FAQ Climbs

When is the best time of year to climb Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro is climbable at any time of year.  However, the best time of year for climbing is January through mid-March and mid-June through October, the periods with less precipitation and the sky generally free of clouds each morning and evening.

Monthly weather variations on the mountain are as follows.
Average temperatures on the summit vary little throughout the year, though April and May are measured as the warmest months. This is also the main rainy season in Tanzania, so while temperatures are higher, massive clouds reduce visibility and drop snow on the summit and rain on the lower slopes.  The long dry season starts in June and cooler temperatures prevail while clear skies provide breathtaking views all around.  July through September are consistently dry.  It grows slightly warmer again from October and the days are clear, though a belt of mist may girdle the mountain in the moorland zone.  In November and December, Tanzania’s short rainy season, it can be wet in the rain forest with snow toward the top of the mountain. However, clouds often disperse in the evening, allowing for excellent visibility in the night and morning.  A shorter dry season begins again in January, extending into March, with average temperatures slightly increasing.

The mountain climate varies considerably by altitude, with the following observed patterns. In the forest at lower elevations it is warm and humid with temperatures around 60 to 75°F / 15 to 23°C.  Ascending on days 2 and 3 it can be drier with temperatures around 50 to 65°F / 10 to 18°C.  In the moorland zone and higher (from 11,000′ / 3300m) temperatures are cooler and expect freezing temperatures at night.  At the summit average daytime highs are about 25°F / -4°C with overnight lows around 15°F / -10°C, though it always feels much warmer in the sun and much colder at night.

We thank Dr. Douglas Hardy, a climatologist at the University of Massachusetts studying the ice and snowfall on Kilimanjaro, for weather information.