Jiwe Adventures

What is the Weather on Kilimanjaro ?

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.

Moshi, the gateway town from which our climbs are organized, is located just south of the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. At 2,667 feet (900 m) above sea level, the town is located in the lowest, warmest ecological zone. Average temperature, humidity and precipitation figures for Moshi are reflected in the following table.

 

 

Average
Temperature, Humidity and Precipitation in Moshi, Tanzania
Month
Low
(F)
Average
(F)
High
(F)
Humidity
(%)
Rainfall
(in)
January
64
78
92
58
1.4
February
64
78
92
57
2.0
March
66
78
90
63
4.7
April
67
76
85
73
13.8
May
65
72
79
77
9.3
June
62
70
78
72
1.5
July
60
69
78
69
1.0
August
60
70
80
66
0.7
September
60
71
83
61
0.6
October
62
75
88
57
1.0
November
64
76
89
57
2.5
December
64
77
90
60
2.1

 

As shown, January and February are the warmest months, April and May are the wettest months, June and July are the coolest months, and August and September are the driest months. These generalities about the weather in Moshi hold true for Mount Kilimanjaro as well.

Due to its proximity to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro does not experience wide temperature changes from season to season. Instead, the temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro are determined more so by the altitude and time of day. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones.

At the summit, Uhuru Point, the night time temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s great height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.

Below are the five zones from the lowest to the highest altitude along with the average annual precipitation and zone characteristics, of the current weather in each particular zone.

Bushland

  1. Altitude: 2,600 to 6,000 ft (800 to 1,800 m)
  2. Precipitation: 20 to 70 in (500 to 1,800 mm)
  3. Cultivated land, grasslands and populated human settlements characterize this zone.

Rain Forest

  1. Altitude: 6,000 to 9,200 ft (1,800 to 2,800 m)
  2. Precipitation: 79 to 40 in (2,000 to 1,000 mm)
  3. The forest receives 6 feet of rain annually, supporting a variety of plants and wildlife while clear nights can produce low temperatures.

Heath

  1. Altitude: 9,200 to 13,200 ft (2,800 to 4,000 m)
  2. Precipitation: 51 to 21 in (1,300 to 530 mm)
  3. This semi-alpine zone is characterized by heath-like vegetation and abundant wild flowers. The unique Senecio trees are abundant here.

Alpine Desert

  1. Altitude: 13,200 to 16,500 ft (4,000 to 5,000 m)
  2. Precipitation: 10 in (250 mm)
  3. The alpine desert receives little water and correspondingly light vegetation exists here. The temperature can vary from over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to below freezing at night.

Arctic

  1. Altitude: 16,500+ ft (5,000+ m)
  2. Precipitation: <4 in (100 mm)
  3. Characterized by ice and rock, there is virtually no plant or animal life at this altitude. Nights are extremely cold and the day’s unbuffered sun is powerful. The oxygen level is half that of sea level.

How Can I Pre-Acclimatize to Kilimanjaro’s High Altitude ?

Altitude training systems work by simulating the high altitudes found on Mount Kilimanjaro. The altitude training system reduces the percentage of oxygen in the air you breathe. Through regular use, the body undergoes physiological changes to cope with the lower oxygen level.

Without pre-acclimatization, as climbers ascend on Kilimanjaro, their bodies respond with short-term adaptations. These quick-response adaptations are meant primarily to prevent sickness and allow for some semblance of normal cardiovascular and muscular performance in an oxygen deprived environment.

Pre-acclimatization through altitude training systems produces long-term adaptations, such as an increase in red blood cells, blood volume, and efficiency of oxygen absorption. These adaptations help:

  • Reduce the Incidence of Acute Mountain Sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the main reason climbers fail on Mount Kilimanjaro .  Most people will experience some symptoms of AMS. Pre-acclimatization can reduce or eliminate symptoms of AMS.
  • Increase performance on the mountain. Pre-acclimatization significantly improves the body’s mechanisms for delivering oxygen to the muscles. The result is increased aerobic and anaerobic performance on Kilimanjaro, such as hiking strength and endurance.
  • Increase recovery on the mountain.  Breathing rates and oxygen intake decreases when the body is asleep. In an oxygen deficient environment, many people have difficulty sleeping. Pre-acclimatization enables people to sleep well, and thus, recover after physical activity.

 

How Do I Prepare to Climb Kilimanjaro ?

What Gear Do I Need to Bring ?

