So, you’ve decided to take on the challenge of climbing the roof of Africa? Next, you need to think about the best time to trek Kilimanjaro, in terms of weather, trekking conditions and popularity.
Although it’s technically possible to climb Mount Kilimanjaro year round, there are certain months which are characterised by colder weather, more rain and potentially lots of snow on the peak.
We generally advise that the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is during the warmest and driest times of year, from December through mid-March and mid-June through the end of October.
However, although these are considered to be the best times to climb Kilimanjaro in terms of weather, they are also the busiest months.
Here, we break down Kilimanjaro climbing season, off-peak alternatives and times to avoid, plus other factors to consider, so you can plan the perfect time to take on this mountain adventure.
January through to mid-March is great months to trek Mount Kilimanjaro as they are slightly quieter and warmer than the other dry season.
This is a great time for beginners to attempt the trek as the conditions are more pleasant. The lower reaches of the mountain are usually a bit cloudy so you may experience some light rain, but once you get to a higher altitude the skies will be crystal clear and blue.
If you climb during these months you’ll probably also find more snow on the higher slopes.
This is a wonderful time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as the paths are quieter and you can enjoy the peaceful solitude of the mountain.
March can be an excellent time to climb the mountain as it is just before the rainy season so it gets a bit quieter, yet the skies are still beautiful and mostly clear.
April to May is the wettest time of the year on Mt. Kilimanjaro and isn’t a recommended time to trek.
Many Kilimanjaro climb tour operators shutdown their tours during the rainy seasons as they aren’t very pleasant to trek in and are much more challenging to successfully complete.
Short, heavy rainstorms happen fairly frequently during these months, but if you don’t mind the wet conditions then you can enjoy a very solitary hike at this time of year.
However, keep in mind that the visibility won’t be as good during these months as it’s more cloudy.
The months from June through to October are the most popular months for climbing Kilimanjaro.
This is a great time to go if you want to meet and get to know fellow travelers and hikers. It can be very helpful to have companionship along the trek to help keep your spirits high.
September is the busiest month of the year, but even if there are lots of groups exploring up the mountain, the routes are very long and you can still find yourself some peaceful solitude in the gaps between groups.
If you are looking for a quieter Mount Kilimanjaro climbing experience then October is the perfect time to do the trek as it’s right before the rainy season so most people tend to avoid it even though the weather is still lovely.
November through to December is a shorter and milder wet season, and while there may be frequent little bursts of rain, they aren’t usually enough to hinder your progress and can actually be quite refreshing.
Despite rainy, wet conditions, your chance of reaching the peak is still very good as long as you prepare yourself well for the conditions.
The Kilimanjaro’s views just might not be as good as during the dry season because of the cloudy weather conditions.