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Climate & Weather of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

Mountain Kilimanjaro has varying weather with some hot spells and extremely cold spans in the same day. The temperature ranges don’t however differ a lot from season to season.

The temperatures are also determined by the altitude and the time during the day.

The first part of the mountain which is the base has temperatures ranging between 21 to 27 °C. As you approach the peak, temperatures will drop to between 20 and -20°C.

Just like all the other mountains, there temperatures at the Kilimanjaro are very hard to predict therefore hikers should make sure they are prepared for all the conditions, be it extreme cold or extreme  heat as both of these can happen in the same hike.

As much as it is advised to hike the Kilimanjaro during the dry season, this being a tropical rain forest, it can snow and rain nay time of the year and any time of the day.

The temperatures can vary as you hike up the peak; the temperatures vary, with minutes of extreme rays of sun and minutes of extreme cold.

The mountain Kilimanjaro stands at about 19,341 feet above sea level, this mountain has the ability to have its own system of weather.

Snow on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

The wet season is usually in twos, between March and May and October to November. The May to March is the longest rainy season and this is because of the winds from the Indian Ocean that comes with moisture that condenses to form rain.

The southern part of the mountain receives more rain than the rest of the mountain.

The long rainy season between March and May is a result of the trade winds from the south-east. These southerly winds from the Indian Ocean are laden with moisture, bringing rain to the lower slopes and snow on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro summit.

During this season, the southern slopes get the most rainfall.

The shorter wet season of November and October is influence by the dry winds that come for the North East which doesn’t cross the ocean to carry the moisture.


The Kilimanjaro Mountains being around the equator and this makes the temperature ranges around the Kilimanjaro to be narrow. The temperatures here are so influenced by the altitude.

The base has different temperatures ranges to the peak but the difference is also minimal in the two temperature times.

Here are the Climate Zones of the Kilimanjaro.

Cultivation Zone:

This is usually the base of the mountain and it’s called so because of the human activities that takes place here due due to the fertile soils of the mountains. These areas also receive a lot of rain fall and this is the reason why faming is the most common activity here.

Altitude: 800 to 1,800 m
Precipitation: 500 to 1,800 mm

Forest Zone:

As we start to hike, you will approach the tropical rain forest of the Montane type. This absorbs most of the moisture to form a lot of streams on the mountain. Because of the thick Canopy, there is little sun into this forest and this makes the place cooler than the base.

Altitude: 1,800 to 2,800 m
Precipitation: 2,000 to 1,000 mm

Heath/Moorland Zone

After you have gone through the forest, you will meet the heath and moorland vegetation zone. This is made up of giant heathers and Tall grass. This will however expose you to more winds unlike the previous section.

This zone has hot temperatures during the day with very low temperature at night. Since t hares receives more sunshine, the tails here are abit more dry compared to the forested zone. The sun rays are stronger since there is no canopy cover.

Altitude: 2,800 to 4,000 m
Precipitation: 1,300 to 530 mm

Alpine/High Desert Zone:

Further up we shall meet the Desert zone which has basically a few small plants ad here the speed of the wind continues to increase since there are no wind breakers. The rain fall amounts are also low due to little winds with moisture.

Altitude: 4,000 to 5,000 m
Precipitation: 250 mm

Arctic Zone:

This zone comes at about 5000 meters above sea level and it’s the top most part of the mountain. It has snow on the top and it has a lot of volcanic scree and glaciers. There are barely any plant and animals that can survive here.

Altitude: 5,000+ m
Precipitation: 100 mm

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