Why Do Climbers Summit Kilimanjaro At Night?

Why Do Climbers Summit Kilimanjaro At Night? Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is also one of the world’s most popular trekking locations. Each year, thousands of people attempt to ascend Uhuru Peak, the mountain’s summit, which is 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level. Although it takes several days to get to high camp, the final ascent is usually done at night.


Despite the fact that you ascend the mountain in daylight, your summit ascent will be attempted at midnight-Summit night follows. The last part of your Kilimanjaro trek is summit night. It is the section where you will climb to Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro’s highest point.

 Essentially, the climb begins at midnight and lasts until late in the day. You will hike to Uhuru Peak during this time and then return about halfway down the mountain. Don’t be scared—this enormous hiking day will put you to the test in every way!


The toughest and most difficult part of your entire Kilimanjaro trek will undoubtedly be Summit Night.

  • You must endure the severe Kilimanjaro climate!
  • The wind could be very strong.
  • May be intimidating mentally.
  • Expect the scree to be difficult to walk on.
  • Expect to hike for 13 to 16 hours straight, and
  • Expect your breathing to feel off
  • It will be the steepest part of the entire trek.


We also have daytime summit options if you can’t bear the idea of hiking at midnight in subzero weather. But consider what you might be missing. Here are a few advantages to climbing Kilimanjaro at night to help make your point:

Convenient Timing

Larger groups typically make the most of it. The climb to the top of Uhuru Peak and safe descent could take up to 15 hours. A midnight summit is therefore necessary.

Enjoy the perfect sunrise.

One thing is certain: witnessing the sunrise rise above the horizon and transform the dark sky into the most breathtaking claret hue will undoubtedly be your expedition’s most unforgettable experience. Allow your body to absorb the warmth of the rising sun. Allow your soul to enjoy it. You’ll experience an energy you’ve never experienced before.

The Trail up the Hike Is Better At Night

Your summit attempt should ideally begin at Barafu Camp. From there, the road to Uhuru Peak is made of volcanic sand, or scree. Which, at first light, slightly freezes. This makes it more comfortable to walk on compared to a hike during the day, when it feels like walking on a hot beach.

Better Visibility

By the time you reach Uhuru Peak on the Kilimanjaro climb, it’s likely that the clear skies you started out with will have returned. The mountain attracts clouds later in the morning, which can significantly reduce your view.

 Additionally, if you decide to schedule your summit night for a full moon that will significantly enhance your Kilimanjaro experience. You won’t even need your head torch with the clear, illuminating moonlight and the glittering glaciers beneath your feet.

The More Comfortable Descent

You must walk down Kilimanjaro once you’ve reached the summit. Not just until Barafu Camp, either. After a quick lunch break, you’ll have about 4 or 5 hours of hiking left to complete. Therefore, getting up and moving by the early afternoon makes sense.


This is an approximate time estimate that we provide for Kilimanjaro Night summit at Focus East Africa Tours:

12 AM: After dinner, take a short nap before your Kilimanjaro guide wakes you up at midnight. Prepare yourself, put your headlamp on, grab a quick breakfast, and then leave.

3 AM: Your pace is slow and steady. You have now ascended the mountain far enough. If you look around, you’ll see a trail of headlamps snaking up the hill, resembling a human highway all the way to the top. Take a deep breath, because the most challenging part of your summit attempt is about to start: the steep, scree-covered switchbacks that lead all the way up to Stella Point.

5:30 AM: Although the steep terrain and high altitude are wearing you out, the sight of the sun rising behind the nearby Mawenzi spires and crags gives you new strength to continue.

 6 AM: At last! Stella Point has been reached, and the most difficult part of your climb is behind you. Pause for a moment. Enjoy a beverage, help yourself to some light snacks, and enjoy the warmth of the morning sun. Then, gather your remaining energy for the last push to Uhuru Peak after you’ve recovered.

 7–7:30 AM: Wow! You have arrived at the summit! Enjoy the stunning scenery. Take a few quick photos, capture the moment in your memories, and then start the descent back to Stella Point.

8 AM: It’s simpler to descend! When you take the “direct” route down the mountain after arriving at Stella Point, your heart will race. “Scree-skiing!”

 10 AM: As soon as the elevation decreases, your body begins to feel better. Grab a quick lunch to give yourself enough energy for the remainder of the hike back to camp.

 3 to 4 PM: Get to your camp. Have some tea in the afternoon. Get renewed because, despite the long and challenging day, you succeeded!


Rest as much as possible; typically, you’ll return to your tents the evening before your summit attempt, around 7 p.m. You now know that in order to prepare for the Kilimanjaro Summit, you must get up at 11 p.m. So it makes sense that your inability to sleep is due to stress. To combat stress, you should try to unwind. We advise you to get as much rest as you can by lying down.

Eat enthusiastically; the night before the summit ascent, it’s crucial to have a satisfying dinner. Because high altitude can cause feeling queasy or losing one’s appetite, Nevertheless, make an effort to consume as much as you can. Your body requires the fuel because you have a difficult climb ahead of you.

Don’t forget to wear a balaclava; you should pack a balaclava for the Kilimanjaro trek. For summit night, we strongly advise you to wear a balaclava. You’ll want to be protected from the summit’s brisk winds.

Leave your hose and use a water bottle; on the night of the Kilimanjaro summit, the hose and mouthpiece of your hydration pack will freeze over. Instead, use a water bottle. During the first part of the trek, sip from your bottle. One piece of advice: keep your water bottle close to your body by putting it in a thermal sock. Water freezes from top to bottom, as you are probably aware. Carry your bottle backwards. That way, you can still access some water even if the top part freezes.

Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a brimmed hat; As soon as the sun begins to rise, shield your face and eyes from the sun’s rays. This far up, you’ll burn much more quickly. Apply sunscreen to your lips as well.

Keep extra batteries in your headlamp at all times; the bitter cold could drain the batteries’ power. Therefore, in the days preceding the Kilimanjaro summit night, we advise you to sleep with your extra batteries. Just before you leave, put those batteries in your headlamp.


Kilimanjaro night summit is said to be best experienced during the warm, dry seasons. In general, the best times to climb Kilimanjaro at night are from December to mid-March and from mid-June to the end of October.

 The full force of the Kilimanjaro Glacier is felt during these four months of the wet season. The pick is decorated with fresh snow piles during this time. Because of this, the snow will begin to glow and feel glittery under your feet. Don’t forget this is the peak season though. As a result, prepare to deal with throngs of tourists.


If you think Kilimanjaro is lovely on a regular night, wait until you see it under a full moon. It is truly majestic. If it is possible, the beauty of the Kilimanjaro night rises to a new level during the full moon period.

The glaciers glitter as a result of moonlight reflecting off of them. Additionally, the rolling clouds beneath you start to glow. Even the ground will shine beneath your feet. Amazing, isn’t it? Additionally, from the majority of the overnight camps, climbing Kilimanjaro on a full moon night provides you with stunning nighttime views of Kibo.

Why Do Climbers Summit Kilimanjaro At Night?
Summit Kilimanjaro At Night


A life-changing experience can be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in a clear sky with the stars serving as your torchbearers. With Focus East Africa Tours, you can enhance the memory of your Kilimanjaro climb. Various Kilimanjaro climb packages are available.


There are several benefits to climbing Kilimanjaro at night, including improved trail conditions, increased margins of safety, and more breathtaking views. We are aware that a night ascent might be difficult because of the gloom, the cold, and the wind. But advantages clearly outweigh disadvantages. As a result, even though climbing Kilimanjaro in the middle of the night might not sound like much fun, know that there are good reasons why we do it and that we have your best interests at heart.