Like going on African Safari, the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is during a dry season. When you are planning for a trip to climb Kilimanjaro, knowing when is the best time of the year is important.
As most mountaineers would like to climb in the drier season, the best time is January, February, and between the end of May and October.
If you are planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the dry season, expect to meet with large crowds of people. If you don’t want to meet a large crowd of people, routes like Lemosho and Northern circuit are highly recommended.
The heavy rain season is between March and May while in November and December there is generally little rain and some days the rains might be very heavy like in the heavy rain season.
If it happens you are interested to climb Kilimanjaro during the rainy season, Rongai Route would be the best option to use as it receives less rain compared to other routes – the Rongai route is more on the leeward or the shadowed side of the mountain.
A Bit about Kilimanjaro Mountain
Mount Kilimanjaro is reputed to be the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and reaching its summit remains the dream of mountaineers across the globe.
It is no wonder, every year more than 30,000 people from all over the world try to climb the top of Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro summit is known to be 5,895 meters, the highest in Africa.
This magnificent mountain is located in the Kilimanjaro region just a few miles from Arusha town which is the starting point for most Tanzania safari trips to the famous Northern Circuit.
First Time Climb to Kilimanjaro
It is unclear if the local people of Kilimanjaro had tried to climb this Mountain but one thing is certain, they understood the challenge and risk climbing Kilimanjaro paused enough to name the mountain Kilemakyaro, meaning an impossible journey. Kilemakyaro is the original name for Kilimanjaro
Nonetheless, the German geology professor Hans Meyer and Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller are known to be the first to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in October 1889.
This successful climb came after Hans Meyer had tried and failed in his two previous attempts to reach the top of Kilimanjaro.
In his first attempt in 1887, Meyer was forced to turn back after lacking the equipment needed to progress across the ice.
The Best Months to Climb Mountain
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro Mountain can be divided into two seasons;
- From early December to the beginning of March
- From late June to the end of October.
In the table below, Ultimate Kilimanjaro put together the full year with expected temperature, precipitation, cloudiness as well as crowds in the Mountain.
Boost your success rate
Generally, climbing Kilimanjaro isn’t easier.
To get the better of this unique Mountain which is listed among UNHCR cultural heritage sites you need nice weather, a skilled guide and quality climbing gears.
The old data by Kilimanjaro National Park Authority suggested that the general success rate for all climbers was 45%. While there is no recent data for success rate it is believed the success rate is now anywhere between 50%-60% for all climbers.
With nice weather, the success rate is boosted but bad weather increases the climbing difficulty which in return reduces success rate.
Give you a Stunning Scenic view
With less rainfall and clouds, the scenery around Kilimanjaro is something out of this world, absolutely stunning.
Unfortunately in the wet season when the rains are at their highest peak, the scenery at Kilimanjaro isn’t much great due to the heavy clouds, fog, wind, and water.
Ease Camps Setting
There are no hotels in the mountain! Not even lodges for the accommodation. That makes the adventure even more amusing.
Among all 7 established routes for climbing Kilimanjaro, there is only one route with permanent accommodation huts which is the Marangu route. In the other six routes, bandas/camps are the means of accommodation.
During heavy rains, setting these camps becomes a pain, and as a result, the trekking is made even challenging. This is another reason most companies advise planning your climb during the above mentioned best time to climb Kilimanjaro.
Summit during a Full Moon
If there is a stunning view of the Mountain is the one during a full moon.
And this happens once every month while in some years one month can experience this full moon day twice.
Climbing Kilimanjaro in a full moon day is one of the beautiful moments as the clear sky resulting from a bright moon usually helps the visibility throughout the climb making the process more enjoyable.
That is even crucial during the summit attempt which is customarily done from midnight.
It is without a doubt that Kilimanjaro is the dream of many Africa safari lovers.
Nothing should stop you from living your Kilimanjaro dream, even when you have a tight work schedule and you won’t be here in the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, there is a way, you can do it in the offseason.
And if you climb Kilimanjaro in the offseason, make sure to follow these tips to climb Kilimanjaro successfully in the rainy season;
- Use the Rongai route, it is the driest route on the mountain with moderate precipitation during the heavy rains.
- To avoid camps setting challenges, use the Marangu route as it is the only route with permanent huts for accommodation.
- Make sure you get all required climbing equipment and the gears are in good quality
- Plan your trip with a less demanding schedule, a day extra for any emergency will do.
And the most important tip I have for you is, use an ethical professional operator who is willing to help and advise you everything you need to know about the best time to climb Kilimanjaro as well as climbing Kilimanjaro during the rainy season.
So when are you going to climb Kilimanjaro? Is it during the best time to climb or in the offseason? I would like to hear your reasons for climbing in a rainy season.