When is the best time to Schedule a Kilimanjaro Hike?

October 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

This is a question we get a lot at Zara Tours. Reason being, visitors want to know what to expect and the timing of your trip is something that will help you set those expectations. Seasoned travelers are planners by nature. They need to know not only when to plan a trip, but how to customize that plan so that they get the most out of their experience.

If you’re wondering when to take a Kilimanjaro hike, the answer depends on two things:

  1. Your level of experience as a climber
  2. Your personal preferences

Knowing a few basic facts about the region can help you set some parameters before you schedule your trip.

Save the Date: Deciding when to Hike Kilimanjaro

Your first step is simple: check the calendar. Due to Tanzania’s proximity to the equator, we have distinct weather patterns that don’t follow the seasonal schedule you’re probably used to. Our weather breaks down like this:

  • Dry season
  • Long rainy season
  • Short rainy season

The climate stays relatively temperate; however, the level and duration of the rain can be a safety issue, especially for inexperienced trekkers.

The best months for novice climbers to choose from are August, September, or October. These are the months when precipitation is at its lowest and the weather is nicest. That being said, it is also the busiest season to plan a Kilimanjaro hike. If you don’t like crowds, get some easier climbs and sufficient training under your belt before you visit Tanzania. That way, you can handle a more difficult hike in moderate weather conditions with a smaller climbing party.

Experienced climbers know that your safety risk increases when the weather is less than desirable. Conditions that result in snow, cold, mud, and rain decrease accessibility as well as visibility on the mountain paths. Porters can help you complete a Kilimanjaro hike successfully, but the combination of their knowledge and your track record will help you reach the summit safely.

Peak Dates: Learning the Value of Scheduling in Advance

Typically, only the most experienced climbers make the trek during the rainy seasons. The first one occurs in November and December. The longer rainy season hits in March, April, and May. Of course, every schedule needs to allow for some flexibility.

Certain features of the mountain and community events will draw a crowd no matter what time of year it is. These include:

  • A trek to see the summit icecaps (If you have your heart set on seeing the summit icecaps, go sooner rather than later. Environmental experts predict that the icecaps will disappear by 2050 due to ongoing climate change)
  • Hiking Kilimanjaro by the light of the full moon
  • Charity events sponsored by the local community
  • The type of trek you choose

Dates for these specific activities are available at least two years in advance. Climbs are usually 5 to 7 days long.

Contact Zara Tours for complete details and additional trip planning information.

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Entry filed under: African Safari, African Safari Tours, African Safari Trips, Climbing Kilimanjaro, Hiking Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro Trips, Mt. Kilimanjaro, ZARA Tanzania Adventures. Tags: , , .

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