Mount Kilimanjaro is close to the equator and it however does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but rather dry and wet seasons. The best time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months . The primary issue is safety, as the risks associated with climbing increase significantly when the weather is foul. The effects of rain, mud, snow, ice and cold can be very strenuous on the body. Your chances of a successful summit also increases significantly with nice weather. The mountain gets more foot traffic during these periods as well.
The table below lists the relative temperature, precipitation, cloudiness and crowds during the calendar months.
Month Temperature Precipitation Cloudiness Crowds Suggestion
January Warm Medium Low High Recommended
February Warm Medium Low High Recommended
March Moderate High Medium Low OK
April Moderate High High Low Not Recommended
May Moderate High High Low Not Recommended
June Cold Medium Medium Medium Good
July Cold Medium Low High Recommended
August Cold Low Low High Recommended
September Moderate Low Low High Recommended
October Moderate Low Medium Medium Recommended
November Moderate High Medium Low Not Recommended
December Moderate Medium Medium Medium Good
It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro year round, however it is best to climb when there is a lower possibility of precipitation. The dry seasons are from the beginning of December through the beginning of March, and then from late June through the end of October. These are considered to be the best times to climb in terms of weather, and correspondingly are the busiest months (high season). Our group climbs are scheduled to correspond with the dry season.
From January through mid-March are the warmest months, with clear skies in the mornings and evenings. During the day, clouds may appear along with brief showers. The long rainy season spans from the end of March to early June. We do not recommend climbing during this time unless you are an experienced backpacker who has trekked in similar conditions . It can be very wet, and visibility may be low due to heavy clouds. The crowds are gone, however. From mid June to the end of October, the mountain is generally a bit colder, but also drier. The short rainy season spans from the beginning of November to the beginning of December. Afternoon rains are common, but skies are clear in mornings and evenings.
Note that the rains are unpredictable and may come early or extend beyond their typical time frames. It is possible to experience mostly dry weather conditions during the rainy season, just as it is possible to have heavy rain during the dry season.
When the peak of Kilimanjaro and magnificent glaciers are lit up by the full moon, the view is absolutely stunning. For this reason alone, some climbers schedule their trek to coincide with this celestial event, occuring once a month. However, a practical reason for climbing at these times is that a bright moon along with a clear sky will improve your visibility throughout your climb, and most importantly, during the summit attempt.