The Best Time To Climb Kilimanjaro
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months. Until recently the weather system on Kilimanjaro was very predictable but like everywhere else in the world the weather system has been changing. Over the last few years the rainy season seems to have been arriving early. It is hard to say whether this will last but it has been noted over the last few seasons. The rainy season shouldn’t put you off visiting Kilimanjaro. It is not always as wet as you may expect and there are some advantages. The mountain is very quiet during the raining season and for those hoping for snow on the summit it can usually be guaranteed during the rainy season.
The two best routes to use during the raining season are the Rongai route and the Marangu route. The Rongai route ascends via the Northern side of the mountain and it is usually drier on this side. Accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts and it is better to retire to one of these after a day in the rain rather than a tent. The huts also give a better opportunity to get your gear dry before the next day.
The temperature on Kilimanjaro can vary from one extreme to another during your expedition and you need to be prepared for everything. Temperatures during the day can be as high as 30 degrees centigrade but can plummet into the minuses once the sun disappears. Higher on the mountain and on summit night the temperature can plummet to around -15 degrees centigrade and with wind chill this can seem as cold as -25 degrees centigrade. The seasons explained (Please note this is not an exact science and as mentioned earlier seasons may vary).
This is a good time to climb Kilimanjaro. The weather is quite stable with clear skies and the occasional shower. The temperatures are reasonably warm and the mountain is quite quiet.
The rains increase during March until April where the mountain becomes very wet and warm. The mountain is very quiet during this period. This period is known as the long rains and is the wettest period Kilimanjaro experiences.
The rain decreases into June and the weather turns very dry and clear as the months go on. Night time temperatures can be very cold at this time of year. June is a quiet time on the mountain but it gradually becomes busier as the year moves along.
This is considered peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro and the mountain can be very busy. The weather is warm and the skies are clear. Rain can still linger around the rain forest zones on Kilimanjaro but once above this the chances of rain are slim. The rains increase towards the end of October
The short rains begin at the start of November and carry on until mid December. The temperature drops and the clouds close in around Kilimanjaro. The mountain is usually quite quiet around this time. During December the mountain becomes busier again and the weather changes for the better. The 6 weeks around New Year are very busy on the mountain and the weather is quite stable with occasional showers.