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 that little bit more difficult and also more dangerous due to slippery paths, 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.
What is the weather like in Tanzania?
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
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 the 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 the northern Serengeti
Many safari fans dream of witnessing the Great Migration river crossing, when thousands of wildebeest cross the Mara river at the border between Kenya and Tanzania.
Even if you try to time your trip perfectly, however, it requires a lot of luck to see the river crossing during a few days of safari, as the exact timing of the crossing varies by weeks from year to year and can never be predicted with days’ accuracy. Though if you’d like to maximize your chance and—in any case—see abundant wildlife at the Mara river on the Tanzanian side, then August and October are your best bets.
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 Content Library, 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.