Weather on Mount Kilimanjaro

The temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro range from hot to bitter cold. The journey from the gate to the peak is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days. This is because the routes to the Uhuru peak cross different ecological zones. Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet (1,000 m) in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature and life as the altitude increases.

Moshi, the land of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the place where our climb will start, is located just south of the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. At 2,667 feet (900 m) above sea level, the town is located in the lowest, warmest ecological zone. Average temperature, humidity and precipitation figures for Moshi are reflected in the following table.

Average Temperature, Humidity and Precipitation in Moshi, Tanzania
Month Low (F) Average (F) High (F) Humidity (%) Rainfall (in)
January 64 78 92 58 1.4
February 64 78 92 57 2.0
March 66 78 90 63 4.7
April 67 76 85 73 13.8
May 65 72 79 77 9.3
June 62 70 78 72 1.5
July 60 69 78 69 1.0
August 60 70 80 66 0.7
September 60 71 83 61 0.6
October 62 75 88 57 1.0
November 64 76 89 57 2.5
December 64 77 90 60 2.1

Someone once said, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is to definitely climbing through four seasons in 4 days of hike. There are few other places on earth where you can experience such diversity. Climbers experience all weather and scenery conceivable on Kilimanjaro: from average temperatures of 20oC that can soar to 45oC in the Highland Desert and plummet to -25oC on the summit, climbing below cloud, through cloud and above cloud, climbing in tropical sun, rain and snow, climbing through a forest, over heather, across a desert and finally on ice fields to the summit. Trust us you will need lots of film and memory cards for your camera to do this mountain justice.

Once you get above the forest, the mornings and evenings are cold until the sun fully rises. It’s normal to wake up to frost on the ground and frozen water droplets on your tent. Throughout the morning, some cloud usually builds up, dissipating mid-afternoon. If you’re climbing through the cloud it can get chilly especially if there is a bit of wind building up. For a lot of the day you will be climbing in and out of sunshine and when under the mid-day sun it gets very warm. On the higher slopes you sometimes get a few flakes of snow if your climbing close to the rainy seasons.

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