A couple at Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Kilimanjaro Weather – What to Expect

Kilimanjaro was described by NOVA as “a world in miniature” where you can “journey from dry fields and farms into steaming jungles, then up through exotic heaths and moorlands to an alpine desert and finally a glaciated summit.” In this analogy, each of these ecological zones actually has its own climate in addition to its own flora and fauna. Generally, however, the weather on Kili is dependent on altitude and the time of day. You can expect it to get drier and cooler the higher you are on the ascent of the mountain.


A wonderful and challenging trip. The snow at Lava Tower and subsequent clearing made for a spectacular ascent and amazing sunrise view from the summit.

A group of hikers at the top of Uruhu peak.

Daytime temperatures range from the 50s to the 70sF at altitudes from 7,500′, where we start the climb, to about 12,000′. Above this altitude, daytime temperatures are lower and evening temperatures can drop to 10ºF or even lower. Above 16,000′, daytime temperatures most often are in the high teens to low 40’s, but on the occasional clear calm day, because of the lack of atmosphere to filter the UV, it can feel hot. At this altitude you should expect nighttime temperatures to be below freezing, and temperatures below zero are not uncommon.

Snow on a rocky peak in Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro is a free-standing mountain, and therefore creates its own localized weather patterns. It can rain or snow at any time. The snow line usually begins at 17,000 or 18,000′, but a sudden storm may bring it as low as 14,000. We don’t offer climbs during the rainy months of April and May or November.

As with most mountain areas, the weather on Kilimanjaro can change abruptly so you need to be ready for these sudden changes with extra layers of clothing, including waterproof gear, in your day pack at all times. Usually, Kilimanjaro’s summit clouds appear in the late morning and then dissipate shortly before sundown.

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Our Africa Specialists know every detail about our Kilimanjaro trips. They will be happy to answer any questions and help make sure it’s the right adventure for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!