When is the Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

When is the Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro? : Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa with the highest peak of about 5,985 meters high. Mount Kilimanjaro weather affects the hiking success of any traveler who intends to hike Mount Kilimanjaro thus it is very important to know when to climb Kilimanjaro for your own good. Bad weather on Kilimanjaro not only makes for a miserable trek and ruins your photos; most importantly it simply makes the climb twice as hard. You have greater chances of reaching the summit if the weather on Kilimanjaro is good.

Mount Kilimanjaro is near the Equator that is the Tropics where there is no such thing as summer and winter. There are only dry season and wet season. Climbing Kilimanjaro during the wet season means you have to hike through very deep mud during the first days. At higher altitude, you have fog and drizzle, and slowly but surely the moisture will creep into your clothes, your gear, your bones.

At the top you may have to fight your way through ice and snow. Having moisture in your clothes and everything is not going to help with the cold up there. However, there are other aspects to consider as well such as the temperatures, the views, and of course the number of people on the mountain. As so often, there is no hard and fast answer and no single best time to climb Kilimanjaro.

April to June – Given the changing weather conditions in East Africa, it is unpredictable to tell exactly when the rains start and end so from the end of March through April, the rain season starts till mid-June, the area experiences a lot of rain. It is the warmest time of the year in Tanzania, but those months are so wet that many operators simply do not offer climbs in April or May at all.

June to August – From late June, the rains reduce and the temperatures reduce as well, July and August the sun is at its best at Mount Kilimanjaro. The weather on Kilimanjaro is dry and clear but the nights will be bitterly cold. Thus this period is referred to as high season

August to October – August and even more so September is the peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro. The weather is good with many clear days and warmer than in June or July. You may, however, get clouds blanketing the forest/moorland zone, and on the southern routes you may get rained on the first days of the hike. But once you leave the rain forest behind all is good! The good conditions last into about mid-October when the build-up for the short rains begins.

October to November – The weather on Kilimanjaro becomes more unstable and the number of climbers drops. As in all tropical regions of the world, the wetter time of the year announces itself with afternoon clouds and occasional thunderstorms. As long as you are equipped to withstand the occasional shower, this should not present any major problems.

When is the Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

November to December – November is the small rainy season, and the rain lasts into mid-December. The temperatures have dropped and the rain brings with it all the hazards that I described at the top of the page. Not the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.

December to January – The four to six weeks around Christmas and New Year are the second peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro. Traffic is extremely high despite there still being a good chance of rainfall and thick clouds in the lower regions. It’s not a time I would choose.

January to March – Mid-January to mid-March is also a good time to climb Kilimanjaro. The weather is reasonable, not too cold, not too wet, and there aren’t as many climbers. The days are mainly dry, beautifully clear with few clouds and occasional brief showers. In March the chances of rain gradually increase as you approach the long rainy season.

In conclusion, you may decide to climb at a less than perfect time, be it because you want to avoid the main rush or because that is the only opportunity you have to take the time off from work. If that’s the case, consider the taking the shorter routes such as Rongai route located on the northern side of the mountain and much drier than the other Kilimanjaro routes. And if you want the best weather on Kilimanjaro but hate crowds, then Rongai route will do for you also consider also Shira and Lemosho routes than the overcrowded Machame route and Marangu routes.

Also be note that the day and night temperatures can be vastly different. In that respect the alpine desert is no different to other deserts in the world. Above 4,000 metres, a sunny day may be above 30°C – 85F while the nights are still below 0.The temperatures during summit night can drop to about 20°C (-5F) but be aware that with the additional chill factor of wind the felt temperature may be as low as -40. Prepare for the worst case scenario, and then enjoy that everything turns out much easier than expected!

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