Mount Kilimanjaro Weather – What to Expect
Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, Africa. It is affectionately called the Roof of Africa as it is the tallest mountain in the land. What you may not know is that Mount Kilimanjaro weather includes 5 ecological zones.
The first zone is Bushland. This is found near the bottom of the mountain at an altitude of 2,600 feet to about 6,000 feet. Here you will find cultivated land and grasslands. This is the warmest area and of course as you progress up the mountain the temperatures will decrease.
As you ascend to 6,000 feet to about 9,200 feet you will enter into the Rain Forest. Mt. Kilimanjaro weather in the rainforest brings over 6 feet of rain each year. When it isn’t raining and the nights are clear you will experience very low temperatures.
Once you climb past 9,200 feet through 13,200 feet you will experience the Heath zone. This semi-alpine zone has vegetation and an abundance of wild flowers. You can even find the Senecio trees in abundance here.
Climbing ever higher to 13,200 feet through 16,500 feet you have entered into the Alpine Desert. As the Alpine Desert receives very little water you will find little vegetation in this area. The temperatures here vary from over 100 degrees during the day to below freezing at night.
Once you reach 16,500 feet on up to the summit you are in the Arctic. You will find Mount Kilimanjaro weather characterized by ice and rock! There is no plant or animal life at this altitude. The oxygen levels at this altitude are about half what you would have found at sea level.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in just a few days! You literally experience all of the earth’s varying weather all on one mountain.
Generally speaking Mount Kilimanjaro weather breaks down like this: January and February are the warmest months, April and May are the wettest, June and July are the coldest and August and September are the driest months.
As you begin your climb your average temperatures at base would be around 70 to 80 degrees. As you ascend the temperatures decrease. At the summit, called Uhuru Point the night time temperatures can be anywhere between 0 and -15 degrees. Mt. Kilimanjaro weather is tough to predict as the mountain really creates its own weather! If you are going to climb regardless of the time of year, you should be prepared for wet days and very cold nights!
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