A Comprehensive Guide To When To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro : You’ve made the decision to attempt Africa’s highest mountain? The optimal time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in terms of weather, trekking conditions, and popularity should then come to mind. Although Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania can be hiked throughout the year, there are some months that are known for their lower temperatures, heavier rainfall, and even the possibility of significant snowfall on the summit.
We typically suggest that the warmest and driest months of the year, which are December to mid-March and mid-June to the end of October, are the best times to climb Kilimanjaro. However, despite the fact that these are the months with the best weather for mountain climbing, they are also the busiest.
The months of December through March and June through October are the ideal times to hike or climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Though it is frequently quieter, the first season is typically colder than the second. The majority of people wonder when the ideal season is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Here is some information regarding the best time of year to climb Kilimanjaro.
To help you decide the optimum time to embark on this mountain adventure, we’ve broken down the Kilimanjaro climbing season, off-peak alternatives, times to avoid, and other aspects to take into account.
Climbing Kilimanjaro in January and February
The two most popular and ideal months to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are January and February. Because they are the warmest, you can anticipate clear, sunny skies in the mornings and nights, but clouds may appear in the afternoons, and you might see some rain.
Climbing Kilimanjaro in March, April, and May
Beginning at the end of March and lasting until the beginning of June is the lengthy rainy season. Because the paths can be quite muddy, snowy, and rainy during this time, we do not advise climbing Kilimanjaro.
You won’t get to take advantage of the breathtaking views and photo opportunities if you climb in the rain, which is also likely to make the experience less enjoyable. However, if you do decide to go trekking at this time of year, you’ll avoid the crowds at the campgrounds and on the trails (even the busiest trails may provide seclusion, calm, and tranquility).
Additionally, some individuals enjoy the concept of climbing Kilimanjaro when the top is likely to be covered in snow because it can make the ascent more difficult while also providing stunning views.
Climb of Kilimanjaro in June
June is typically much drier than March, April, and May since it marks the start of the dry season after the rainy season. However, you should dress for the cold since the sky is usually still cloudy and the sights won’t necessarily be as breathtaking.
Climbing Kilimanjaro in July, August, September, or October
The weather is often colder but significantly drier from July until the end of October. Even though there is a potential for getting wet throughout the year, especially if you hike across moorlands and rainforests, normal precipitation levels are modest. You’ll feel more comfortable and have a better time on the walk overall if you stay dry. You will also enjoy clear, sunny skies, breathtaking views, and climbing throughout these months.
The fact that the trails can get rather crowded during these months is a drawback, but some individuals enjoy the chance to socialize with other groups at the campsites. Teamwork is crucial for pushing yourself to the top, after all.
The brief rainy season in Tanzania lasts from the beginning of November until the beginning of December. It frequently rains in the afternoons, while the mornings and evenings are usually clear. Due to the possibility of extremely muddy, slippery, and wet conditions, this month is not recommended for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro climb in December
Even though there is just a brief rainy season, it frequently extends into December, making this a popular time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
CLIMBING KILIMANJARO DURING THE FULL MOON
The top of Mount Kilimanjaro is especially lovely during a full moon. The vistas are breathtaking as the bright moon illuminates the glaciers. Another benefit of going on a walk at this time of day is that the moonlight will make it easier for you to see, especially on your last ascent to Uhuru Peak. Many people like to reach Uhuru Peak when the moon is closest to full, even though it is not necessary to do so in order to benefit from moonlight.
A seven-day climb should begin five days before the full moon date, and an eight-day climb should begin six days before the full moon date if you do want to reach the summit on a full moon. Book early because these dates are incredibly popular and there are only a few spots available on the mountain at any one moment. We advise avoiding the full moon period entirely if you want a peaceful walk and a sky filled with beautiful stars.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR KILIMANJARO TREK
Of course, there are other factors to take into account when you begin to plan your ascent of Africa’s tallest peak, in addition to the time of year and the weather. Before choosing the ideal time to climb Kilimanjaro, consider the following additional factors:
CHOOSING THE BEST KILIMANJARO CLIMBING ROUTE
The Machame Route, Lemosho Route, and Rongai Route are the top three Kilimanjaro routes. There are benefits and drawbacks to each:
The Machame Route:
The well-known Machame Route provides a shorter but more difficult journey as well as breathtaking vistas on the approach to Uhuru Peak.
