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When to When to Climbing Kilimanjaro; the weather that you will experience throughout your Kilimanjaro climb varies dramatically depending upon the season and where you are on the mountain.  Most routes will take you through 5 distinct climatic zones: bushland, rainforest, heath, alpine desert and arctic zone, each zone presents its own marvels and challenges.

When to Climbing Kilimanjaro

You will likely begin the climbing wearing shorts and a t-shirt and will complete the climbing to the summit all bundled up in a parka and balaclava.  Temperatures can vary from over +30 degrees Celcius at the bottom to -30 degrees Celcius (freezing) at the summit.  Nobody said that this was going to be easy; but it will be an accomplishment that you will treasure for the rest of your life!

Here is an excellent site which will tell you the current up to date temperatures and weather conditions at the different elevations of Kilimanjaro:


Excellent question.  If there was a single correct answer to that question, then everyone would be on the mountain at the same time, so fortunately the answer is, ‘”it depends”.

It is possible to climbing Kilimanjaro year round. January, February, and September are considered to be the best months in terms of weather, and correspondingly are the busiest months. From January through mid-March are the warmest months, with clear skies in the mornings and evenings. During the day, clouds may appear along with brief showers. From the end of March to early June is the long rainy season. Visibility of the mountain may be low due to heavy clouds, but the crowds are shortly gone. June, July, and August are good months, but it is colder. Following September and October, the short rainy season lasts from November through the beginning of December, where afternoon rains are common, but skies are clear in mornings and evenings.

Due to Mount Kilimanjaro closeness to the equator, this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but instead dry and wet seasons. Therefore, the best time to climbing Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months. The primary issue is safety, as the risks associated with climbing increase significantly when the weather is unclean. The effects of rain, mud, snow, ice and cold can be very strenuous on the body. Correspondingly, your chances of a successful summit also increase significantly with nice weather. Of course, the mountain gets more foot traffic during these periods as well.

For live weather forecasts click here

Rainfall is always an important consideration as climbing for days on end in pouring rain can be both physically demanding and emotionally draining.

The table below lists the relative temperature, precipitation, cloudiness and crowds during the calendar months.

Mount Temperature Precipitation Cloudiness Crowds
January Warm Medium Low High
February Warm Medium Low High
March Moderate High Medium Low
April Moderate High High Low
May Moderate High High Low
June Cold Medium Medium Medium
July Cold Medium Low High
August Cold Low Low High
September Moderate Low Low High
October Moderate Low Medium Medium
November Moderate High Medium Low
December Moderate Medium Medium Medium

March to May tends to be the rainy season and November and early December the rains tend to spike as well.

What Weather Should You Expect on Kilimanjaro?

April to June
The main rainy season lasts from the end of March through to the middle June. As elsewhere in the world, when exactly it rains and when it stops is impossible to predict. It’s the warmest time of the year in Tanzania, but those months are so wet that many operators do not offer climbs during the rainy season.

June to August
The rain gradually decreases, and so do the temperatures on Kilimanjaro. The weather on Kilimanjaro is fairly dry and clear but the nights can be very cold. June is quiet, but the number of climbers increases as the month progresses.

August to October
August and even more so September is the peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro. The weather is good with many clear days and it is warmer than June and July. You may, however, get clouds blanketing the forest/moorland zone, and on the southern routes you may get rained on on the first days, but once you pass through the rainforest it dries up. The good conditions last into about mid October when the build up for the short rains begins.

October to November
The weather on Kilimanjaro becomes more unstable and the number of climbers drops. As in all tropical regions of the world, the wetter time of the year announces itself with afternoon clouds and occasional thunderstorms. As long as you are equipped to withstand the occasional shower, this should not present any major problems.

November to December
November is the small rainy season, and the rain lasts into mid December. The temperatures have dropped and the rain brings with it all the hazards that I described at the top of the page. Not the best time to climbing Kilimanjaro…

December to January
The four to six weeks around Christmas and New Year are the second peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro. Traffic is extremely high despite there still being a good chance of rainfall and thick clouds in the lower regions. It’s not a time I would choose…

January to March
Mid January to mid March is not a good time to climbing Kilimanjaro. The weather is reasonable, not too cold, not too wet, and there aren’t as many climbers. The days are mainly dry, beautifully clear with few clouds and occasional brief showers. In March the chances of rain gradually increase as you approach the long rainy season.

When to Climbing Kilimanjaro.