Situated near the town of Moshi in northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro rises from the dry plains, through a wide belt of forest and high alpine heath to an almost bare desert and finally the snow capped summit, Uhuru Peak, just 3 degrees south of the Equator. One of the world’s highest freestanding mountains, Mt. Kilimanjaro is composed of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo 5895 m (19340 ft.), Mawenzi 5149 m (16896 ft.), and Shira 3962 m (13000 ft.).
As to the relative merits of the two trekking seasons, the differences are small though significant. The January to March season tends to be colder and there is a much greater chance of snow on the path at this time. The days, however, are often clearer, with only the occasional brief shower. It is usually an exceptionally beautiful time to climb and is often a little quieter than the other peak season of June to October, which coincides with the main academic holidays in Europe and the West. In this latter season, the clouds tend to hang around the tree line following the heavy rains of March to May. Once above this altitude, however, the skies are blue, brilliant, and the chance of precipitation minimal (though still present).