There’s something enchanting about standing on Kilimanjaro, the Rooftop of Africa. However, if you choose the best season to climb Kilimanjaro and book a safari then your experience will be even more spectacular.
On a clear day, you can stand on Uhuru Peak with the sun peaking out over the top and witness spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
It’s no secret that getting to the summit and enjoying the magnificent views is a tough feat.
However, if you go at the wrong time of the year, during rainy season, your climb is likely to be just that little bit more difficult and the views may not be as good.
Tanzania is close to the equator, so the country does not have four separate seasons, like we do in the west. Instead, the country has wet and dry seasons. Naturally, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry seasons, when you’re likely to get the best views and an easier climb.
Many people also like to combine their Kilimanjaro climb with a safari tour, to see the Great Migration of wildebeest and the wildlife calving. So in this blog, we will discuss the best season to climb Kilimanjaro in more detail and we’ll also look at the best time to go on safari, to make it easier to plan your trip.
You can also access more information about climbing Kilimanjaro and find out more about our safari tours on our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience Page.
What is the weather like in Tanzania?
The temperature on Mount Kilimanjaro swings between the two extremes of very hot or extremely cold. Generally, the lower areas will be humid and subject to plenty of rainfall – particularly in the rainforest and during the rainy season. The higher parts of the mountain are often much colder, with bitter winds and potentially snow at the top. Early mornings will warm up as soon as the sun rises and the days will be warm and bright. As soon as the sun sets, however, the temperature drops radically, often to below zero degrees.
Like all mountains, the weather is somewhat unpredictable. It’s best to avoid the rainy seasons from November to December and mid-March to May. Even during the dry season, however, it may rain occasionally, especially during your first and last climbing day when you are in the rainforest.
What is the weather like on the Mount Kilimanjaro?
The temperature on Mount Kilimanjaro swings between the two extremes of very hot or extremely cold. Generally, the lower areas will be humid and subject to plenty of rainfall – particularly in the rainforest and during the rainy season. The higher parts of the mountain are often much colder, with bitter winds and potentially snow at the top.
Best season to climb Kilimanjaro
It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro all-year-round. However, the best times to climb Kilimanjaro are from June to October and January to mid-March, which are the two dry seasons.
January to mid-March brings clearer skies and warm temperatures and is known as the short dry season. It ends in mid-March, when the onset of heavier rains and the long wet season begins and lasts until May.
The period between June to October is known as the long dry season and is also a good time to climb Kilimanjaro. This time of year brings less rainfall but bigger crowds. It gradually gives way to the short wet season in November/December.
Best season to go on safari
A combined Kilimanjaro and Serengeti safari tour is another popular option among climbers. If you are planning a combined tour, naturally you will want to know when the most ideal season to spot wildlife is.
The best time to spot wildlife migrations depends on which part of Serengeti you will be visiting.
Best time to visit southern Serengeti
For example, the best time to see the Great Migration of wildebeest in southern Serengeti, near Arusha and Kilimanjaro, is at the beginning of the year in January and February.
Southern Serengeti is home to the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park and Mahale National Park. It is not as crowded as the more popular northern Serengeti, which is home to famous attractions such as the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.
The spectacular Great Wildebeest Migration is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Annually, more than two million grazers like wildebeest, but also zebras and gazelles, travel from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya in search for green pasture.
Best time to visit northern Serengeti
Best time to see the wildebeest calving
You will also have the opportunity to see the wildebeest calving, which occurs between January and March.
However, this is peak season, so you should plan to spend at least 5 days on a driving safari if you would like to travel all the way up to the north, where migration is at that time of year.
Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year around. Similarly, you can visit Serengeti all year around. However, if you go during one of the two dry seasons, then you’re likely to get better views and/or an easier climb.
For example, if you want to take a combined Kilimanjaro and safari tour in southern Serengeti, the best time to visit is the beginning of the year, between January and March, which is the short dry season and it also coincides with the time of the wildebeest migration.
However, if you are planning to climb Kilimanjaro and visit northern Serengeti, then the best time to go is between June and October, which is the long dry season.
This time of year brings more sunshine, less rainfall and wildlife migration in northern Serengeti.
You will often find that it is more crowded on Kilimanjaro during the long dry season, depending upon which route you take. Therefore, you should factor this into any decision you make when planning your trip.
Regardless of when you choose to climb Kilimanjaro, one thing is certain. You are likely to experience the adventure of a lifetime, which will give you positive memories for many years to come.
However, to increase your chances of making it to the top of Kilimanjaro, be sure to check out our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience Page, where we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions on Kilimanjaro and provided all of the information you need to make your trip a success.
You can also download a free copy of our Climb Kilimanjaro guidebook, from that page.