Climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience and definitely one to add to your bucket list. Africa’s tallest mountain is located near the Equator meaning the weather can vary significantly, dependant on when you choose to climb. This travel blog gives some tips from our Africa specialist Emma, who herself has reached the summit, on the best times of the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
The mountain can be climbed year-round, however there are two main trekking seasons which correspond with the dry seasons. These are from January to mid-March and June to October, although due to the climate on the mountain you always have to expect some showers, no matter what time of year you climb. You can still climb in April/May and November/December, but we wouldn’t recommend doing this unless your dates are fixed or you are a very experienced trekker. The visibility can be restricted and the rain very heavy which means the chances of reaching the summit are greatly reduced.
January to March is a great time to climb Kilimanjaro, particularly if you are a beginner trekker. The skies are much clearer and the rainfall is minimal. Temperature-wise, it’s one of the warmer times to climb and there will most likely be less snow as you get higher up the mountain. It is a beautiful time to climb and is often a little quieter than in June to October.
June to October coincides with Tanzania’s peak travel season so the mountain will generally be a bit busier, but due to the size of the mountain and restrictions on the number of trekkers each day ,it shouldn’t be crowded enough to put you off. The weather is usually perfect for trekking with minimal rainfall and lower temperatures. There is also less cloud coverage meaning the views you get during the trek are truly spectacular.
A very special time to climb Kilimanjaro is to coincide with a full moon on summit day. The final push to the top begins at about midnight. The light from the full moon means you can do this part of the trek without the use of head torches and the stars are crystal clear in the sky. The summit and its glaciers are also illuminated by the light of the full moon making it a breath-taking sight. This is a very popular excursion, and as mentioned previously there is a limit on the number of people who can climb the mountain at a time, so make sure you book well in advance. It’s also worth bearing in mind that to reach the summit at a full moon, you will need to commence a 7-day climb 5 days prior to the full moon date.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a huge challenge but also very rewarding, nothing can prepare you for the spectacular views you’ll enjoy throughout your climb, particularity at the summit. Emma say’s it’s by far the most challenging thing she has ever done but it’s absolutely worth doing. If you follow our tips on the best time of year to climb, and prepare both physically and mentally, then there is every chance that too you will be able to reach the summit.
Looking to experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure? ? Get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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