Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, with 5895 meters above sea level, is a must-climb mountain for the climbing enthusiast. It is located at the Eastern Rift mountains, and Ludwig Purtscheller Hans Meyer first climbed it in October 1889. Since then, the climbing trend has been significantly increasing year by year. But before that, let’s discuss the time of year to climb this mountain. What is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?
Mount Kilimanjaro comes with several beauties and sceneries of the surrounding peaks and Kilimanjaro National Park. Sightseeing the green valleys deep down and the diverse nature of Kilimanjaro National Park are some of the attractive things here. But let’s keep recreation and enjoyment apart and discuss how we can distinguish the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. Well, the answer is easy:- actually, it depends on the climber’s choice and interest, but we recommend that the best time to climb Kilimanjaro is June, July, August, September, and October. Make sure you make the bookings for this expedition and cherish everything they have to portray. Know to learn about the Kilimanjaro’s Best Climbing Time.
Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro might differ from one mountaineer to another. Several factors, such as the choice and interest of climbers to climb the mountain, their expectations, and preferences, might influence the idea of the best time to climb the mountain.
But if we look from the surface to the mountaineering and hiking trend, we find the peak seasons like Spring and Autumn to be a perfect time. But for Mount Kilimanjaro, the dry season [December to mid-March and mid-June to the end of October] can be considered the best time to climb. Since they are the driest seasons in the year, navigation is more convenient than at other times. The routes to the base camp are dry, which will be a plus point in sloppy landscapes. There are several reasons behind it becoming the best time. Here are some of them:
Kilimanjaro in January & February
If you see the mountaineering trend in Mount Kilimanjaro, January, and February are the best times. While it is the peak season to climb the mountain, it is also widely crowded. Hence, there might be several issues regarding your accommodation and logistics. Though these times feature some rainfall rate, the skies are relatively clear and blue, offering the best views and picturesque vistas of surroundings, including Mount Kilimanjaro itself.
Kilimanjaro in March, April & May
March is the initial month of monsoon around the Kilimanjaro region. Thus, it brings heavy rainfall and calamities that come with it. As a result, the routes become wet, which will be challenging for climbers to navigate. Similarly, natural hazards like landslides and floods are prone during monsoon times. So the journey risk is comparatively higher in March, April, and May. That’s why climbing Kilimanjaro is not recommended during these months.
Kilimanjaro in June, July, August, September, October
After May ends, the dry season begins in the Kilimanjaro region. So the surroundings are cooler and drier than before. In the initial times of June, the skies are cloudy, benching bars for sightseeing activities. But as the month passes by, and as it touches the month of July, August, September, and October, the skies clear up, and the rain and wind precipitation lowers.
With this, climbers can have picture-perfect views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the beauty of Kilimanjaro National Park as well. Moreover, the minimal rain creates a dry environment, a plus point for climbers. Dry trails are best for grips, and since the routes are rugged and sloppy, dryness is widely required to have a perfect grip. The temperature is mild, so there should not be any issues in adjusting your body around the region.
But what climbers should be ready for is that June, July, August, September, and October are the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. So the crowd will be very high on the trail. It might cause several problems in accommodation, logistics, guides and porter fees, and overall expedition cost.
Kilimanjaro in November and December
November is not quite recommended for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Since Tanzania’s short rainy season starts this month, it can bring huge debris, landslides, and soil erosion to the trail. This can cause problems in navigation and other activities during the expedition. However, reports cite that the morning and evening are usually cloud-free, and the sky opens up, creating a getaway for great sightseeing activities.
December, on the other hand, is one of the best times to climb Kilimanjaro. That being said, the short rainy season still runs in December. But the expedition can still be launched this month as the rainy season does not make much impact. However, it is recommended to prepare well for climbing Kilimanjaro, or there are several risks and dangers in the mountain.
What Should We Consider Before Climbing Kilimanjaro?
There are several things to consider before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You should be prepared and make notes on improving the plan or anything possible for convenient access to the top of this mountain. Here are some of them:
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, with more than 5000 meters in altitude. So the weather is extreme here, featuring snowfall, sharp winds, and high altitude. All these things can pose significant risks and dangers to human life. Altitude sickness and other altitude-related illnesses like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HACE (High Altitude Celebral Edema), and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) are some of the drawbacks of bad weather conditions and high altitude. So it is better to prepare well for both of these impacting factors.
Equipment And Gear
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not a simple and easy feat. It requires strict preparation with essential mountaineering gear and equipment. Items such as sturdy boots, waterproof/windproof jackets and layers, mountaineering axes, crampons, and poles should be always your priority. Similarly, other essentials like backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, gaiters, maps, satellite phones for communications, and safety equipment should not be missed while preparing for the expedition.
As said earlier, climbing Kilimanjaro is challenging. That’s why climbers opt for the best time to climb Kilimanjaro for easy and convenient access. But before that, physical fitness comes on a priority list. Without sturdy and robust physical fitness, climbers cannot reach the top of the mountain. Kilimanjaro features technical climbing skills on treacherous trails and steep landscapes. So it might be a physically draining activity that exhausts climbers soon. Therefore, we recommend having proper physical fitness in your body to overcome these challenges. It would be better to have prior experience in high-altitude trekking and technical climbing. It will make you more confident and reliable to climb Kilimanjaro.
Mountaineers should be acknowledged of the possible dangers that come along with the increase in altitude. To get away from altitude sickness and other illnesses, acclimatization is widely recommended. It includes gradual ascent and descent to lower camps for rest. Similarly, proper hydration, nutrition, and rest are essential to remain healthy and adjust your body to high altitudes. Some climbers even intake Diamox to get rid of altitude sickness. However, they should be consumed only with the prescription of doctors and physicians.
Well @newbattlehigh, we’ve done it. Raised over £19K and reached the top of Kilimanjaro for our school charity @SAMH. Worlds highest free standing mountain. Our vision and values in action – achieve beyond your potential and #AIMHIGHER pic.twitter.com/nLjcHxwbBE
— Gib McMillan (@NewbattleCHSHT) July 7, 2023
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Overall, climbing Kilimanjaro is everyone’s dream, but the most important thing is how to prepare for the expedition. Since your every move matters in Kilimanjaro, you should make prior preparations and strategic plans for a safe climb. These are the reasons why we explain the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. The off-season expedition can cost lives and property. Still, peak seasons like June, July, August, September, and October come with moderate temperatures, pleasant environments, clear skies and surroundings, and others.