Best time to climb
Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round. Generally, the main tourist seasons are from July to October, then from December to February. These months coincide with the dry season in Tanzania. Many people visit in December.
There are two wet periods – the long rainy season and the short rainy season. The long rainy season begins in March and ends in May. The short rainy season is during the month of November. Note that weather is unpredictable so these time periods will vary from year to year. Sometimes the rains come early, come late, are mild, or are torrential.
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.
- January and February are great times to climb Kilimanjaro. The weather is relatively warm and visibility is good. However, it is a busy time on the mountain.
- March to May is the long rainy season. There are very few people on the mountain but the trail conditions can be very muddy, wet and snowy.
- June is a transitional period that is characterized by low visibility and cold temperatures. It is considered the start of the climbing season.
- July to October is the busiest period on the mountain. It is dry but the temperatures are relatively cold. Visibility is great.
- November is the short rainy season. Precipitation is moderate compared to the long rainy season. Few visitors climb Kilimanjaro during the month.
- December is a crowded time due to the holiday season. But the short rainy season often runs into this month.
When should you climb Kilimanjaro?
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, and many operators offer discounts during this time.