While it is possible to climb Mount Kilimanjaro all the year, it’s best to avoid the heavy rains between April to late May and short rainy period in mid October to late December. January and February are good times to climb if you want a little more peace and quiet on the mountain, indeed if you climb by the Shira or Lemosho routes you are unlikely to see many other climbers until the 3rd or 4th day of your climb. Likewise, if you climb via the Rongai route you may not see many people the whole way to Kibo Huts. July to September are the busiest month on the mountain because the of the slightly better weather.
If you decide to climb during the rains (and there is nothing wrong with that), in early January or early June conditions on the summit are often a bit tougher. Expect the average temperature to be colder and there to be a lot of snow about. We advise that you take an extra day on the mountain if climbing during the off season in case bad weather suspends your summit attempt.
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.
For tips for guides and porters on Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, you will give after your trek. You can use U.S. dollars, euros, Tanzanian shillings or combinations of these. It helps if you have small bills to tip everyone individually.
- For a Head guide: US $15 – 20 per day per a group of climbers
- For an Assistant guide: US $10 – 15 per day per a group of climbers
- For a Cook: US $10 – 15 per day per a group of climbers
- For a Porter: US $5 – 10 per day per a group of climbers
Note that, these rates are just based on recommendation and that, they are not meant at all to represent our visitors’ decisions!
Most people who have done a bit of reading or research into high altitude climbing will have read about Mountain Sickness. For those who have not, or for those that want some more information, we have provided this section giving a good overview of mountain sickness and how to prevent it while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
It is important to note that almost all severe cases of altitude sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro are climbers on a shoestring budget who have cut days to save money (a false economy as the chances of reaching the summit fall dramatically if days are cut from the ascent). For information on Diamox see our inoculations and tablets page.
Once you have decided you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the next step is to pick the route you want to climb. There are 6 routes on the mountain and each has advantages and disadvantages. However, some routes such as the Machame route stand out from the others as being especially beautiful and fun to climb. The six routes are the Machame Route, Shira Route, Lemosho Route, Umbwe Route, Rongai Route and the Marangu Route. Below is a short description of each. To read a full description of each route, including descriptions of the trail from day to day, select the route from the list to the left.
|Clothing Packing List:|
|Warm sleeping bag (it could be below 0° C and much less)||Waterproof Trekking Boots|
|Day-pack with waterproof cover||Sneakers for the campsites|
|Duffel bag to be carried by porters||Gaitors|
|Plastic bags (plan on waterproofing your luggage)||Thermal socks|
|Headlamp with extra batteries||Warm and light trousers|
|Insulated water bottle + 2 1,5 PET||Thermal underwear|
|Trekking poles||Waterproof gloves|
|Sunglasses||Wind and waterproof jacket|
|Pocket knife||Rain gear|
|Notebook and pen||Sun hat and a warm winter hat|
|Fleece/warm jacket, sweater|
|Personal Packing List:|
|Toilet Paper||Small First Aid Kit|
|High SPF Sun-block||Pain killers|
|Lip Balm with SPF||Blister Kit|
|Sanitary Wipes/Wet Wipes||Anti-diarrhea Medicine|
|Insect repellent||Cold/Flu Tablets|
|Toothbrush and toothpaste||Throat Lozenges|
|Washcloth and soap||Tweezers|
This mountain is also fascinating because of its variation in flora with the change in altitude. The lower slopes are covered with dry forest followed by montane forest full of cedar trees at about 6,500ft (2,000m). Then begins a dense belt of bamboo and short trees in which numerous animals hide. Between 9,750-11,375 feet (3,000-3,500 metres) comes high altitude health dotted with giant tree heathers and open moorland grazed by a few acclimatised zebras and eland. Elephants share the forests and bamboo belts with black and white colobus and Sykes monkeys, olive baboons and giant forest hog. The rare and elusive bongo and suni antelopes find solitude here, as do black rhino and buffalo. Kilimanjaro Dream Team will offer a superb range of Safaris in Tanzania from budget to mid range camping and lodge to the ultimate luxury safaris. We have sub-divided our safari range into national parks, so when you looking for a safari that visits a particular National Park your search is made that much easier.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a non-technical climb. So there is no need to worry about harnesses, ropes, carabiners and lots of other climbing gear. You will need lots of warm clothes, a good set of waterproofs, decent hiking boots and some pieces of equipment. A list of the gear recommended for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is listed below. We ask you to consider each item carefully before deciding not to bring it. Most of the items are essential, some are optional.
It’s said that to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is to climb through 4 seasons in 4 days. There are only few other places on earth where you can experience such diversity. Climbers experience all weather and scenery conceivable on Kili: from average temperatures of 20°C that can rise to over 40°C in the Highland Desert and drop up to -25°C on the summit, climbing below cloud, through cloud and above cloud, climbing in tropical sun, rain and snow, climbing through a rainforest, over heather, across a desert and finally on ice fields to the summit. Trust us you will need lots of film or memory cards for your camera to catch all theses moments. Once you get above the forest, the mornings and
Yellow fever used to be a problem in the area, but that seems to have been contained in the last few years. You won’t need any compulsory shots in order to enter the country, but this is Sub-Saharan Africa so you should do some research and then consult a doctor or clinic long before getting on the plane. In order to be safe consider all the following:
- Yellow Fever
- Diphtherias & Tetanus Hepatitis A/B
- Meningococcal Meningitis
- Malaria Medication
Mountain sickness is the effects of lack of oxygen on the body. All your organs need oxygen to survive and when the body doesn’t get enough, problems arise. As you gain altitude, the air pressure drops and as it drops your body takes in less air and therefore less oxygen with each breath. To counteract this, your body begins to adapt. Your breathing and heart rate increases and your body makes more red blood cells to carry oxygen. While your breathing and heart rate can change very quickly, the crucial extra red blood cells take a few days to form. Climb too far too fast before this process gets properly under way and the result is AMS (Acute mountain Sickness).