BEST TIME TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO
It is possible to trek Kilimanjaro all-year-round. However, certain months are characterised by colder weather, more rain and potentially loads of snow on the summit.
Winds and Kilimanjaro Weather
Kilimanjaro’s weather is heavily influenced by the interaction of trade winds with the structure of the mountain.
The South-east trade winds traveling over the Indian Ocean carry loads of moisture. When they hit Kilimanjaro, around March, then are forced upwards where they condense, form clouds and precipitation. This means March through to May is the wettest season on Kilimanjaro. The southern slopes are particular susceptible to rain during this time in the year.
If you are confined to a trekking date in April or May we suggest you consider the Rongai route, which departs from the Northern end of Kilimanjaro and is generally drier than the southern route options during these months.
Anti-trade winds from the North-east carry very little moisture but blow strongly. The strength of these winds which last from April through to October keep the South-east trade winds below them, hence these months are usually dry and cloud cover and precipitation is generally restricted to the lower slopes.
In this article we provide a brief outline on the two trekking seasons that are the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.
Best Trekking Months
There are two distinct trekking seasons which constitute the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. They are January-March and June-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 seen as 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 trekking season coincides with the summer holidays in Europe and N.America and hence certain routes are often quite busy.
March, April and November are the wettest months on Kilimanjaro, and not ideal of trekking.
Snow fall and cold temperatures are common during December-May.
The chart below shows average snowfall in cm on the summit of Kilimanjaro