The Peak Time to Reach the Peak: Climbing Kilimanjaro

February 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Timing your trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro is important if you want the best chance to reach the summit in the safest and most pleasant conditions. Because of its geographic position near the equator, Mt. Kilimanjaro doesn’t experience the seasonal shifts in weather that coincide with winter and summer. Rather, there are dry and wet seasons. It’s possible to climb year-round, so you have to choose a time wisely if you’d like the best experience possible.

Month Temperature Precipitation Cloudiness Crowds
January Warm Medium Low High
February Warm Medium Low High
March Moderate High Medium Low
April Moderate High High Low
May Moderate High High Low
June Cold Medium Medium Medium
July Cold Medium Low High
August Cold Low Low High
September Moderate Low Low High
October Moderate Low Medium Medium
November Moderate High Medium Low
December Moderate Medium Medium Medium

The best times to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro are during the warmer, drier months (January through mid-March and June to October are the best times). These conditions make it easier and safer to climb to the summit, and your safety is always our number one concern. During the wet months it’s often cold, rainy and snowy, which make for very strenuous and potentially dangerous conditions to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.

With better weather comes better conditions, but in those periods of time you’ll also experience more foot traffic on the mountain. If you’d like a more intimate ascent you could choose to go in non-peak periods like March through May.

Summiting in the Moonlight

Some climbers choose to summit at night under the illumination of a full moon. This is considered by many people to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as the scenery of Kilimanjaro under a full moon is other-worldly.

Full Moon Dates

Month 2014 2015 2016 2017
January 15 4 23 12
February 14 3 22 10
March 16 5 23 12
April 15 4 21 11
May 14 3 21 10
June 12 2 20 9
July 12 1, 31 19 8
August 10 29 18 7
September 8 27 16 6
October 8 27 15 5
November 6 25 14 3
December 6 25 13 3

To summit during a full moon, a 7-day climb should start 5 days prior to the full moon. It’s not necessary to summit on the exact full moon date to take advantage of moonlight. A summit on the day before or day after will also lend the same amazing experience to you.

It should be noted that climbs during full moons are often very crowded. If you wish to avoid crowds you may want to begin your climb on an ‘off’ day. For the most part, people begin the 6-7 day hike on Saturdays, Sundays, or Mondays. Avoid these days if you want a more solitary experience.

We’re currently in the dry season, so if you’re thinking of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, we suggest you get in touch with us as soon as possible to take advantage of these great conditions. Spots fill up quickly at Zara Tours, so be sure to reserve yours now.

We’ll see you at the top!

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Entry filed under: African Safari, African Safari Tours, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kilimanjaro Summit. Tags: , .

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