The rainy season on Mount Kilimanjaro is usually termed as the worst time of the year to climb the mountain. But did you know, this cannot stop you from trekking? Yes, Kilimanjaro can be climbed throughout the year, even during the wet season in Northern Tanzania. So what do you do if your trip or holiday falls during Tanzania’s rainy season and this is the only time of the year that you can squeeze in the time to climb? The secret is, to choose the appropriate route for this kind of time. We recommend the Rongai Route because it lies on the leeward side of the mountain and the northern slopes receive very minimal rainfall even during the rainy season. Also, you can opt for the Marangu route since you will not be camping in tents as it is the only route that offers huts accommodation. Really, any time of the year is the ideal time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro!
While the dry seasons tend to be more popular for climbing Mount Kili, there are certain benefits to going during the rainy season as well.
Mount Kilimanjaro climbs during the wet and rainy season
Perhaps you were raised in a place where the four seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—could be predicted. The good news is that although if Tanzania’s weather is a little different, it is still fairly dependable!
Tanzania’s seasons are more strongly influenced by tropical monsoon rains than by hot or cold weather. As a result, the seasons are divided into four blocks according to how much rain is forecast for each:
|Late March through
|Type of Weather
|A mix of rain and
sunshine. Typically warm
weather and Not dusty
Warm weather. May be dusty
towards end of
|Rain, but some
the dayNo dust at all. Cool-weather from May onward
|Dry until the end of
As you can see, Tanzania typically has four seasons of wet, dry, wet, and dry weather. However, the colder months of the year in Tanzania—July and August—do not always correspond to the dry season, which is also the time of year when there is little to no chance of rain.
The dry season, which is often the busiest for all tourists to Tanzania, is when most people ascend Kilimanjaro’s slopes. Don’t underestimate climbing Kilimanjaro during the rainy season, though; there are undoubtedly certain benefits to doing so. In fact, we even have a recommended route.
For a complete list of the advantages and disadvantages of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in the rainy season, continue reading.
When does it rain on Kilimanjaro?
In Tanzania, the prolonged rains from the end of March to the beginning of June are referred to as the “warm” rains.
The majority of the time, the rains don’t start until the late afternoon or even the evening, allowing hikers plenty of time to get to camp. Though it doesn’t always rain in the morning, most days don’t always guarantee that it will.
Typically, the second rainy season is brief. It often begins in late October and lasts until mid-December, but it can occasionally start earlier and last longer. These are also cooler than the March–June rains, but they aren’t very cold by most Western standards, of course.
Like other mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro frequently produces its own weather. In spite of Tanzania’s generally consistent weather, climbers may come across showers or mild rain when hiking at any time of the year.
Nobody can promise that it won’t rain at any point throughout your climb up Kilimanjaro. Even if you climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the driest months, it could still create unusual weather on its slopes to surprise you. However, there is unquestionably far less of a possibility of rain during the dry season.
Rains may begin or cease sooner than expected during the rainy season when they do not fall “on time.”
After all, we are talking about the weather on Kilimanjaro. Given that most trekking on Kilimanjaro takes place in the morning and that it can rain at any moment, it’s likely that you will arrive at camp before the day’s rain starts.
However, it is also true that rainstorms may last far longer than anticipated.
After all, we are talking about the weather. Given that most trekking on Kilimanjaro takes place in the morning and that it can rain at any moment, it’s likely that you will arrive at camp before the day’s rain starts.
However, it is also true that rainstorms may last far longer than anticipated.
Additionally, it’s possible that a few days won’t see a single drop of rainfall on Kilimanjaro’s paths.
The point being made here is that no one can guarantee that it won’t rain throughout your walk, therefore you need to be prepared in case it does.
However, if you don’t mind getting a little wet and are well-equipped with the right waterproof gear, climbing during the rainy season offers some special advantages.
The benefits of climbing Kilimanjaro in the wet season include:
- During the rainy season, Mount Kilimanjaro is incredibly stunning and vividly green.
After a rain, nature genuinely comes to life!
- Wild animals return to the slopes of Kilimanjaro because there are less climbers there.
- When there were no travelers during COVID-19, we even saw wild dogs. About fifteen years ago, these creatures were last spotted on Kilimanjaro.
- Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peak will be visible. Only when it rains is it white; otherwise, when the snow melts, Uhuru and its surroundings are plain rocks.
- If you reach the summit between March and May, you’ll probably see more snow than at any other time of the year, which truly provides for the ideal pictures to document your incredible achievement.
During the rainy season, there are much fewer climbers on Kilimanjaro. For instance, there is a genuine possibility that you will be the only climber on the route at Tranquil Kilimanjaro because there are 20 to 30 times less climbers than during the dry months.
The rainy season is the greatest time to have a road to yourself if you’re hoping for a private experience.
Overnight camps are peaceful and quiet. There won’t be many if any, other groups around.
- Seasonal savings and special offers are offered by Tranquil Kilimanjaro during these off-peak months!
- By making your reservations during the wet season, you may save money and then use that money to extend your stay in Zanzibar once you’ve finished your climb.
