KilimanjaroWeather and seasons
Kilimanjaro weather and seasons
When to Climb – Peak seasons are traditionally January to March and June to October, and these are popular times to climb with temperatures in Moshi averaging 22 degrees C and summit temperatures around - 7 degrees C. The rains are in April, May and November but nowadays climate change has changed this pattern greatly. December is getting warmer again with clear skies.
The weather on Mount Kilimanjaro can vary dramatically within the same day, from hot to cold, sunny and clear to rainy with clouds. It is hard to predict the weather on any particular day, so be prepared for good and bad weather on any one day. This is an equatorial mountain so don't think in terms of seasons. The annual temperature range is not great, but there will be a great change due to altitude and the time of day.The lower regions can be hot and humid, with temperatures between 20 and 27 degrees Celsius, while summit temperatures can range from 0 to -20 degrees.
Kilimanjaro offers the remarkable experience of five very different habitats during your ascent. You are passing through cultibated farmland into equatorial rainforest and then alpine heath, high alpine desert and eventually an icy glaciated environment at high altitude. The summit of Kilimanjaro - Uhuru Point - is about the same altitude as Camp One on Mount Everest.
For the first few days it is possible to get heavy rain, but this becomes snow and hail as you move higher. Expect a daily routine of clear cold mornings and a build-up of cloud and potential rain towards early afternoon which dissipates again in the evening.
Full Moons- Since the summit climb involves a night ascent, check whether you will have a full moon or not. Some people prefer to summit during a full moon (being the dates below and a day either side of them). We do have a couple of climbs which summit around the full moon however we do tend to try and avoid them as they are very busy times on the mountain. Without doubt summit day is slightly easier if well lit by a full moon (it can still be cloudy during these moons) however for us a head torch is still ample if dark and the real buzz of the experience is when the sun creeps up out of the dark night and hits you like opening a furnace door! So do not assume that a full moon summit is the best time to climb. The night sky on Kilimanjaro at any time in clear conditions is simply fantastic, you can see north and south constellations all at once.
Freezing level on Kilimanjaro is normally at about 4600 metres.