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When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

African Safari
East Africa Safaris

When deciding when to climb Kilimanjaro, various variables should be considered: temperature, vistas, traffic density on the route, difficulty level, and safety. The biggest element impacting everyone else, though, is the weather. Kilimanjaro has an equatorial climate, therefore instead of four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall), it only has rainy and dry seasons. April to May and November are the wet seasons.

As in other tropical nations, predicting when the rains will begin and cease is nearly impossible. The remaining months are the “dry season,” when most days are bright but there is no assurance of clear sky.

The climbing season is divided into two parts: July-August-September and January-February. Many visitors are on vacation during the summer or Christmas season, when the weather conditions are ideal for climbing Kilimanjaro. Most climbers avoid the wet season.

The likelihood of trekking in the drizzle is particularly high in April, May, and November. Rain softens the terrain and makes the rocks slick, making the ascent a more difficult and dangerous experience. Landscape photographers, on the other hand, like Tanzania’s rainy season. More precipitation equals more snow on top, allowing photographers to capture Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peak. It’s also the only way to escape “peak hours” on the routes and enjoy some peace on virgin snow tracks.

When is the ideal time to climb Kilimanjaro?

April-May

The “great rainy season” begins at the end of March and lasts until mid-May. Tanzania’s coldest month begins in April. There are far fewer climbers during these months than the rest of the year, but you will almost certainly be walking in the rain.

June-July

The frequency of rain reduces progressively. During these months, the weather on Kilimanjaro is mostly dry and clear, although the evenings are still frigid. June is typically calm and bright, and we believe it is vastly underappreciated in terms of climbing. June is an ideal month to go climbing because of the excellent weather and practically private routes for your climbing party. Climbers increase in quantity throughout the year.

Most roads will be quite congested beginning in July.

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is from August to September. The weather is ideal for climbing, with days that are clear and somewhat warmer than in June/July. At the same time, the forest/moorland zone may be gloomy, and rain may fall on the southern roads (Machame and Umbwe). However, after you leave the rainforest, the weather turns bright.

October is another unfairly overlooked month: favorable weather lasts until mid-October, and the number of climbers drops substantially, providing you a fantastic opportunity to tackle Kilimanjaro nearly alone. The weather begins to shift around the end of October. As long as you’re prepared for a little rain, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

The “small” rainy season begins in November. Rain may fall until the middle of December. Temperatures have plummeted and fog has blanketed the mountain, making your trek more difficult and dangerous, but also more demanding and thrilling. Although November is not the ideal month for weather, it is a perfect time to appreciate the breathtaking vistas of mist-shrouded Kilimanjaro with its snow-capped peak and capture some amazing images.

The second busiest climbing season on Kilimanjaro is December-January, which includes Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Although there is a strong likelihood of rain and dense clouds at the lower elevations of Kilimanjaro, traffic is exceedingly busy.

Climbers like the months of January through March.

The climate is ideal: it is neither too chilly nor too humid. Days are mostly dry, with just sporadic precipitation. As the ‘big rains’ season approaches, the risk of rain increases in the second half of March.

Kilimanjaro's temperature

Kilimanjaro’s temperature corresponds to one of four climatic zones:

The rainforest zone (800-3000 meters) is hot and humid. At 2900 m, this zone is highly vegetated and has an average temperature of 12-15 °C (20-25 °C during the day).

You will spend the first or second days of your ascent here, depending on your itinerary.

The lower alpine zone (3000-4200 meters) is semi-arid. The greenery grows sparser as you ascend. Depending on your itinerary, you’ll spend one to two days here, with average temperatures ranging from 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (15 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day) at 3,600 meters.

Zone of high altitude (4200 m-5000) It’s desert-like.

You’ll spend your fourth and fifth days on the mountain here, finalizing your plans to reach the summit at these altitudes. At 5000m, temperatures average around freezing, yet it is still fairly pleasant and comfortable during the day when the sun shines.

Mount Kilimanjaro’s top is in the glacial region (above 5,000 meters), with temperatures averaging -6 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind, though, that all summit efforts typically begin around midnight in order to reach Uhuru Peak by daybreak. You’ll be outside at night, when temperatures can dip below -20°C. Temperatures might plunge to -40 °C with heavy wind gusts. It’s worth risking the cold, though, since the shot above is one of the nicest you’ve ever seen in the light of the rising sun.

Interesting info

There are a few more things to note about the weather on Kilimanjaro.

You may choose to climb at an inconvenient time, whether to escape the main rush or because it is the only time available for your vacation. Consider the Northern Circuit Route or the Rongai Route if you do. The northern side of Kilimanjaro is significantly dryer than the other Kilimanjaro routes. Furthermore, if you want the finest weather on Kilimanjaro but dislike crowds, the same rules apply. Choose your path carefully. The Rongai, Lemosho, and Northern Traverse Routes have less traffic than the popular (and constantly congested) Machame and Marangu routes.

Altezza believes that Mount Kilimanjaro may be enjoyed all year. The difference is in preparation: although you might only need one piece of thermal underwear, Gore-Tex membrane gaiters, and boots in September, you should pack three sets of each two months later in November to ensure that you can continue your climb comfortably if you become drenched to the skin. Whatever route and season you pick, Altezza Travel will do all possible to make your Kilimanjaro climb a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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African Safari,Kenya,Tanzania
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