Weather on Mount Kilimanjaro

The weather on Mount Kilimanjaro is mostly good and reliable, providing 2 climbing seasons that coincide with northern Tanzania’s dry seasons. There are 2 rainy seasons on Kilimanjaro, the long rains and the short rains. The long rains are from March to late May and the short rains are from Mid October to late December. In saying that Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round. Throughout the dry season there are still of course localized showers on the mountain so don’t forget the waterproofs even though they’re sporadic.

The weather you'll face on your climb

It’s said that to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is to climb through 4 seasons in 4 days. There are few other places on earth where you can experience such diversity. Climbers experience all weather and scenery conceivable on Kili: from average temperatures of 20oC that can soar to 45oC in the Highland Desert and plummet to -25oC on the summit, climbing below cloud, through cloud and above cloud, climbing in tropical sun, rain and snow, climbing through a forest, over heather, across a desert and finally on ice fields to the summit. Trust us you will need lots of film and memory cards for your camera to do this mountain justice.

Once you get above the forest, the mornings and evenings are cold until the sun fully rises. It's normal to wake up to frost on the ground and frozen water droplets on your tent. Throughout the morning, some cloud usually builds up, dissipating mid-afternoon. If your climbing through the cloud it can get chilly especially if there is a bit of wind building up. For a lot of the day you will be climbing in and out of sunshine and when under the mid-day sun it gets very warm. On the higher slopes you sometimes get a few flakes of snow if your climbing close to the rainy seasons.

Temperature on Mount Kilimanjaro

On Mount Kilimanjaro the general rule of thumb for the temperature is a drop of 1oC for every 656ft/200m climbed. This has led to the natural formation of 5 distinct vegetation zones of approx 1000m each on the mountain.