How long would it take to climb kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is one of the most popular destinations for climbing enthusiasts from around the world. With its majestic snow-capped peak and diverse landscapes, it offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for those who dare to conquer it.

The time it takes to climb Kilimanjaro can vary depending on a few factors. The most common route, the Marangu Route, takes about 5-6 days for the average climber to reach the summit. This route is known for its gradual incline and is considered easier than other routes. However, it is important to note that acclimatization to altitude is crucial, and taking more time to adjust can greatly increase your chances of reaching the summit.

Other routes, such as the Machame Route or the Lemosho Route, typically take around 7-8 days to reach the summit. These routes offer more scenic views and are recommended for experienced climbers or those who want a more challenging adventure. Along these routes, you will traverse through various terrains, such as rainforests, alpine deserts, and glaciers, making your journey all the more fascinating.

It is vital for climbers to remember that the key to a successful climb lies in adequate preparation and physical fitness. Prior training and conditioning are essential to help your body adjust to the physical demands of climbing at high altitudes. Additionally, choosing a reliable tour operator and following their guidance throughout the journey will ensure a safer and more fulfilling experience.

How Long Does It Take to Climb Kilimanjaro?

If you are planning to embark on the exciting adventure of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the most important questions you may be asking yourself is how long it will take to reach the summit. The duration of the climb varies depending on several factors, so it’s crucial to be well-prepared and have the right expectations.

Routes and Climb Duration

Kilimanjaro offers several different routes, each with varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. On average, the climb can take anywhere between 5-9 days, depending on the specific route chosen. The Marangu route, known as the “Coca Cola” route due to its popularity, typically takes around 5-6 days. The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is longer and typically takes around 6-7 days. The Lemosho or the Northern Circuit route, which is the longest and provides the best acclimatization, usually takes around 7-9 days.

Acclimatization and Climbing Pace

One of the key factors that determine the duration of the climb is proper acclimatization. It’s recommended to choose a longer route which allows for better acclimatization and increases your chances of reaching the summit successfully. Climbing at a slow and steady pace during the ascent is essential to ensure your body adjusts to the changing altitude.

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Proper acclimatization helps prevent altitude sickness and maximizes your chances of enjoying the stunning views from the summit. It also gives your body more time to recover and adapt to the high altitude, reducing the risk of complications.

During the climb, you will progress through various camps, gradually increasing your altitude during the day and descending to a lower camp in the evening. This method allows your body to adjust to the altitude changes progressively and decreases the likelihood of altitude sickness.

Training and Fitness Level

Your physical fitness level and training prior to the climb also play a significant role in determining the duration of the journey. Being physically fit is important as climbing Kilimanjaro involves long days of hiking and ascending steep terrains.

Prior preparation, including cardio exercises and endurance training, will highly benefit your climbing experience. Training should focus on building stamina, leg muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Regular aerobic activities such as running, hiking, and cycling can help improve your overall fitness level and make your climb more enjoyable.

Remember, Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and does not require mountaineering skills. However, being physically and mentally prepared is crucial to tackle the challenges it presents.

In summary, the duration of a Kilimanjaro climb can range from 5 to 9 days, depending on the chosen route, acclimatization, and your fitness level. Choosing a longer route with the proper pace and allowing enough time for acclimatization will increase your chances of reaching the summit and ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Preparation for Climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenging feat that requires proper preparation and training. Here are some important aspects that should be considered before taking on this adventure:

Physical Fitness:

Being physically fit is essential for successfully climbing Kilimanjaro. The trek involves long hours of walking, often on steep and rugged terrain, at high altitudes. It is recommended to engage in regular cardio exercises, endurance training, and strength building exercises to ensure good physical fitness.


Altitude sickness is a common issue when climbing Kilimanjaro. Adequate acclimatization is vital to avoid serious health risks. It is recommended to choose the longer routes which allow more time for acclimatization. Slow and steady ascent is key to minimize the chances of altitude sickness.


