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.
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 👇 Moon phase 👉||New Moon 🌑||Full Moon 🌕||Elevation & bearing|
|September 2021||7th September at 0351||21st September at 0254||54° @ 266|
|October 2021||6th October at 1405||20th October at 1756||-7° @ 082|
|November 2021||5th November at 0014||19th November at 1157||-74° @ 345|
|December 2021||4th December at 1043||19th December at 0735||-17° @ 296|
|January 2022||2nd January at 2133||18th January at 0248||48° @ 315|
|February 2022||1st February at 0846||16th February at 1956||14° @ 072|
|March 2022||2nd March at 2034||18th March at 1017||-54° @ 274|
|April 2022||1st April at 0924||16th April at 2155||50° @ 099|
|May 2022||30th April at 2328||16th May at 0714||-11° @ 250|
|June 2022||30th May at 1430||14th June at 1451||-46° @ 133|
|July 2022||29th June at 0552||13th July at 2137||40° @ 122|
|August 2022||28th July at 2054||12th August at 0435||30° @ 249|
|September 2022||27th August at 1117||10th September at 1259||-77° @ 153|
|October 2022||26th September at 0054||9th October at 2354||80° @ 043|
|November 2022||25th October at 1348||8th November at 0708||44° @ 060|
|December 2022||24th November at 0157||8th December at 0708||42° @ 117|
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