Knowing the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is an important consideration before the attempt. It does not only affects your successful hike but also your overall experience. To your benefit, we have created a list of things for you to consider so as to make a good decision on what time you should hike Africa’s highest mountain.
Factors you should consider when choosing when to hike Mount Kilimanjaro (best time to climb mount Kilimanjaro)
Weather is the ultimate factor, the Kilimanjaro being near the equator faces only dry or wet(rainy) seasons with dry season favoured as it makes the hike less challenging and on the other hand having more success chances. However, the rainy season is less favourable as you will slog through very deep mud in the first days, at a higher altitude and you will have to fight your way through ice, snow, fog with moisture in your clothes, and the gears. In fact, you will not only be facing a challenge to the summit but risking your health through the process.
Tip: bad weather on the Kilimanjaro will ruin your overall experience, in the same way as your photos, and will also make the hike twice as hard.
See the table below to know more about the month by month temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, and crowds.
Number of people on the mountain, many hike enthusiasts are on the mountain in favourable weather, but if you prefer a hike with fewer visitors you should opt for the low season and carefully choose a route
Budget, on the peak season there are many group hikes and of course, this will slightly reduce the cost of the trek.
The views, if you prefer to have a certain experience like summiting on a full moon, a snowy summit, stunning sunrise, and sunset views, therefore dates are to be considered as it will influence these aspects.
- summiting on a full moon is possible within each month, however, some months are less cloudy so you get an even better experience, as a result, peak dry season (August) is the best time for a clear full moon. we also have estimated full moon dates worth to consider
- A snowy summit, in some months the Kilimanjaro can have less snow meanwhile other months can be very snowy. For instance, you can favour a snowy summit (peak wet season) or a summit without snow. In fact, this will be down to the dates & your decision on when you should hike Kilimanjaro.
- Sunset and sunrise views, during the dry season, there it is less cloudy and you will have an even better view of the sunrise and sunset.
Month by month weather on the Kilimanjaro, the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Below, is a month-to-month breakdown of the weather and other things you should consider before deciding when to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.
Late March – mid-June.
The rainy/wet season is usually from April to May, however, late March and early June are what we consider as a grey area. In fact, it can rainy or dry with weather changes. Normally, rainy seasons can start earlier in late March and end in mid-June
Late June – August
It is expected to be past the rainy season, yet, the weather on Kilimanjaro will be dry and a bit colder, therefore, June is quiet but the number of hikers will increase as the year progresses.
August – October
August and September are the peak season for hikers on the Kilimanjaro. During this time, the weather is good with many clear days and it is a bit colder. So, these conditions are good and will last until mid-October before the buildup for the short rains begins.
The number of hikers starts dropping in late October to November. Thus, the weather is more unpredictable as short rains may have started or looming, this short shower rains. However, it will last for short spans in the day but, as long as you are equipped you will withstand the occasional rain showers which wouldn’t present any major problem to you.
short rains will last up to December. And with a few situations, they will be prolonged to early January. In the same way, the temperatures will have dropped and the shower rains will make it more challenging. Therefore, You should be equipped.
The four to six weeks around Christmas and New Year are the second peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro. There will be many trekkers despite the high chances of rainfall and thick clouds in the lower regions.
Mid-January to mid-March is a good time to hike the 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. This period is the warmest with clear skies from morning to evening.
Tips you should consider if your preferred time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro does not fit your travel period
Finally, You may find that your travel period is at a less perfect time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to fit your preferred considerations being weather, number of hikers, views, budget while this happens you should not stress out here are tips you should consider
– Consider the Rongai route, this route is on the northern side of the mountain. It is much drier than other Kilimanjaro routes
– If you prefer fewer crowds you should consider Rongai, Shira, and lemosho routes which are less crowd