Of the roughly 50,000 trekkers that start the journey around 60% makes it to the Uhuru peak. The success rates are increasing as climbers become more aware of the need for acclimatization and opening or longer duration routes but the necessity of selecting the best time to climb Kilimanjaro remains undiminished.
Decoding the ‘best time’ is the easiest part of the trek. Kili is good every time of the year but as the trek is an expensive proposition you need to be thoughtful before selecting the time of hike. Of course, what follows next is the arduous part that is guaranteed to strain every bit of you and leave you huffing and puffing!
Kilimanjaro is perched too close to the equator and as such doesn’t have the full spread of seasons that you find on most parts of the earth. It has just two seasons- dry and wet. The main dry months that run through July to October are considered the best. The long wet season that runs through March to June is best avoided.
– The period is characterised by pleasant weather, warm in the day and chilly in the nights. Skies are clear, fewer chances of rain and less traffic on the routes make it ideal for amateurs and seasoned trekkers alike
July – October
– Undoubtedly the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. The skies are clear, negligible precipitation in the air and offer excellent visibility. In the months of July and August, the temperature plummets to near freezing point. Ensure your packing has enough to see you through the freezing nights. In September and October, the tourist season is truly on so you will see a lot of traffic.
– The period of the long rainy season is characterised by heavy showers and thunderstorms. Climbing is at its most dangerous due to slippery conditions and poor visibility. Best avoided as the trek is expensive and you can’t leave yourself to the mercy of weather gods.
– The short rainy season period and characterised by intermittent showers. Why would you prefer a hike soaked in rain?