mount trekking



We distinguish 4 climatic zones on Mount Kilimanjaro, the rain forest zone, low alpine zone, high alpine zone and the glacial zone. Rainfall in each of these zones is determined by what we described above, but temperatures vary throughout the year for some of these zones as well.

Rain forest zone (800 – 3000 m / 2620 – 9840 ft)

The first zone you’ll trek through, the rain forest zone is characterized by high humidity and light mist. Temperatures are highest in February, around 14°C/57°F, and lowest in July, when they’re around 7°C/45°F. They slowly increase and decrease in the periods between these two months.

Low alpine zone (3000 – 4200 m / 9840 – 13780 ft)

Once you pass the 3000 meter / 9840 ft limit, the rain forest rapidly transforms into semi-arid grassland and moorland. You’ve entered the low alpine zone. This zone is a lot less humid and temperatures follow a similar increase / decrease pattern than the ones for the rain forest zone, although they are generally lower, from around 9°C/48°F in February/March to barely over 5°C/41°F in July. At night they can descend below the freezing point.
High alpine zone (4200 – 5000 m / 13780 – 16400 ft)

You are now above the clouds and vegetation has become rare. The sun burns during the day and there are no more clouds to protect you. So don’t forget to put lots of sunscreen. Temperatures drop well below 0 overnight.

Glacial zone (5000 – 5895 m / 16400 – 19340 ft)

With oxygen levels at almost half of what they are on the lower parts of the mountain, life in this area gets scarce. Temperatures are constant and average around -6°C/21°F throughout the day. Solar radiation is high during the day, but temperatures drop far below the freezing point during the night. And while it might not sound that cold, the wind will quickly make you change your mind about that. Add the fact that you get a stronger experience of the cold at this kind of altitude, because your body’s already making a big effort to stay oxygenated. Long story short, the -6°C/21°F can easily feel like -20°C/-4°C, and the top of the highest of all mountains in Africa is probably not a place where you’ll want to stay forever.


Let’s gather all the information above and sum up the best moments for your Kilimanjaro trip.

January – March

The first dry season on most of the mountain, January to (mid-)March are great months to climb Kili. It might rain a little bit on the lower slopes but rain is rare above 3000 m / 9840 ft and the skies are likely to be perfectly clear. Temperatures at the top are the lowest of the year, and chances of snow in the upper areas are high.

June – October

During this time rain and snow are rare, making it a good time for your Mount Kilimanjaro hike. It’s the busiest season and less ideal for those who want quiet time, bit this also means chances of finding open groups to join are much higher, which can drastically lower the price of your climb.

April, May and November, December

These months are usually the wettest and generally less ideal for trekking. However, climbing on a northern route in April or May, or on a southern route in November and December is usually fine, due to the origin of the winds that cause the rain. December corresponds to school holidays in most countries, making this a very busy month as well.

Don’t forget to bring good rain gear and the right clothes to handle the very low temperatures at the summit.