The Best Time To Travel To Kilimanjaro For Group Hikes

When Is The Best Time To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro_Man Trekking The Base Of Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro during the transitional months is the best way to avoid crowds while still trekking in good weather. These months combine the best of the wet and dry seasons of the year. Before deciding on the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s critical to understand the weather patterns throughout the year.

Did You Know — There Are Only 2 Mt. Kilimanjaro Climbing Seasons?

Let me explain: The long dry season of the year lasts from June to October, followed by a shorter dry period (December to March). Though the mountain can be hiked all year, it is best to go when the skies are clear and the trails are dry. This creates a much more enjoyable experience and makes navigating the trails far easier. In this post, you’ll learn what to expect when planning your Kilimanjaro climb, as well as the weather conditions on the mountain. If you’re short on time and want to skim through the article, there are snippets in between paragraphs that summarize and emphasize key points. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best and worst months to plan your Kilimanjaro trek.

When Can You Climb Kilimanjaro_View from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro in January & February

The months of January and February are some of the best and most popular for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Because these are one of the warmest months of the year, you should expect clear, sunny skies in the mornings and evenings, but also clouds and rain may sometimes appear in the afternoons.

Climbing Kilimanjaro in March, April & May

The long rainy season begins at the end of March and lasts until early June. It is not recommended to climb Kilimanjaro during this time of year because the trails can be extremely dangerous (wet, muddy, and snowy).

Blue Mountain Icon

Climbing in the rain is less likely to be enjoyable, and you’ll miss out on spectacular views and photographic opportunities. However, if you trek during this time of year, you will avoid crowds on the trails and at campsites. You’ll also get to see Kilimanjaro’s summit while it’s snow-capped.

Things to also know:

Full moon hikes are a scam and hikers should avoid climbing Kilimanjaro during these dates. The goal of a full moon hike is to create scarcity in order to drive up service costs. Many hikers are duped into scheduling their treks during the full moon, not realizing that the amount of trail visibility they’ll get is equivalent to a hike scheduled during normal dates. If you doubt this, consider why operators still require you to bring a headlamp for summit night, despite the fact that a full moon hike is supposed to “improve your summit experience”.

March, June, and October are the three transitional months of the year when trails are less crowded and relatively dry. Although the months fall within the dry season, they can sometimes be risky due to their proximity to the wet climbing seasons. Make sure to plan your hikes far away from the end or beginning of the rainy period.

The best months to climb Kilimanjaro with a group are July, August, September, and October. Because this is the busiest time of year, Kilimanjaro hiking groups are much easier to find. Join groups of no more than 8 people, as large groups are more difficult to manage.

Climbing Kilimanjaro in June

June marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the long dry season. The month is significantly dryer than March, April, and May. However, you should be prepared for cold temperatures, and cloudy skies as the month transitions into the dry season. Because June is one of the three transitional months of the year, hikers can expect less crowded trails and fewer accidents.

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Climbing Kilimanjaro in July, August, September or October

From July to the end of October, the weather is generally colder but much drier than in previous months. While there is a chance of rain throughout the year, precipitation is typically low and infrequent. An advantage of climbing during these months is that you will have stunning scenery with clear, sunny skies. However, because everyone wants to climb during the best time of year, the trails become extremely crowded.

Related topics to understand:

September is the best month to climb Kilimanjaro. This is also the busiest month of the year. The Lemosho and Machame routes draw the most visitors due to their high success rates and beautiful sceneries. Trek through Rongai, the Northern Circuit route, or climb during the transitional months to avoid crowds.

The months of April, May, and November are the worst for climbing Kilimanjaro. Trails are extremely dangerous due to heavy rain, snow, and muddy slopes. The Rongai route is best trekked during this time of year due to the low precipitation, as most rainstorms tend to stay on the southern side of the mountain.

The best months for a comfortable Kilimanjaro trek are July to October and January to February. From July to October, the weather is colder but much drier due to low precipitation. As clouds form in the afternoons, there may be a bit of rain. However, expect dry weather. This will result in clear, sunny skies, breathtaking views, enjoyable hikes, and fantastic photo opportunities. Make sure to dress appropriately.

Climbing Kilimanjaro in November 

Tanzania’s short rainy season begins in early November and lasts until the beginning of December. Afternoon rains are common, but clear skies can be expected in the mornings and evenings. This is not a safe month to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because conditions are unpredictable.

Climbing Kilimanjaro in December

Although the short rainy season often extends into December, this is still a popular time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers prefer this transitional month because it coincides with the holiday season and is significantly dryer than June.

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