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When is the Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

The best time to climb is January and February which are usually dry, warm and clear with brief rain showers which make good climbing condition.

Even though it can be climbed through out the year, January, February and September are the best months with July, August, November and December are also good.

We recommend Rongai route on trekking Mount Kilimanjaro in April and May through the Northern routes, where Kilimanjaro is generally drier than the southern routes, opt Rongai during these months.
Kilimanjaro’s weather is heavily influenced by the interaction of trade winds with the structure of the mountain.

When is the Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Best Time to Climb

The fact is most of the month have few rainy days makes it possible for climb relatively good condition all the year round. During the rain period of March and May, cloud tends to pile up and over the summit, dropping snow on top and at base. Visibility can be limited by cloud cover even when no rainfalls .The temperature at this time of the year is relative warm.

Best time to climb mount Kilimanjaro is during the dry season that usually begins in the late June, and through July which is usually very cold at night but clear of cloud.

August and September are also cool and can have completely clear days, but usually a dripping cloud belt girdles the mountain above the forest moorland. The summit can be totally clear.
The shorter rainy period of October to December often has thunderstorms that pass over the mountain, dropping rains as they go. Typical the cloud disappear in the evening leaving the nights and morning very clear with excellent visibility.

On Rainy Season of April Rongai Route is Recommended

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

Anti-trade winds from the North-east 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 is generally restricted to the lower slopes

The North-east monsoon arrives in November and brings some light rains to the northern Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro Tropical Seasons

Mount Kilimanjaro is near the equator, in the tropics there is no such thing as summer and winter. There are only dry and rainy periods. Or “dry seasons” and “wet seasons (not rainy as Kilimanjaro is located very near to the equator having four seasons is not possible.

Generally, the further away from the equator, the cooler the winter and summer temperatures. At the equator, there are no seasons because each day the sun strikes at about the same angle. Everyday of the year the equator receives about 12 hours of sunlight.

  Month Temperature Precipitation Cloudiness Crowds
BEST January Warm Medium Low High
BEST February Warm Medium Low High
OK March Moderate High Medium Low
NOT RECOMMENDED April Moderate High High Low
NOT RECOMMENDED May Moderate High High Low
GOOD June Cold Medium Medium Medium
BEST July Cold Medium Low High
BEST August Cold Low Low High
BEST September Moderate Low Low High
BEST October Moderate Low Medium Medium
NOT RECOMMENDED November Moderate High Medium Low
GOOD December Moderate Medium Medium Medium

Climbing Kilimanjaro during the wet season means you have to slog through very deep mud during the first days. At higher altitude you have fog and drizzle, and slowly but surely the moisture will creep into your clothes, your gear, your bones.
At the top you may have to fight your way through ice and snow. Having moisture in your clothes and everything is not going to help with the cold up there.

But there are other aspects to consider as well. The temperatures, the views, and of course the number of people on the mountain. As so often, there is no hard and fast answer and no single best time to climb Kilimanjaro.

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