What Is The Best Time To Climb Kilimanjaro? The Surprising Answer

Are you gearing up for a big trip to Kilimanjaro? Even if you’re experienced with this type of adventure, you have to consider the time of your that you will attempt your summit.

After all, the weather on Kilimanjaro will affect both your climb and your chance of success! You wouldn’t want you only climbing days available to be ruined by weather, crowds, or other issues, right?

I’ve done the research about the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, so wonder no longer. Just keep reading to discover when you should plan to have one of the most life-changing experiences of your life.


What Is Kilimanjaro’s Weather Like?

The weather at Kilimanjaro is caused by the way that winds interact with the mountain itself.

When moisture-carrying winds hit Kilimanjaro in March, rain is likely. In particular, March through May is the wettest season that there is on Kilimanjaro. While it’s still possible to climb during this time, the southern slopes get the most rain during this time of the year.

Drier winds take charge from April through October, when things are usually much drier on Kilimanjaro. If there is rain, it’s typically only on the lower slopes.

From April to October, the weather is usually dry with little cloud cover or precipitation.

Overall, you should know the following:

  • March, April, and November are the wettest months
  • ​Snowfall is common from December to May
  • Cold temperatures are common from December to May

Here is a chart showing the average snowfall each year:

Via climbkilimanjaroguide.com

What Are The Trekking Seasons On Kilimanjaro?

Because of weather conditions and other factors, there are two main times of year that are considered to be good trekking seasons.

January - March

This is the colder of the two trekking seasons. There is a chance you will see snow at the summit, which keeps a lot of people away from the slopes.

While you might be thinking this is a bad time of year to come to Kilimanjaro, it actually means that the slopes will be much less populated and much quieter! The chance of a snowy peak keeps many people from visiting.

June - October

This trekking season has the best weather with the lowest risk of snow at the summit, making it the most popular time of year to visit Kilimanjaro.

Popularity is a good and bad thing. While it is popular because the weather is good, this time of year coincides with many summer holidays. Because of this, the routes can get very crowded!

What Time Of Year Should I Avoid Climbing Kilimanjaro?

Unless you are a very experienced backpacker who has climbed in rainy conditions before, you should avoid heading up Kilimanjaro during the long rainy season, which spans from the end of March to early June.

While it won’t be much hotter or colder during this time, long rains can lead to dangerous conditions such as mud, ice, and more. If you are not experienced, or you do not have the right equipment, these conditions could lead to a life-threatening climb.

How Can I Save Money When Trekking Kilimanjaro?

The easiest way to plan an easy trip and save money when climbing Kilimanjaro is to join a tour group. This means that your costs will be split with other people. While many people prefer to go out on their own, this is a good option for some travelers.

Most tour groups set out during the June to October trekking season, because this is generally considered the better of the two dry seasons when it comes to group treks.

When Are Other Good Times To Climb Kilimanjaro?

Depending on what you want to see when you are summiting Kilimanjaro, there are different times of the month that you should consider starting your climb.

Here are just a few examples of great times to summit the peak:

During a full moon:

Since you hike through the night and make summit around dawn when climbing Kilimanjaro, it can be very beautiful and useful to do this climb during the full moon.

Not only is this beautiful, but it’s also practical. The full moon will help illuminate your path! Usually, you need to be wearing a head torch (and you should still have one just in case conditions are not ideal), but the full moon can actually be bright enough that you will not need it!

Check out this video documenting a full moon summit:

You can find dates of Kilimanjaro full moons here.

During a new moon:

If you are an avid star gazer, then you will want to climb when the moon is at its dimmest. This means that you will be able to see the most stars during a new moon!

If you do your climb during this time, you’ll have a harder time seeing the path, but you’ll get to see thousands of stars instead.

Go soon!

One of the most beautiful draws of climbing Kilimanjaro is seeing the amazing ice caps. But these glaciers are melting because of global warming, and it is predicted that they will be gone by the year 2050. Don’t wait too long to make your trip.

If you do, you might never see the ice caps, which have been a huge part of the draw to Kilimanjaro for hundreds of years!

It’s Time To Climb

Now that you know the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, you can start planning your trip. I guarantee that you will have the trip of a lifetime no matter when you go, but you should always be smart about planning your trip.

My personal favorite time to climb would be March and October. During these seasons, you will find that there are fewer people. Many people are afraid that the rainy season will start early, so they avoid these months. You’ll get fantastic views without having to fight the crowds!

Do you have any other tips about heading to Kilimanjaro? Let me know below, and share this article with other adventure-loving friends!

Sophia Gardner

I'm Sophia, food blogger, dog lover, homemade cooking and travel passion. I really hope you enjoy my blog, i'll do my best to share great recipes, healthy living tips and just general 'food' thoughts!

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