Climbing Kilimanjaro on a Full Moon

Climbing Kilimanjaro on a Full Moon

Since most summit bids start from high camp at around 2300 - 0100, with exact start time usually depending on the guide's assessment of the group's pace over the preceding few days, most of the approach to the summit happens in darkness.

Both for reasons of beauty and atmospheric aesthetics, as well as to maximise the available light when ascending, some climbers like to coordinate their summit attempt with the full moon.

Where in the sky will the full moon be?

However, before simply opting for the closest convenient full moon date, it's helpful to be able to visualise in advance of the climb where the moon will be in the sky when approaching the summit from high camp.

In order to do this we recommend using the following tool. You can input your proposed climb dates, see when the moon will be full and then operate a simple slider to show the position and elevation of the moon in the sky as you progress through summit night.

πŸŒ• Use the moon tool 

Summit bids don't have to be in darkness!

Some people don't like climbing in the dark, usually for two reasons: it's colder, and you see less. And in the case of children, there's a third reason: it's often difficult for them to stay awake during darkness.

With these people in mind, Team Kilimanjaro are also able to coordinate daytime summit bids. However, we usually aim to wake early, around 0430, and to begin the assault at around 0500 - 0530.

A daytime summit may also be preferable if climbing on dates when many climbers are expected to be on the summit, usually in around July and August.

Also, many Excel Series climbs may operate a daytime summit bid policy as there is not the need to descend all the way to Mweka / Millennium / Horombo Camps.

Why some like to summit at night on a new moon

Not everyone doing a night time summit bid will find it preferable to climb on a full moon as a new moon is actually far better for viewing stars, so many astronomy enthusiasts will aim to coordinate their summit bid with the time when the weather will be clearest and the night will be darkest.

Those prioritising star viewing are therefore advised to climb when the weather is likely to be driest (June to September), and to summit on a new moon.

Full Moon Dates & Times On Kilimanjaro

Timings for full moon are detailed as Kilimanjaro local time, ie. UTC +3 hours.

Month πŸ‘‡ Moon phase πŸ‘‰ New Moon πŸŒ‘ Full Moon πŸŒ• Elevation & bearing
January 2022 2nd January at 2133 18th January at 0248 48Β° @ 315
February 2022 1st February at 0846 16th February at 1956 14Β° @ 072
March 2022 2nd March at 2034 18th March at 1017 -54Β° @ 274
April 2022 1st April at 0924 16th April at 2155 50Β° @ 099
May 2022 30th April at 2328 16th May at 0714 -11Β° @ 250
June 2022 30th May at 1430 14th June at 1451 -46Β° @ 133
July 2022 29th June at 0552 13th July at 2137 40Β° @ 122
August 2022 28th July at 2054 12th August at 0435 30Β° @ 249
September 2022 27th August at 1117 10th September at 1259 -77Β° @ 153
October 2022 26th September at 0054 9th October at 2354 80Β° @ 043
November 2022 25th October at 1348 8th November at 0708 44Β° @ 060
December 2022 24th November at 0157 7th December at 1909 14Β° @ 064
January 2023 23rd December 2022 at 1318 6th January at 1410 -54Β° @ 046
February 2023 21st January at 1155 5th February at 2130 35Β° @ 062
March 2023 21st February at 0009 7th March at 1542 -47Β° @ 081
April 2023 21st March at 2027 5th April at 1937 20Β° @ 091
May 2023 19th April at 1916 5th May at 2037 31Β° @ 109
June 2023 19th May at 1856 3rd June at 1844 11Β° @ 114
July 2023 17th June at 1939 3rd July at 1440 -48Β° @ 138
August 2023 (Supermoon) 17th July at 2133 1st August at 2133 39Β° @ 117
August 2023 16th August at 1239 30th August at 1637 -23Β° @ 108
September 2023 14th September at 1640 29th September at 1258 -81Β° @ 105
October 2023 14th October at 2055 28th October at 1124 -80Β° @ 323
November 2023 13th November at 1227 27th November at 1216 -69Β° @ 000
December 2023 12th December at 1432 26th December at 1533 -35Β° @ 058

Mobiles: Scroll right πŸ‘‰

For some climbers this question is almost irrelevant as they will have to fit their climb into whatever dates they can clear from their busy work or family schedules, though for perhaps the majority, this is probably the first question prospective climbers should ask themselves.


You don't need to climb on these dates shown below. We publish them only for those who wish to climb with others they don't already know. The majority of our clients choose their own dates (at no additional cost), though most request us to open up their climbs for others to join - simply so as to have extra company on the trek.


Since most summit bids start from high camp at around 2300 - 0100, with exact start time usually depending on the guide's assessment of the group's pace over the preceding few days, most of the approach to the summit happens in darkness.