Kilimanjaro Weather, Wildlife and Vegetation

Since the high altitudes cannot support plant or animal life, insects such as spiders, ants and leeches can be found in the rainforest zone. The zone also plays host to rats, snakes, birds and other small animals.

Read more about the wildlife and animals that live around Mount Kilimanjaro


At the top of Kilimanjaro, temperatures can fall to subzero. Expect to find towering glaciers and ice. The summit point, Uhuru peak is located in arctic zone where temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius).

More about Kilimanjaro weather


The weather on Mount Kilimanjaro varies widely from the cultivated zone at the base, the rainforest at the foot slopes of the mountain, to the arctic zone at the summit. The temperatures can range from 25⁰C at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro to subzero by the time you reach the summit. As you traverse different vegetation zones on your route, expect some rainfall too in the process of trekking. Due to the high altitudes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the mountain creates its own weather.

More about the weather around Mount Kilimanjaro


Kilimanjaro has various climatic zones from the foot slopes to the summit. You can read more about the climatic zones of Kilimanjaro here.

Cultivation Zone on the Lower Slopes – This area receives tropical conditions between the elevations of 2,600 and 5,900 feet. Every year, the area receives 45 inches of rain on average. Coffee and banana plantations have become commonplace in the lowlands.

Rain Forest – The zone between 5,900 and 9,200 feet receives the most rainfall, with up to 78 inches falling each year. The moisture creates a lush rain forest and mist belt. Here you’ll find brightly colorful butterflies, toucans, and colobus monkeys.

Mooreland – Located between 9,200 and 13,100 feet above sea level, the moorland zone is covered with heather and vivid flowers. A black moorland grows above the heath, with flora including lobelias and groundsels. Elephants, antelopes, and vultures are some of the Kilimanjaro animals found here.

Alpine Desert – Between 13,100 and 16,400 feet, harsh conditions occur in the alpine desert. Each year, the semi-arid area receives fewer than 10 inches of rain. The temperature ranges from the mid-eighties to minus zero at night. Some plants, such as moss and lichens, may thrive in this environment.

Arctic Zone/Summit – Above 16,400 feet, the summit zone is an ice wasteland, scorched by the sun during the day and frozen at night. At this altitude, the thin air holds half as much oxygen as it does at sea level. This is where you’ll find the glaciers. The melting of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers has been well documented as a result of rising temperatures.