Taking pictures during the wet season
The best time of the year to take scenic photos is when it’s raining. Frequently, fog and rain can obscure the scenery, limiting your shooting options to nearby targets. However, there are times when the sky clears up, and it is precisely the opportunity to photograph Kilimanjaro’s breathtaking snow-capped peak.
The cons of climbing Kilimanjaro in the wet season include:
- Mud is to be expected throughout the trip;
- Lemosho route itineraries of seven and six days are not feasible since the landing place Morum Barrier becomes inaccessible to vehicles.
- On this path, which begins at Londorossi Gate, an eight-day journey can be conducted;
- During your ascent, it can be overcast and foggy (but remember, that can happen anywhere with high altitude).
Advice for scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in the wet season
Wearing layers is crucial! Here is the recommended rain gear for climbing Kilimanjaro.
To assist you in getting ready for the climb, we’ve produced an essay about all the equipment required.
A rain jacket and rain trousers are a necessity throughout the rainy season!
It shouldn’t merely be a lightweight jacket.
This should be a sturdy jacket that can handle several hours of rainy trekking, not simply a lightweight one for going in the rain from your car to your job. It need to be hooded.
In particular for the chilly weather at higher elevations on Kilimanjaro, rain trousers should be able to fit over top of your regular hiking pants.
Consider layering your clothes underneath your rain gear. Under your rain jacket and jeans, they will keep you warm, dry, and at ease.
The availability of extra gear would also be nice.
Clothing is one of the many items of climbing equipment that Tranquil Kilimanjaro hires. If renting any personal things is necessary for your journey up Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you get in touch with us, we can assist you in setting up the rental of all the equipment required for a pleasant climb during the rainy season.
Which Kilimanjaro route should I choose for the rainy season?
Think about tackling this climb via the Marangu route. The Marangu route is the only ascent of Kilimanjaro where climbers stay in huts rather than tents. Because the huts are supported by pillars, they will be more comfortable during the rainy season and will keep you out of the mud when you get to camp. Even Kilimanjaro’s heaviest rain cannot harm them.
This is our preferred and most suggested route for climbs during the wet season.
Consider using the Rongai route if you want to experience camping while climbing Kilimanjaro and want to sleep in a tent.
It is simpler to climb this route in the wet weather since it is less rocky and lacks ups and downs like Barranco Wall.
Best Kilimanjaro treks in the rainy season
Don’t allow Tanzania’s wet season to keep you from having a fantastic time. The rainy season is absolutely a safe and comfortable time to climb Kilimanjaro. However, keep in mind that the likelihood of rain cannot be minimized. If you are willing to take a chance, you can be rewarded with stunning vistas of the Kilimanjaro summit covered in snow. Naturally, there will also be fewer hikers on the trail. We advise more experienced mountain hikers to choose this option.
However, if climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is your first experience, and you want this trip to be easier, we advise picking a month during the dry season.
Best routes to trek Kilimanjaro in the rainy season of April-June and November
During the rainy season on Kilimanjaro, which typically spans from April to May and November, some routes are more favorable due to their unique features. The Marangu Route, known for its huts, and the Rongai Route, situated on the windward side of Kilimanjaro, are often considered good choices. Here’s why:
1. Marangu Route:
The Marangu Route, often referred to as the “Coca-Cola Route,” is popular for its hut accommodations, which provide shelter from the rain and cold. This makes it a practical option during the rainy season when camping conditions might be less appealing. The route features basic but comfortable huts with amenities like bunk beds and communal dining areas. This can be particularly advantageous in wet weather when camping might be less comfortable and more challenging.
While the Marangu Route offers hut accommodations, trekkers should still be prepared for rain by carrying proper rain gear. Rain can occur even during the rainy season, and it’s essential to stay dry and warm while trekking.
2. Rongai Route:
The Rongai Route is positioned on the northern side of Kilimanjaro, which is relatively drier during the rainy season due to its leeward location. This side receives less precipitation compared to the southern and western sides, making the Rongai Route a reasonable choice during the rainy months. The Rongai Route is also less crowded compared to some other routes, providing a quieter and more serene trekking experience.
While the Rongai Route offers potentially drier conditions, it’s still crucial to come prepared for rain as weather can be unpredictable, especially at higher altitudes. Carrying quality rain gear, including waterproof jackets, pants, and gear protection, is advisable regardless of the chosen route.
In summary, both the Marangu Route with its hut accommodations, and the Rongai Route on the drier, windward side of Kilimanjaro can be good options during the rainy season. However, it’s important to remember that Kilimanjaro’s weather can be unpredictable, and rain gear should always be an integral part of your trekking preparations, regardless of the route you choose.
The long rainy season in Tanzania (April to May)
The long rainy season in Tanzania typically spans from mid-March, April to May. This period is characterized by increased rainfall across various regions of the country. During these months, the weather patterns shift, and Tanzania experiences a wetter climate with more frequent and heavier showers.
The long rainy season is influenced by the movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is a belt of low pressure near the equator where trade winds from both hemispheres meet. This convergence of air masses results in the uplift of moist air, leading to the formation of clouds and precipitation.
