Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, standing at 5895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level. For many, summiting the mountain presents an enthralling challenge, and an unforgettable experience. To help optimize your chance of reaching the peak, it’s important to select the best time to summit.
Located in Northeastern Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a multi-day trek, usually taking four to eight days to cover the roughly 45 miles from the base to the summit.
The most popular route is the Machame route, which gives climbers the opportunity to experience different climates, from tropical rainforest to a lunar-like landscape at the summit. With rising terrain, climbers must plan for the effects of altitude, including headaches and difficulty breathing, by allowing for proper acclimatization.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is no easy feat, but it is possible with the right preparation and guidance. It’s important to review the necessary training, equipment, and permits before beginning your journey.
The Best Time to Summit
Kilimanjaro is climbable year-round, but the best time to summit varies for different routes. The Machame route, for instance, is best done during Tanzania’s dry season, from late June to October. This time of year is characterized by lower rainfall and higher temperatures, making the climb easier.
The dry season is also when temperatures at the summit are the mildest. On Machame route, the average low temperature at the summit is -4°C (25°F) in October, and -14°C (7°F) in August, compared to -25°C (-13°F) during the rainy season.
The rainy season, from November to mid-March, is also a popular time to attempt the climb, but it can be more difficult due to harsher weather conditions and higher chance of rain. As such, climbers should be prepared for all eventualities, taking into account the expected weather and temperature variations.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an incredible experience, but selecting the right time to summit is essential to ensuring the best possible experience. If you’re planning to take on the Machame route, then June to October is the best time to go. Regardless of when you decide to attempt the climb, it’s important to be properly prepared and informed.