customer service.

Regional Air Services

Regional Air Services is a Kenyan airline that operates scheduled and charter flights to various destinations in Tanzania and Kenya, including the Serengeti National Park. The airline operates a fleet of modern aircraft and provides comfortable and reliable services to its passengers.

Services Offered by Airlines at Fort Ikoma Airstrip

The airlines operating at Fort Ikoma Airstrip offer a range of services to their passengers. These include:

  • Scheduled and charter flights to various destinations in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
  • Comfortable and modern aircraft with air conditioning and comfortable seating.
  • In-flight meals and refreshments on scheduled flights.
  • Customized charter flights for groups and individuals.
  • Professional and courteous cabin crew who are trained to ensure passenger safety and comfort.

Safety Records of Airlines at Fort Ikoma Airstrip

Safety is a top priority for airlines operating at Fort Ikoma Airstrip. All airlines operating at the airport have excellent safety records and adhere to strict safety regulations set by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).

The airlines also regularly maintain their aircraft to ensure that they are in excellent condition and comply with safety regulations. In addition, the airlines employ highly trained pilots and cabin crew who are trained to handle emergency situations and ensure passenger safety at all times.

What to Expect at the Ikoma Airstrip

When you arrive at the Ikoma Airstrip, you can expect a smooth and hassle-free experience. The airstrip is well-maintained and staffed by friendly and helpful personnel who are happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

One thing to keep in mind is that the airstrip can be busy during peak travel season, so it’s important to arrive early to ensure you have plenty of time to make your flight. You’ll also want to double-check your flight times and other details to make sure you don’t miss your flight or encounter any unexpected delays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the Fort Ikoma Airstrip used for? Answer: The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is used for tourism and wildlife management purposes in the Serengeti National Park.
  2. How do I get to the Fort Ikoma Airstrip? Answer: Tourists can get to the Fort Ikoma Airstrip by road or by air. Several airlines and tour operators offer flights to the airstrip from Arusha.
  3. What is the history of Fort Ikoma? Answer: Fort Ikoma was built by the Germans in 1900 and used as a military post during World War I and World War II. It was also used as a prison for political prisoners during Tanzania’s struggle for independence.
  4. Can tourists visit Fort Ikoma? Answer: Yes, tourists can visit Fort Ikoma. It has been preserved as a museum that showcases the history of the fort and its role in Tanzania’s struggle for independence.
  5. What is the Serengeti National Park famous for? Answer: The Serengeti National Park is famous for its diverse wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) and the annual wildebeest migration.
  6. Why should I visit Fort Ikoma? Answer: The Fort Ikoma is a historical site that showcases Tanzania’s colonial past and struggle for independence. It is also located in the heart of the Serengeti National Park, which is known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and annual wildebeest migration.

Conclusion

The Fort Ikoma Airstrip is an important site for tourism and wildlife management in Tanzania. It has a rich history and is a must-visit destination for tourists who are interested in Tanzania’s culture and history. If you are planning a trip to Tanzania, make sure to include the Fort Ikoma Airstrip in your itinerary. You won’t regret it!

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