In Tanzania, the long rainy season is also commonly referred to as the “masika” season. This rain is crucial for agricultural activities, as it provides the necessary moisture for crops to grow. While the rains rejuvenate the landscapes and contribute to the lush beauty of the region, they can also bring challenges such as flooding and muddy roads.
Tourism during the long rainy season tends to be lower due to the less favorable weather conditions. However, some visitors might find the reduced crowds and greener scenery appealing. It’s worth noting that wildlife viewing might be more challenging during this time, as animals disperse across larger areas to find water and food sources.
If you’re planning a trip to Tanzania during the long rainy season, be sure to pack appropriate rain gear, including waterproof clothing and footwear. It’s also a good idea to check weather forecasts and road conditions, especially if you’ll be traveling around the country.
The long rainy season in Tanzania, occurring from March, to April to May, brings increased rainfall and contributes to the country’s agricultural vitality while also influencing tourism and daily life.
The Short Rainy Season in Tanzania (October-November)
The short rainy season in Tanzania usually occurs from October, November to December. During this period, there is a noticeable increase in rainfall across various parts of the country. While not as intense or prolonged as the long rainy season, the short rainy season still brings about changes in weather patterns and precipitation.
The short rainy season is influenced by the retreat of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) from its northernmost position back toward the equator. This movement results in the convergence of moist air masses, leading to the formation of clouds and rainfall.
In Tanzania, this shorter rainy season is often referred to as the “short rains” or “Vuli” season. Similar to the long rainy season, the short rains are crucial for agriculture, providing water for crops and sustaining vegetation.
For tourists, the short rainy season might be considered a shoulder season, as it falls between the peak tourist months of July to September and the holiday season of December to January. During this time, you might encounter fewer crowds and enjoy slightly more affordable rates for accommodations and tours. However, it’s important to be prepared for occasional rain showers and potential disruptions to travel plans.
If you’re planning a visit to Tanzania during the short rainy season, be sure to bring appropriate rain gear, including waterproof clothing and footwear. Keep in mind that while rain can occur, it usually doesn’t last all day, and there are still plenty of opportunities to explore and experience the beauty of Tanzania.
The short rainy season in Tanzania, occurring from October to December brings increased rainfall but is generally less intense than the long rainy season. It’s a time when the country’s landscapes thrive, and it can offer unique advantages for travelers seeking quieter experiences and a closer connection to the local rhythm of life.
What to wear when it is raining on Kilimanjaro
When trekking on Kilimanjaro in rainy conditions, wearing the right clothing is essential to stay comfortable, dry, and safe. Here’s a guide on what to wear when it’s raining on Kilimanjaro:
1. Waterproof Jacket: A high-quality waterproof jacket with sealed seams is your primary defense against rain. Look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable to prevent moisture buildup from sweat. The jacket’s hood should be adjustable and able to provide coverage for your head and face. This will help keep rainwater from dripping down your neck and affecting your visibility.
2. Waterproof Pants: Pair your jacket with waterproof pants to keep your lower body dry. Waterproof pants with full-length zippers are convenient as they can be easily put on or taken off without removing your boots. Make sure the pants are roomy enough to fit comfortably over your regular hiking pants.
3. Base Layers: Wear moisture-wicking base layers made of synthetic or merino wool fabrics. These layers help manage perspiration and keep you dry by moving moisture away from your skin. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture and can make you feel damp and cold.
4. Insulating Layers: Depending on the temperature, consider wearing insulating layers between your base layers and waterproof outerwear. Fleece jackets or synthetic insulation provide warmth even when wet. These layers help regulate your body temperature and keep you warm in cold and rainy conditions.
5. Gloves and Hat: Waterproof gloves are essential to keep your hands dry and warm. A waterproof hat or cap with a brim helps keep rain off your face and provides extra protection. It’s also useful for maintaining visibility during rain.
6. Footwear: Wear waterproof and breathable hiking boots that have been properly broken-in before your trek. Waterproof boots help keep your feet dry and comfortable during rainy conditions. Consider using gaiters to prevent rain, mud, and debris from entering your boots.
7. Socks: Choose moisture-wicking, synthetic or merino wool socks that keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters. It’s a good idea to carry extra pairs of socks to change into if your feet get wet.
8. Dry Bags: Use dry bags or waterproof stuff sacks to protect important items like electronics, documents, and spare clothing inside your backpack.
9. Rain Cover for Backpack: Equip your backpack with a rain cover to protect the contents of your bag from getting wet. This is especially important if you’re carrying sensitive gear or clothing.
10. Considerations for Layers: Layering is key in rainy conditions. You can adjust your clothing based on the intensity of rain and your activity level. If it’s warmer, you might opt for a base layer and waterproof jacket. If it’s colder, add insulating layers for warmth.
Remember that even with proper rain gear, staying completely dry in heavy rain might be challenging. Focus on maintaining a comfortable body temperature and preventing moisture buildup inside your clothing. By wearing appropriate rain gear and preparing for the elements, you can make your Kilimanjaro trek more enjoyable and safe, regardless of the weather conditions.