best time to climb mt kilimanjaro

Best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro

The best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro is during the long dry season. The long dry season normally start in middle June and end early October. During this period weather conditions tend to be best with least chance of rain. You can choose to hike Kilimanjaro from December to March, but weather conditions are less predictable. We strongly recommend to avoid hiking during the rainy seasons. The long rainy period from April to May, and a short and less significant rainy period, during November. It is possible to hike in April, May and November. However chances to encounter rain and snow during the hike, are much higher. Please note that due to Kilimanjaro’s high altitude its weather patterns are not always predictable. This makes sunshine, snow and rain possible anytime of the year, even during the best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

If you can only hike during the rainy season

If you can only hike during the rainy season, we strongly recommend you choose the Marangu route. The Marangu route is the only route that offer accommodation in A-frame huts. The A-frame huts are more comfortable during rainy periods than tents. On the Marangu route meals are served in communal dining halls. The dining halls offer greater comfort than the mess tents when it rains. Lastly it is on the eastern side of the mountain, which receive less rain than the rest of the mountain. You can also consider the Rongai route that also ascend up the eastern side. Just note accommodation will be in tents that are set up at every campsite.

Best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro – Expected weather

Because of Kilimanjaro’ s high altitude, the mountain influences its own weather. The slopes deflect incoming winds from the Indian Ocean upward, causing them to drop their moisture as rain and snow. Temperatures during the days are often warm. However temperatures can drop to below freezing as soon as the sun sets. You can even encounter freezing temperatures on the first night on the mountain. Dramatic weather changes are common. If you’re climbing close to the rainy seasons, be prepared for rain, snow, or even a sudden hailstorm. Even if you choose the best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, always prepare for the worst possible weather.

The highest rainfall occurs between mid-March and early May, and slightly less between the beginning of November and late December. Maximum rainfall occurs in the forest belt and on the south side of the mountain. Rainfall here can reach up to 2000mm per year. Precipitation on the summit is about 100mm per year.
You can encounter rain and snow at any time of year – even in the best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. Clear, dry weather, which can last for weeks on end, normally characterizes the drier seasons. Generally, you encounter the best weather in the mornings. Convectional rainfall, if any, tends to come in mid-afternoon. Click here to see a 12 days weather forecast on Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro hiking tours - best time to climb mt kilimanjaro table