Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro weather by month
You might already know that a trek to Mount Kilimanjaro will be one of the most rewarding (and challenging) experiences that you could encounter. If you’re lucky enough to have this journey on your radar, it’s certainly worth planning in advance so that you can get the most out of your trek. If you have the luxury of being able to decide when to visit Mount Kilimanjaro, there are a few details to be aware of that will help to shape your tour or itinerary dates.
First of all, you’ll be pleased to learn that due to Mount Kilimanjaro's location approximately 300 kilometres south of the equator means that the region does not see the same extremities that other peaks, such as the Himalayas, are subject to. This means that Kilimanjaro can, in fact, be climbed year-round. There is no clear winter or summer.
The main trekking seasons on Kilimanjaro correspond with the mountain’s two ‘dry’ seasons:
- January to March
- June to October
Climbing Kilimanjaro in January, February and March
- The months of January to March are the best time to climb for beginner hikers or trekkers.
- The skies will be blue and brilliant.
- The temperature will be slightly higher.
- Rainfall will be less.
- It is possible there will be less snow compared to later in the year.
Travellers should be aware that the months of January to March will be cooler, and there might be a light shower here or there.
For the most part, travellers will encounter fewer hikers on the trail which could make for a more enjoyable climb depending on your travel preferences.
Climbing Kilimanjaro from June to October
- The months from June through October are definitely busier, but with the sheer size of Mount Kilimanjaro, it is unlikely that you will feel crowded during your journey.
- September will be the busiest month.
- Some routes have limits on the number of groups on the trails per day to help effectively manage and protect the environment.
- Keep in mind that the trails are long, which will allow you to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet – even if you're travelling with a group.
Climbing Kilimanjaro during the wet season
There are two wet seasons:
- A long season that covers the months of March to June
- A second burst that occurs in November
If you are an experienced hiker, you might even enjoy the challenge while making the most of lower prices and fewer visitors on the trails.
At the top of the summit, there will be snow, which will appeal to advanced hikers or those who prefer these conditions.
Climbing Kilimanjaro during the full moon
Mount Kilimanjaro is stunning, but if you want to elevate your experience, you might consider planning your hike with this celestial event as you make the final ascent to the summit and witness the magnificent glaciers illuminated by the full moon.
The full moon might be a monthly occurrence, but it will take careful planning to make sure you reach the summit when the moon is at its brightest.
For example, a 7-day climb should start five days before the date of the full moon in order for you to time it with your ascent to the summit.
How to climb Kilimanjaro
How to get to Mount Kilimanjaro?
Before you start your hiking escapade to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need to establish how to get there, and the best mode of transport to suit your itinerary or tour. Travellers flying from the UK, the US, Australia or Canada and other parts of the world have a few options to explore. Learn more.
How do I prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro?
Any physical activity you can do beforehand will help make your ascent more enjoyable. As for how hard you train, this will depend on whether you're aiming for the Uhuru Peak or embarking on a shorter journey and will be different for everyone.
Do I need a guide to climb?
Yes. All hikes or treks on Mount Kilimanjaro can only be completed with a licensed guide. Depending on what route you take, the assistance of porters may also be included in your tour price.
What permits do I need?
Each visitor will be required to pay a fee per person, per day for the conservation fee to help manage the national park, however, most tours will cover the permits and entry fees are included in the price.
What should I pack and what equipment do I need?
While trekking tour operators may supply some of the gear you’ll need, there are a few non-negotiables you will need that includes waterproof gear, a headlamp, sunglasses, appropriate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle and a cap or a beanie for example. Learn more.
How much does it cost to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro may vary depending on a season, the route you choose and the length of the journey. Usually, the prices start at $1,000 USD and above, however, this may vary if you need to purchase any extra equipment, accommodation or add any additional transportation.
Mount Kilimanjaro routes
- Machame Route. Distance: 62 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 75%-85%
- Marangu Route. Distance: 72 km, average duration: 5-6 days, success rate: 50%
- Lemosho Route. Distance: 70 km, average duration: 7-8 days, success rate: 65%-90%
- Rongai Route. Distance: 73 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 65%-80%
- Shira Plateau Route. Distance: 56 km, average duration: 7-8 days
- Umbwe Route. Distance: 53 km, average duration: 5-6 days, success rate: 60%-70%
- Northern Circuit Route. Distance: 98 km, average duration: 8-9 days, success rate: 95%