We highly recommend the Lemosho Route for those attempting the Kilimanjaro challenge, especially if you have no prior trekking expertise. It is longer, more gradual, and less well-known, but it is unquestionably no less magnificent.
The Rongai Route:
On the Kenyan side of Kilimanjaro, the lonely Rongai Route reaches the summit from the north. You may also be rewarded with sightings of big game, including antelope, elephants, and buffalo, on less-traveled, faster, or gradual ascents.
PREPARING FOR YOUR KILIMANJARO HIKE
Over 30,000 people attempt to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro each year, so it may be on many travelers’ bucket lists, but it’s no easy task, so you must be well-prepared. Here are a few pointers to get you going, but you should read our beginner’s guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for more advice on how to get ready for your mountain adventure.
Train your strength and endurance as far in advance as you can, with an emphasis on leg conditioning and getting your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system ready.
Altitude sickness (the inability to acclimate to the high altitude) rather than the level of athleticism required for the walk is the most frequent reason why many climbers fail to reach the summit. This can be caused by ascending too quickly; thus, we advise taking the Lemosho route because of its more moderate slope. Additionally, remember that climbing Kilimanjaro before you have fully recovered from a cold or the flu is advised since the danger of altitude sickness increases.
There is nothing worse than blisters, so it is advisable to invest in and bring quality hiking gear (clothes, footwear, etc.) in order to have the best chance of reaching the peak and enjoying the trek. Camping supplies and food are given and carried by the porters.
KILIMANJARO WEATHER: WHAT TO EXPECT
Due to its high altitude and proximity to the equator, Kilimanjaro experiences frequent fluctuations in the weather. Between the balmy bottom and the chilly summit, temperatures can drastically vary. Because of this, hikers could encounter both intense heat and cold.
Weather on Mount Kilimanjaro
- Unlike other temperate regions of the world, Kilimanjaro does not have the conventional four seasons. Instead, the mountain rotates around dry and rainy seasons, with each having a different effect on the landscape.
- The months of June through March are often the most favorable for climbing Kilimanjaro. The driest times of the year draw a lot of climbers from all over.
- Clear skies and sunny weather during these times make for excellent trekking conditions as well as abundant photo opportunities.
- As you ascend higher and the seasons change, the Mount Kilimanjaro temperature fluctuates. The top region has an “arctic” climate, which means that it is constantly below freezing.
- Typically, December through March and June following the wet season are the coldest months. At the top during these periods, snow is likely to be present. As opposed to the popular months of July through August, fewer people come during these colder months.
- You can choose the best month to climb Mount Kilimanjaro by being knowledgeable about the weather conditions on the mountain and its average temperature for each month.
WET AND DRY SEASONS IN KILIMANJARO
Wet and dry seasons are the two main divisions of the Kilimanjaro climate. Long rains from March through May and brief rainfall in November and December are all part of the wet season. The months from June to October are considered to be part of the dry season, as is the shorter dry period from December to mid-March. Most of our Kilimanjaro climbs take place during the dry season.
Short dry season
The weather is relatively pleasant, with clear mornings and nights, from December to mid-March. Despite the possibility of cloud cover and sporadic downpours during the day,
The rainy season lasts through early June and late March. It is not advised to climb during this period unless you are an experienced trekker used to the terrain. Be prepared for rainy weather and potentially poor visibility owing to a dense cloud cover. But there are fewer people there now.
Extended Dry Season
From the middle of June to the end of October, it is the dry season. On the mountain, temperatures are a little bit lower during this time, but the weather is often dryer.
Early November to early December is the brief rainy season. Mornings and evenings frequently feature bright skies, while afternoons are typically when it rains.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION ABOUT THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO
Which seven months are ideal for climbing Kilimanjaro? The ideal months to climb Kilimanjaro, in our opinion, are January, February, June, July, August, September, and October.
Which four months are ideal for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? In our opinion, the four finest months to climb Kilimanjaro are February, July, August, and September.
Which three months are ideal for climbing Kilimanjaro? Our belief is that the three finest months to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are February, July, and August.
CONCLUSION: THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO
If you’re considering climbing Kilimanjaro, there are additional factors you should take into account besides the weather. Physical preparation for the climb and planning enough time and days to give oneself a reasonable possibility of reaching the peak are two of the most crucial considerations you should make.