Two hikers looking at the Mount Kilimanjaro

Travel Advice Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro

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When is the Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Located in northeastern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in the continent of Africa and highest freestanding mountain in the world at 5,895m. This epic peak attracts trekkers of all experience levels looking to take on the challenge of reaching Kilimanjaro summit from far and wide.

While Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is open all year round, conditions differ throughout the year so you may wish to spend some time contemplating the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. Fortunately, the weather on Kilimanjaro is fairly predictable, with distinct dry seasons and rainy seasons.

Here, we provide a complete breakdown of the Kilimanjaro climbing seasons including the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, times to avoid and other factors to consider allowing you the best possible chance of success. The Kandoo Adventures team have a summit success rate of over 95% on all our trips, one of the highest in the industry, because we factor in acclimatisation days.

We recommend climbing Kilimanjaro on one of our Kilimanjaro routes during the warmest and driest time of the year, from June to October and December to March. In fact, we only run trips to Kilimanjaro during these ‘high’ seasons to ensure the safety of all our group members, the best chance of summit success, clear views from the top and a more enjoyable experience all round.

Summit of Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro, Season by Season

December to March

The period between mid-December and March is one of the best times of year for climbing Kilimanjaro on one of Kandoo Adventures trips to Kilimanjaro and you can expect to share the mountain with other like-minded trekkers. While this season is considered a ‘high season’, its often quieter on the slopes than the main climbing season of June to October and offers optimal climbing conditions, one of the highest summit success rates and spectacular views along the trail.

The weather on Kilimanjaro during this period is usually dry with clear skies that make for great views with the addition of a good chance of snow over 14,000ft, making for some epic photo opportunities. The temperature will be cold and there is a higher chance of snow at this time of year, so it’s important to make sure you have the necessary trekking gear. As Kilimanjaro is located close to the equator, temperatures at ground level may be warm but the higher you climb, the colder the conditions get, so layers of clothing are essential.

April to May

The long rainy season starts at the end of March and continues through to early June. April to May sees long rains, increasing the chance of mishap. Trails are sure to be muddy, visibility might be reduced by the cloud cover and only the Machame Route and Marangu Route gates will be open. We do not recommend climbing Kilimanjaro during this time as it is likely to be much less enjoyable and the chance of successfully summiting is reduced due to these conditions.

Some tour operators do offer discounted prices during the rainy seasons and the lack of crowds could enable you to better appreciate the mountain's beauty – the highly popular Machame Route could be close to empty. But hiking for six or seven hours a day in the rain is the opposite of fun but risky if the weather is severe, and studies have demonstrated that people are more likely to give up.

The experts at Kandoo Adventures don’t offer trips to Kilimanjaro during these months and for good reason. Safety is a priority here at Kandoo and the weather conditions typical of this ‘off’ season lead to worsened trail conditions and increased danger.

June to October

The period between June and October is also considered a ‘high’ season and is one of the best times of year to climb Kilimanjaro. From June to October, the weather on Kilimanjaro will be dry. During this period, June to August is very cold but the sun comes out in September, there is little chance of rain and the trekking routes to Kilimanjaro summit, or Uhuru Peak, are generally free of snow. July and August are normally busy, and October is quieter but there might be low-lying cloud cover.

In terms of crowds, September is very busy, but if a quieter trekking route is a priority for you, taking a less popular route such as the Rongai Route or Lemosho Route may be preferable. The landscape of the Rongai route is flatter, drier and arguably easier, as evidenced by the high success experienced by those who climb Kilimanjaro but the landscape of Lemosho is particularly spectacular.

The team at Kandoo Adventures enjoy taking groups out to climb Kilimanjaro during this season and boast a 95% success rate on every one of our expeditions.


November is the short rain season. As with April to May, we do not recommend climbing Kilimanjaro at this time as trails will be muddy and only the Machame Routes and Marangu Routes gates will be open, although the absence of crowds and presence of snow cover might make up for it. Kandoo don’t offer trips to Kilimanjaro during November because of the dangerous conditions caused by the weather typical of this time of year and as with all our trips, safety is our main concern.

Rongai Route, Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro During a Full Moon

Climbing Kilimanjaro during a full moon is popular among visitors as the glaciers are lit up by the bright moon, making the views from the summit particularly beautiful. No matter the Kilimanjaro route you choose, you will actually start your ascent to the peak around midnight on summit day. Planning your climb to coincide with a full moon is the ultimate enhancement to an already epic journey but you will have to book well in advance as these dates are very popular with visitors. Speak to the experienced team at Kandoo to find out more.

A practical reason for climbing during a full moon is that the brightness of the moon illuminates your journey, improving visibility which is especially useful during your summit attempt. You will also be greeted with magnificent night views of Kibo, the highest volcanic peak on Kilimanjaro, from most of the overnight camps. While most climbers tackle the summit by the light of their headlamps, those who climb during a full moon experience illumination from the moon (if it is a clear sky of course) which makes this awesome climb truly unforgettable.

Best Time to Add a Tanzania Safari Trip Extension

Most safari areas in Tanzania enjoy warm days and cool evenings year-round. The best time to visit Tanzania for a safari for spotting wildlife is during the dry season from late June to October which conveniently aligns with one of the best times to climb Kilimanjaro. This is because the vegetation is dry during this period, making it much easier to spot game, as opposed to when the rains make the landscapes lush, green and easier for the wildlife to hide in.

After climbing Kilimanjaro, there are many amazing game viewing opportunities to be had visiting three of Tanzania’s best safari parks. With Kandoo Adventures trips to Kilimanjaro and Tanzania safari extension packages, explore Tanzania’s incredible Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Tarangire National Park and go on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in search of the elusive Big 5.

Lemosho Climb and Safari Header

Travelling to Kilimanjaro

If you’re planning on embarking on a trip to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, you’ll need to consider how to get there. To climb Kilimanjaro, trekkers are usually required to organise their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). We’d highly recommend flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport rather than the next closest, Arusha Airport (ARK) for better transportation to Kilimanjaro. Situated southwest of Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro Airport is located between Arusha and Moshi. Moshi is a 45-minute drive away from the airport and most trekkers will spend the night here before continuing to the mountain. For more information and alternative routes, check out our handy blog on how to get to Kilimanjaro and speak to the travel experts at Kandoo Adventures.