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Best time to climb Kilimanjaro

It is possible to trek Kilimanjaro all year round. However, certain months are characterized by colder weather, more rain, and potentially loads of snow on the summit.

In this article, we provide a brief outline of the two trekking seasons that are the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.

Winds and Kilimanjaro Weather

Kilimanjaro’s weather is heavily influenced by the interaction of trade winds with the structure of the mountain.

The South-east trade winds traveling over the Indian Ocean carry loads of moisture. When they hit Kilimanjaro, around March, they are forced upwards where they condense, and form clouds and precipitation. This means March through to May is the wettest season on Kilimanjaro. The southern slopes are particularly susceptible to rain during this time in the year.

If you are confined to a trekking date in April or May we suggest you consider the Rongai route, which departs from the Northern end of Kilimanjaro and is generally drier than the southern route options during these months.

Anti-trade winds from the northeast carry very little moisture but blow strongly. The strength of these winds which last from April through to October keep the South-east trade winds below them, hence these months are usually dry and cloud cover and precipitation are generally restricted to the lower slopes.

Best Trekking Months

There are two distinct trekking seasons that constitute the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.

  • They are January-March and June-October.
  • January-March is generally colder than June-October and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit. For some, this might be seen as a negative, but the benefit of a January-March trek is that the slopes are often quieter at this time of the year.
  • The June-October trekking season coincides with the summer holidays in Europe and N.America and hence certain routes are often quite busy.
  • March, April, and November are the wettest months on Kilimanjaro, and not ideal for trekking.
  • Snowfall and cold temperatures are common during December-May.

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