Best time to climb Kilimanjaro – Mount Kilimanjaro is closer to the Equator line and because of this proximity this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather conditions. Therefore, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months. One issue is safety, as the risks associated with climbing increase significantly when the weather is foul.
There are effects of rain, mud, snow, ice, and cold which can be very strenuous on the body. Your chances of a successful summit also increase significantly with nice weather. The mountain gets more foot traffic during these periods.
Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round, however, it is best to climb when there is a lower possibility of precipitation. Dry seasons are from the beginning of December throughout the beginning of March, and then from late June throughout the end of October. These are considered to be the best times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in terms of weather, and the busiest months.
Groups are scheduled to correspond with the dry season from January through mid-March which is considered the warmest months, with clear skies in the mornings and evenings. During the day, clouds may appear along with brief showers. The long rainy season spans from the end of March to early June and Great Adventure Safaris does not recommend climbing during this time unless you are an experienced backpacker who has trekked in similar conditions.
It can be very wet, and visibility may be low due to heavy clouds. The crowds are gone, however. From mid-June to the end of October, the mountain is generally a bit colder, but also drier. The short rainy season spans from the beginning of November to the beginning of December. Afternoon rains are common, but skies are clear in the mornings and evenings.
Kindly note, the rains are unpredictable and may come early or extend beyond their typical time frames, because of climate change as a result of global warming. It is possible to experience mostly dry weather conditions during the rainy season, just as it is possible to have heavy rain during the dry season.
Mount Kilimanjaro is very unique in that despite its proximity to the Equator line, it is crowned with ice. The glaciers have existed here for more than 11,000 years. They used to be more than 300 feet deep and extended 6,500feet from the mountain top. However, due to global warming and long-term climatic cycles, the ice has been vaporizing at an alarming rate. Some scientists estimate that Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice cap will be completely gone by 2050. So if you are contemplating the climb, do yourself a favor and do it sooner rather than later. The glaciers are something you do not want to miss.
Time of year and weather conditions is not the only factor to consider as you start to plan your ascent of Africa’s highest peak. Here are a few more variables you may want to learn more about before you decide the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.
The three most popular Kilimanjaro routes are the Machame Route, the Lemosho Route, and the Rongai Route. Each has its advantages and disadvantages:
The popular Machame Route offers a shorter, but more challenging, trekking duration, as well as stunning scenery on the ascent to Uhuru Peak.
The Lemosho Route is longer, more gradual, and also less popular, but certainly not less beautiful, which is why we highly recommend this route for those taking on the Kilimanjaro challenge, especially if you have limited trekking experience.
The remote Rongai route approaches the summit from the north, on Kenya’s side of Kilimanjaro. Less popular, with options of faster or gradual ascents, you may also be treated to sightings of big game, such as antelope, elephant, and buffalo. Contact us directly to enquire about this route.