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 2024 11th January at 1447 25th January at 2054 26Β° @ 061
February 2024 10th February at 0159 24th February at 1530 -49Β° @ 074
March 2024 10th March at 1200 25th March at 1000 78Β° @ 105
April 2024 8th April at 2121 24th April at 0249 52Β° @ 250
May 2024 8th May at 0622 23rd May at 1653 -20Β° @ 117
June 2024 6th June at 1538 22nd June at 0408 32Β° @ 238
July 2024 6th July at 0157 21st July at 1317 -61Β° @ 163
August 2024 4th August at 1413 19th August at 2126 40Β° @ 107
September 2024 (Supermoon) 3rd September at 0455 18th September at 0534 12Β° @ 268
October 2024 (Supermoon) 2nd October at 2150 17th October at 1426 -57Β° @ 075
November 2024 1st November at 1547 16th November at 0029 34Β° @ 251
December 2024 1st December at 0921 15th December at 1202 -65Β° @ 348
December 2024 31st December 2024 at 0127 14th January at 0127 59Β° @ 340
January 2025 29th January at 1536 12th February at 1653 -29Β° @ 073
February 2025 28th February at 0345 14th March at 0955 -49Β° @ 271
March 2025 29th March at 1358 13th April at 0323 45Β° @ 257
April 2025 27th April at 2231 12th May at 1956 22 @ 113
May 2025 27th May at 0603 11th June at 1044 -51Β° @ 217
June 2025 25th June at 1332 10th July at 2337 62Β° @ 149
July 2025 24th July at 2211 9th August at 1054 -57Β° @ 229
August 2025 23rd August at 0906 7th September at 2109 39Β° @ 095
September 2025 21st September at 2254 7th October at 0647 -10Β° @ 277
October 2025 (Supermoon) 21st October at 1525 5th November at 1619 -28Β° @ 069
November 2025 (Supermoon) 20th November at 0947 5th December at 0214 48Β° @ 319
December 2025 20th December 2025 at 0443 3rd January at 1303 -65Β° @ 014

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.