WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB MT KILIMANJARO?
There are two distinct climbing seasons which are generally considered ideal to climb Kilimanjaro.
They are January through March and June through 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 a negative, but the benefits of a January-March trek is that the slopes are often quieter at this time of the year.
The June-October climbing season coincides with the summer holidays in Europe and North America and hence certain routes are often quite busy.
March, April and November are the wettest months on Kilimanjaro and theoretically not ideal for climbing.
However, since the mountain creates its own weather and conditions can change rapidly, regardless of the season, you should be properly prepared for all conditions, no matter which time of the year you choose to climb.
The chart below addresses the pros and cons of climbing within and outside the two distinct climbing seasons.
January to March
The weather in the first few months after the short rainy season is generally warm and dry. Being "off season" and therefore relatively quiet, it is our preferred time to climb Kilimanjaro.
Dry and quiet
April and May
The long rainy season in Tanzania normally occurs in April and May, although it has become more unpredictable in recent years. If you don't mind the rain you can have the mountain pretty much to yourself.
Long rainy season
June to early November
June to early November are the driest months for your Kilimanjaro climb. This means the mountain is very busy, especially from August through October. June, July and early November are a good compromise if a little rain does not deter you.
Dry but busy
The short rainy season normally starts towards the back end of November and continues for 3-4 weeks. Generally rain is less persistent than during the main rains, hence this is a good time to be on the mountain without the crowds.
Short rainy season