When is the best time of the year to summit Kilimanjaro
Climbing Kilimanjaro is an everlasting life-changing experience and you have to do it to understand this statement. It simply cannot be explained! Now find out when is the best time of the year to summit Kilimanjaro with ideal weather plus uncrowded routes. You can make it happen…
Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t all about the summit, but getting there! It is the journey of conquering both physical and mental challenges and offering climbers a new way of seeing things. If you’re reading this, it is most likely because it is one of your ultimate bucket-list climbs.
And because this is likely a once in a lifetime experience it is vital that your experience at the minimum meets expectations. Find out how to avoid the crowds but with an ideal Kili season!
So where do you begin with your planning? And what is your motivation for deciding on when to go?
- Is it climate? Continue reading to find out when is the best time of the year to summit Kilimanjaro, and why!
- The crowded routes versus uncrowded routes;
- Scheduling according to your priorities.
The above criteria are all important factors to consider when deciding, and the truth is, is that the best time to climb varies.
Therefore along with a “Kili” local, Andrew, we will help you solve when the ideal season is according to practical experience.
Prior, experience has indicated the seasons that will afford you the best possible experience to climb Kili are as follows:
- January-March, and
Below is a complete breakdown to find the ideal “Kili” season
These are without a doubt the wettest months! Thus a huge drawback as forest trails disposes of muddy and slippery trails, plus ice en route to the summit. Obviously this results in it taking longer to the summit.
Here the months are dry, the temperature is moderate during the day-time (average 26-28 degrees Celsius / 78-82 degrees F) but extreme cold at night-time.
Kilimanjaro’s peak climbing season is September since the weather is at its finest. The days are clear and warmer than June/July. But based on this ideal “Kili” climate it is the busiest time and when you can expect to see the most crowds.
This period is acceptable for climbers as it is a light rain season (it does not rain every day and if it does only a few hours a day). The advantage of climbing during this period is that the nights are warm, and the skies are mostly clear.
This is the season that usually signifies the best trekking experience! Although January of late (2018 & 2020) has exhibited unexpected rains. However climbers still managed to successfully climb despite the rain.
This leaves us with February to mid-March being the ultimate time to climb Kilimanjaro. At this time more often than not you can avoid the Kilimanjaro crowds, and score with an ideal “Kili” climate.
The crowds are fewer than September, and the skies are clear accompanied by warm temperatures!
But as the weather goes it is unpredictable!
About the routes
- Alternative trails are available, in addition to private expeditions which will ensure you avoid the Kilimanjaro crowds in addition to being an eco-conscious option.
- The busiest route incorporates Baranco camp.
- Different trails vary in difficulty level.
- A guide is compulsory on all the routes.
Tips for a memorable trip via people who have climbed:
- Take time to look up at the stars. Look up rather than down, you may be surprised and see a shooting star or two.
- Take lots of photos.
- Spend more time at the top of the mountain!
And remember gratitude and appreciation
Recommended hiking gear:
- Mountain boots with studs,
- Wool-trekking socks,
- Mud gaiters,
- Warm trousers, rain trousers, shirt/T-shirts, warm jacket, hat
- Head torch,
- Warm leather gloves/waterproof,
- Duffel and backpack bag,
- Sleeping bag,
- Camel bottle/water bottle,
- Snacks/chocolates/cashew nuts.
Important: If your boots are new, wear them in with exercise prior to your trip.
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Tracy Burrows103 Posts
If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is the more I see, the more there is to see! My name is Tracy Burrows and I am the managing editor of Out There Global, a community driven travel magazine platform for cost effective, luxury, unusual and extraordinary but mostly immersive travel ideas around the globe. From Jan 2014 - Dec 2016 I managed the LatestSightings.com blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). I was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and contributor at Sawubona Magazine (South African Airways inflight magazine). Prior to my career I obtained a tourism marketing degree, and graduated from a 2 year 'Hospitality Management in Development Program' in California. Following this I acquired a journalism diploma and since it's been all about travel and writing! And my nourishment comes from all those who have impacted me: family; friends; and strangers alike. So thank you for inspiring me, and for joining our journey!