When is the Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro?

 

Traditionally, the weather on Kilimanjaro is pretty predictable. Kilimanjaro has dry seasons and wet seasons where some months have more sun, some months have more cloud cover and other months are colder than others higher on the mountain. This region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather. Therefore, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months.

The shoulder seasons, marking the transition from wet to dry season and vice versa, can be the best times to visit, though climbers are taking a gamble. Because most people avoid the rains, it’s the only time climbers can experience both low crowds on the mountain and good weather. Possibility of a successful summit increases remarkably with pleasant weather. 

The primary concern for any summit is safety, as the risks involved with climbing increase considerably when the weather is foul. The effects of rain, mud, snow, ice and cold can be gruelling and exhausting for the climber.

The table below summarizes the weather, temperature and  crowds-

Month Weather Temperature Crowds
January to February
March to May
June
July to October
November
December

 

For most people, it is July, August and September. The next tier of good months consists of October, January and February. These six months, plus December, are considered to be Kilimanjaro’s high season. The shoulder season months are December, March and June. Lastly, the rains come in April, May and November. These three months are considered to be Kilimanjaro’s low season.

Note: The rains are unpredictable and may come early or extend beyond their typical time frames. It is possible to experience mostly dry weather conditions during the rainy season, just as it is possible to have heavy rain during the dry season.

Climbing under the moonlight

Imagine the peak of Kilimanjaro and magnificent glaciers lit up by the full moon, what an enchanting sight that would be. Summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro on a cloudless evening is without a doubt an unforgettable experience. Some enthusiasts schedule their trek to coincide with the celestial event (climbing during the full moon), occurring once a month. 

2019 full moon dates

New moon First quarter Full moon Last quarter
26 November 4 December 12 December 19 December
26 December 3 January 10 January 17 January

2020 full moon dates

New moon First quarter Full moon Last quarter
  03 January 10 January 17 January
25 January 02 February 09 February 16 February
23 February 02 March 09 March 16 March
24 March 01 April 08 April 15 April
23 April 30 April 07 May 14 May
22 May 30 May 05 June 13 June
21 June 28 June 05 July 13 July
20 July 27 July 03 August 11 August
19 August 25 August 02 September 10 September
17 September 24 September 02 October 10 October
16 October 23 October 31 October 08 November
15 November 22 November 30 November 08 December
14 December 22 December 30 December  

Kindly note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided in any of the above Full Moon tables. Although every effort is made to achieve accuracy in these moon calendars, users may use these dates strictly at own risk and are therefore strongly advised to confirm the accuracy of the details at own arrangement, before traveling.

INTERESTING FACT: Climbing at these dates, a bright moon along with a clear sky, will improve your visibility throughout your climb and most importantly, during the summit attempt.

To summit during a full moon, a 7-day climb should start 5 days prior to the full moon date.  A summit on the day before or day after is also beneficial. These dates tend to be the first to book completely full well in advance.

A method of dodging crowds on these dates is to choose an "off" day of departure.

Most climbers will begin their climbs on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, with routes lasting 6 to 7 days. We have many clients who climb with or without the full moon, and clients are equally satisfied with either itinerary.

The more the time, the better it is on Kilimanjaro

Yes, it costs a lot more per day to be on the mountain but if you really want to enjoy your experience climbing Kilimanjaro, be safer on the mountain and be more successful you need to take 8 days on the mountain and we highly recommend the Lemosho route as the most scenic with excellent emergency evacuation route with less people. Contact Us and find out more about our service, training programs and why we have 95% success rate on our 8 day climbs of Kilimanjaro.

 

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