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When to Climb Kilimanjaro

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is relative to what you deem acceptable with respect to precipitation, temperature, challenge and risk.  While some people climb climb Kilimanjaro year round, there are two main trekking seasons, which correspond to the Kilimanjaro's dry seasons. Likewise, there are two low seasons, which correspond to Kilimanjaro's rainy seasons.

The best months to climb Kilimanjaro are generally agreed to be July and August. Good months are September, October, January and February. Fair months are December and June. Poor months are March, April, May and November.

Late December to Mid March

The late December to March period tends to be colder and there is a much greater chance of snow on the path at this time. The days, however, are often clearer, with only the occasional brief shower. It is usually an exceptionally beautiful time to climb and is often a little quieter than the other peak season of June to October, which coincides with the main academic holidays in Europe and the West.

In this latter season the clouds tend to hang around the tree-line following the heavy rains of March to May. Once above this altitude, however, the skies are blue and brilliant and the chance of precipitation minimal (though still present).

Late March to Early June

The long rainy season begins in late March and lasts thorugh the beginning of June. This is the low season on Kilimanjaro as most people avoid climbing during wet periods. The rainy season is characterized by sporadic showers thorughout the days, though a continuous downpour is always possible. Many operators shut down and do not offer climbs in the heart of the rainy season.

Climbing Kilimanjaro during the wet season is considerably more difficult because of the wet, soggy terrain. Also, the precipitation makes it colder and generally uncomfortable. It is best to avoid the rainy seasons.

Mid June to Late October

Although the June to October period tends to be busier, this is not necessarily a disadvantage. For example, if you are travelling independently to Tanzania but wish, for the sake of companionship or simply to cut down on costs, to join up with other travellers for the trek, then the high visitor numbers in the June to October peak season will give you the best chance of doing this. And even if you do crave solitude when you walk, it can still be found on the mountain during this peak season. The trails are long, so you can always find vast gaps between trekkers to allow you to walk in peace. Kilimanjaro is just so huge that its presence will dwarf your fellow trekkers to the point where they become, if you wish them to be, quite unnoticeable. If you are reasonably fit and have good equipment you can climb at anytime.

Early November to Mid December

The short rainy season begins in early November and continues until Mid December. Again, it is best to avoid climbing Kilimanjaro at this time.