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

Technical Clothing
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
3 – Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended
2 – Sport Bra (women)

Headwear
1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
1 – Knit Hat, for warmth
1 – Balaclava or Buff, for face coverage (optional)

Handwear
1 – Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
1 – Gloves, thin

Footwear
1 – Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
1 – Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
3 – Socks, wool or synthetic
1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Accessories
1 – Sunglasses or Goggles
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

Equipment
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

Other
Toiletries
Prescriptions
Sunscreen
Lip Balm
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Hand Sanitizer
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Paperwork
Trip Receipt
Passport
Visa (available at JRO)
Immunization Papers
Insurance Documents

How do I Train to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physical undertaking, so you should prepare yourself accordingly with a Kilimanjaro training program. Being in good shape is important in many respects. Obviously, strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. And a fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can work wonders for you when fatigue and doubts arise.

The best exercise that you can do to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro is hiking.

There are training regimens on other operator’s sites which entail strict, extensive, cross-training programs, featuring hiking, running, biking, swimming, weight training, etc. Do not be alarmed by this. Those programs are excessive and unnecessary to sufficiently prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro. The best and perhaps only exercise you need to do is to hike – period. After all, that is what you will be doing on the mountain. Ideally, you should try to hike as much as possible on hills or mountains to simulate ascension on Mount Kilimanjaro. Doing day hikes is superb training. For those who do not have access to trails, but have membership to a gym, you can train very productively on a stair master machine. If you have no access to trails or a gym, then try to walk as much as you can, with extended walks on the weekends.

 

Is Climbing Kilimanjaro Safe?

If you only read one page on our site, this should be it. Climbing Kilimanjaro is probably one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. Every year, approximately 1,000 people are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 deaths are reported. The actual number of deaths is believed to be two to three times higher. The main cause of death is altitude sickness. Everyone climbing Mount Kilimanjaro should be familiar with the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Read More

Reasons Why Zanzibar is Better

Zanzibar is a remarkably stunning African island, bursting with exciting adventures for everyone. Thus, we believe Zanzibar might be a better holiday spot. Zanzibar’s most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. Every July, this event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favorite music, Taarab.

Important architectural features in Stone Town are the Livingstone house, The Old dispensary of Zanzibar, the Guliani Bridge, Ngome kongwe (The Old fort of Zanzibar) and the House of Wonders. The town of Kidichi features the Hamamni Persian Baths, built by immigrants from Shiraz, Iran during the reign of Barghash bin Said. Zanzibar also is the only place in Eastern African countries to have the longest settlement houses formally known as Michenzani flats which were built by the aid from East Germany during the 1970s to solve housing problems in Zanzibar.

1.  Its an Exciting Island

holiday in Tanzania

Zanzibar, also known as the Spice Island is a beautiful destination with a variety of fragrant spices grown on the farms. The Spice Island is a great attraction and beautiful place to spend your vacation, there are a lot of things to do and see. You can take a spice tour round the island to learn about the island’s spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper; enjoy the pristine beaches by indulging in water activities, take a walk through the narrow streets of the island and discover its pulsating markets. With several beach resorts and spectacular landscapes, Zanzibar is a great vacation destination. Nothing can disturb your fun in the sun on Spice Island.

2. white sand beaches and luxury resorts

Hideaway-of-Nungwi-Resort-Spa-1

Zanzibar is a tropical paradise, known for its luxury resorts, gorgeous palm-studded beaches with crystal clear waters surrounded by coral reefs. Hawaii is also known for its spectacular beaches and twinkling torches. But Zanzibar offers much more – plentiful opportunities to marvel at nature and wildlife, and ultimate privacy for those who need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a perfect location to indulge in water activities such as snorkelling, surfing, scuba diving, game fishing, swimming with dolphins and sunset cruises. Zanzibar has some of Africa’s most beautiful resorts and hotels, making it a perfect destination to spend your holiday. You can make most of your beach stay in Zanzibar by lodging at one of the luxurious beach resorts and hotels. These resorts are surrounded by the beaches, equipped with modern facilities and well-furnished rooms overlooking the ocean, with sound of the water lapping on the shore.

3. Rich in historical and cultural scapes

stone Zanzibar, the finest paradise island in Africa is steeped in history and culture. There is no experience more satisfying than immersing oneself in the Zanzibar’s history and culture. Discover the chronicles of the Island by visiting the antique museums and prehistoric attractions, where you can learn about all about olden times. The Stone Town should be your first stop, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is known as the cultural heart of Zanzibar. It is comprised of diverse cultures and groups of people, who blended together to create a lively culture. The Zanzibar culture is a unique mix of many people from Arab, India, Africa, Europe and Persia. These cultural influences have become established in Zanzibar’s historic stages.

 

Translate Here »