While it is possible to climb Mount Kilimanjaro all the year, it is best to avoid the heavy rains between April to late May and the 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 of the slightly better weather.
If you decide to climb during the rains, there is nothing wrong with that. In early January or early June, the weather conditions on the summit are often a bit tougher. Expect the average temperature to be colder and there to be a lot of snow. We advise that you take an extra day on the mountain if climbing during the off-season in case the bad weather condition suspends your summit attempt.
The weather condition in Mount Kilimanjaro is mostly better and reliable, providing two climbing seasons that coincide with northern Tanzania’s dry seasons. There are two rainy seasons in Kilimanjaro, the long rains and the short rains. The long rainy season is from March to late May; the short rainy period from Mid October to late December. Generally, Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round. Throughout the dry season, there are still, of course, localized showers on the mountain. So, do not forget the waterproofs even though they are sporadic.
Tips for guides, cooks, and porters in Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, are given after the end of your trek. You can use U.S.A dollars, euros, Tanzanian shillings, or combinations of these. It helps if you have small bills to tip everyone individually and accordingly.
- For a Head guide: USD 15 – 20 per day per group of climbers
- For an Assistant guide: USD 10 – 15 per day per group of climbers
- For a Cook: USD 10 – 15 per day per group of climbers
- For a Porter: USD 5 – 10 per day per group of climbers
Note. All the rates provided above are just recommendations; they do not 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 want some more information and/or have not read about Mountain Sickness, we have provided this section giving you a good overview of mountain sickness and how to prevent it while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Please, add some info about Mountain sickness to this section!
It is important to note that almost all severe cases of altitude sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro are affecting climbers on a shoestring budget who have cut days to save money (it is a false economy as the chances of reaching the summit fall dramatically if days are cut from the ascent).
Once you have decided you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the next step is to pick the route you want to climb. The seven Routes on the mountain are Machame Route, Shira Route, Lemosho Route, Umbwe Route, Rongai Route, Marangu Route, and the Northern Circuit Route; each has advantages and disadvantages. However, some routes like Machame and Lemosho routes stand out from the others as being especially beautiful and fun to climb.
To read a full description of each route, including descriptions of the trail from day to day, please, select a preferred route itinerary from a list of itineraries for Mount Kilimanjaro on the navigation page. Just put your cursor to “Trekking” then > Mount Kilimanjaro that appears first on the dropping-down menu, and you’ll see the list of the itineraries.
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
Headlamp with extra batteries Gaitors (preferably the knee-length one)
Insulated water bottle + 2 1, 5 PET Thermal socks
Trekking poles Warm and light trousers
Sunglasses Thermal underwear
Camera Waterproof gloves
Wind and waterproof jacket
Notebook and pen Polyester shirts
Hiking shorts Rain gear
Fleece/warm jacket, sweater Sun hat, and a warm winter hat
Pocket knife (optional) Scarf (optional)
Personal Packing List:
Toilet Paper Small First Aid Kit
Tissues Nail clippers
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 mountain forest full of cedar trees at about 2,000m (6,500ft). Then begins a dense belt of bamboo and short trees in which numerous animals hide. Between 3,000-3,500 meters (9,750-11,375 feet) comes high altitude health dotted with giant tree heathers and open moorland grazed by a few acclimatized zebras and eland. Elephants share the forests and bamboo belts with black and white colobus and Sykes monkeys, olive baboons, and giant forest hogs.
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 items are essential; some are optional.
To climb Mount Kilimanjaro is to climb through 4 seasons in 4 days. There are only a few other places on earth where you can experience such diversity. Climbers experience all-weather and scenery conceivable on Kilimanjaro: 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 the cloud, through the cloud, and above the cloud, and climbing in the 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 these moments.
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
- Diphtheria & Tetanus Hepatitis A/B
- Meningococcal Meningitis
- Malaria Medication
- Mountain sickness is the effect of a lack of oxygen in the body. All your organs need oxygen to survive and, when the body does not get enough, problems arise. As you gain altitude, the air pressure drops, and as it drops down, 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 increase and your body make more red blood cells to carry oxygen. While your breathing and heart rate can change quickly, the crucial extra red blood cells take a few days to form. Climbing too far, too fast before this process gets properly underway, and the result is the AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).