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What is the Best Time to Climb Mt.Kilimanjaro?

Embarking on the epic journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Choosing the right time to conquer this majestic mountain is crucial for a successful and memorable ascent. In this comprehensive guide, we will unveil the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, taking into account weather conditions, crowd levels, and other important factors. Let’s dive in and discover the optimal window to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

It is definetly possible to climb Kilimanjaro year round, however there are months which are better than others in terms of; weather, trekking conditions and popularity. 

ZAFS generally advises that the best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the warmest and driest times of year, from December to mid-March and mid-June to the end of October. These are known as the short dry season and long dry season respectively. Whilst, the long rainy season will be April and May and the short rainy season will be November to December.

Climbing Kilimanjaro in January and February and early March

  • Ideal trekking conditions 
  • Dry, clear days with good visibility 
  • Some clouds may appear in the afternoon and may experience some rain 
  • Snowy summit 
  • Although high-season, it won’t be as crowded as June to September 

Climbing Kilimanjaro in March, April and May

  • Long rainy season starts at the end of March
  • Not recommended to climb in this period as trails can be very wet, muddy and snowy
  • The popular routes will be quiet in this time 
  • You can opt for The Northern Circuit route for this period as it receives less rainfall
  • Ideal for experienced trekkers who want to avoid the crowds and don’t mind unpredictable weather 

Climbing Kilimanjaro in June/ July/ August / September and October

  • Busiest time on the mountain 
  • Conditions are generally colder but much drier 
  • Clear, sunny skies with stunning views

Climbing Kilimanjaro in November and December 

  • Afternoon rains will be common but clearer skies are present in the mornings and evenings 
  • ZAFS would recommend trekking on the Rongai route or Northern Circuit as it receives less overall rainfall due it the northern side of the mountain being more sheltered

Climbing During the Full Moon 

There is something truly magical about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro during the full moon. As you look out towards the cloudless skies you’ll witness the glaciers that are lit up by the bright moon. You may not even need your headlamp as the moonlight will improve your visibility, especially during your final ascent to Uhuru Peak. 

ZAFS has calculated these full moon dates and worked backwards to provide you with group departures that have the summit day fall on full moon days. See our group departures to get more of an idea of these dates. 

The full moon falls on these days for 2023: 
-3 July
-1/30 August
-29 September
-28 October
-27 November
-26 December

Other Factors to Consider:

  1. Temperatures: Kilimanjaro has five climatic zones, with the last one being ‘artic zone’ at the summit. The temperature her can drop well below freezing at all times of the year. December to March, and June (just after the rains) are usually the coldest, and there’s a good chance you’ll see snow on the summit.
  2. Visibility: During late March to the end of May, and all of November, the visibility can be poor due to cloud cover.
  3. Crowds: The busier periods on the mountain would be January through early March, and June through October. A lot of trekkers’ worries during these busy times would be the overcrowding of the toilet facilities at the campsites. However, with ZAFS you’ll get a private toilet tent just for the group and so avoids this issue. Additionally, a lot of trekkers don’t mind the busy periods as they get to make more memories and have life-time friends from these treks with the people they encounter along the way.

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Look no further than ZAFS Tours for an unforgettable hiking experience up the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. As one of the leading tour operators in Tanzania, ZAFS Tours is dedicated to providing exceptional service, expert guides, and unparalleled support to make your Kilimanjaro trek a resounding success.

With a passion for adventure and a commitment to safety, ZAFS Tours offers a range of group departures that cater to both experienced hikers and those seeking their first high-altitude challenge. Our carefully crafted itineraries are designed to maximize your chances of reaching the summit while ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the journey. Visit our website at zafstours.com/group-departures/ to explore our upcoming group departures and find the perfect trek for you. Our user-friendly interface allows you to browse itineraries, check availability, and book your spot hassle-free. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to summit Africa’s highest peak with a trusted and experienced tour operator.

At ZAFS Tours, we believe that every hiker deserves an unforgettable Kilimanjaro experience. Join us on this remarkable journey, embrace the challenge, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Book your Kilimanjaro adventure with ZAFS Tours today!


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