The short answer is that 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.
In one year there are two rain-bearing seasonal winds buffeting Kilimanjaro. The south-east trade wind bringing rain from the Indian Ocean arrives between March and May. Because the mountain is the first main obstacle to the wind’s progress, and by far the largest, a lot of rain falls on Kili at this time, and for this reason the March-to-May season is known as the long rains. This is the main wet season on Kilimanjaro. As the south-east trade winds run into the southern side of Kili, so the southern slopes tend to be damper and as a consequence more fertile, with the forest zone much broader than on the northern slopes.
Then there are the dry ‘anti-trade’ winds from the north-east which carry no rain and hit Kilimanjaro between May and October. These anti-trade winds, which blow, usually very strongly, across the Saddle (the broad valley between Kilimanjaro’s two peaks), also serve to keep the south-east trade winds off the upper reaches of Kilimanjaro, ensuring that the rain from the long monsoon season stays largely on the southern side below 3000m, with little falling above this.
This is why, at this time of year, the first day’s walk for trekkers following the Marangu, Umbwe or Machame routes is usually conducted under a canopy of cloud, while from the second day onwards they traditionally enjoy unadulterated sunshine.
A second seasonal rain-bearing wind, the north-east monsoon, having already lost much of its moisture after travelling overland for a longer period, brings a short rainy season between November and February. While the northern side receives most of the rain to fall in this season, it is far less than the rain brought by the south-east trade winds, and as a result the northern side of the mountain is far drier and more barren in appearance. Once again, the rain falls mainly below 3000m
You are responsible for bringing personal gear and equipment while communal equipment (tents, food, cooking items, etc.) is provided. Below is a gear list of required, recommended and optional items to bring on your climb
1 - Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
1 - Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
1 - Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
2 - Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 - Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 - Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)
2 - Hiking Pants
1 - Fleece Pants
1 - Shorts (optional)
1 - Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
3 - Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
2 - Sport Bra (women)
1 - Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
1 - Gloves, thin
1 - Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
1 - Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
3 - Socks, wool or synthetic
3 - Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)
1 - Gaiters, waterproof (optional)
1 - Sunglasses or Goggles (polarized)
1 - Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
1 - Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
1 - Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters)
1 - Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
1 - Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended)
Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate
1 - Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons*
1 - Trekking Poles, collapsable (highly recommended)*
1 - Head lamp, with extra batteries
1 - Duffel bag, 50-90L capacity, for porters to carry your equipment
1 - Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your personal gear
*may be rented on location
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
Visa (available at JRO airport)
Climbers will sleep in mountain tents during the trek. Our Mountain Hardwear tents are warm, waterproof and roomy - perfectly suited for your Kilimanjaro adventure. We understand that some climbers are anxious about camping for so many days, so we aim to have them be as dry, warm and comfortable as possible.
You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day spent on the mountain. The food, specifically selected to help your climb, are high energy carbohydrate foods that are easily digestible. The primary carbohydrate of the meals are rice, potatoes and pasta. Fresh fruit and vegetables accompany every meal. Meat is served on the mountain but not in large quantities because it is not easily digestible at high altitude and nor does it keep well on the mountain. We resupply the team with fresh food throughout the climb.
We provide hotel accommodations before and after climbing Kilimanjaro. Our standard hotel is Sal Salinero Hotel in Moshi but other options are available.
Visas for Tanzania can be obtained on entry for citizens of most countries. As the prices and entry requirements do change sometimes we suggest all travelers contact the nearest Tanzanian Embassy for exact details.