Packing the right gear and clothing is crucial for a successful climb. It is essential to have proper hiking boots, layered clothing for varying temperatures, a waterproof jacket, a comfortable backpack, and any additional required gear such as a headlamp, sunglasses, and trekking poles.

Mental Preparation:

Climbing Kilimanjaro can be mentally challenging. It is important to have a positive mindset, determination, and mental resilience to overcome the physical and emotional hurdles that may arise during the climb. Preparing mentally for the trek will greatly contribute to a successful summit.

Training and Guides:

Enlisting the help of experienced guides and support staff is highly recommended. They can provide valuable advice, guidance, and expertise throughout the climb. Additionally, training beforehand by participating in other hiking or mountaineering expeditions can help build physical and mental stamina.

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By focusing on these preparation aspects, climbers can enhance their chances of successfully reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro. It is important to undertake thorough research, consult with experts, and ensure proper preparation to have a safe and memorable experience.

Estimated Time to Summit Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenging and rewarding adventure that requires careful planning and preparation. The estimated time it takes to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro depends on several factors, including the chosen route and the climber’s level of fitness and acclimatization.

The most popular route, the Machame Route, takes around 6-7 days to complete. This route offers breathtaking views and a scenic trek through various landscapes, including rainforest, moorland, and alpine desert.

The Lemosho Route, known for its beautiful panoramas, takes slightly longer, usually spanning 7-8 days. This additional time allows for better acclimatization and a higher chance of successfully reaching the summit.

For those seeking a more expedited climb, the Marangu Route can be completed in 5-6 days. This is the only route that offers sleeping accommodations in huts rather than tents, providing a bit more comfort along the way.

It is important to note that even the fastest climbers need time to acclimatize properly to the high altitude. Altitude sickness can be a serious risk, and rushing the climb increases the chances of experiencing its symptoms.

Therefore, it is recommended to choose a route and schedule that allows enough time for adequate acclimatization. This often means opting for longer trips, such as the Machame or Lemosho routes.

Physical fitness plays a significant role in determining the duration of the climb. Individuals who are already fit and regularly engage in aerobic exercise may find it easier to ascend Kilimanjaro compared to those who aren’t accustomed to physical exertion.

The importance of acclimatization

Acclimatization, or allowing your body to gradually adjust to the high altitude, is crucial for a safe and successful climb. All climbers should follow a slow and steady pace, allowing their bodies to adapt to the changing elevation along the trek.

Many guides and tour operators recommend additional rest days at certain points to give the body extra time to acclimatize. This process helps to mitigate the risk of altitude sickness and enhances the overall experience on the mountain.


While it is hard to predict the exact time it will take to summit Kilimanjaro, a typical climb can range from 5-8 days, depending on the chosen route and the climber’s abilities. Regardless of the chosen route, it is crucial to prioritize safety and acclimatization to ensure an enjoyable and successful climb to the roof of Africa.

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Factors Influencing the Duration of Kilimanjaro Climb

Physical Fitness: The level of physical fitness plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Those who are physically fit and in good health will be able to trek at a faster pace, resulting in a shorter climb duration.

Acclimatization: Mount Kilimanjaro reaches a staggering altitude of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). Acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude sickness, and climbers need to spend time adjusting to the thinner air at higher elevations. The longer the acclimatization period, the slower the climb, contributing to a longer overall duration.

Route Selection: There are several different climbing routes available for Mount Kilimanjaro, each with its own duration. Some routes, such as the Marangu and Rongai routes, have shorter durations due to their direct ascents, while others, like the Lemosho and Machame routes, take longer but provide more scenic and diverse landscapes.

Group Size: The size of the climbing group can also impact the duration of the climb. Larger groups generally take longer as there are more individuals to coordinate and slower pace due to varying fitness levels. Smaller groups or solo climbers may be able to move at a quicker pace and reach the summit faster.

Weather Conditions: Unpredictable weather conditions on Mount Kilimanjaro, such as heavy rainfall or snow, can slow down the climbing progress. Poor weather can make the trail more slippery and increase the risk of accidents. Climbers may need to wait for days in base camps until the weather improves, resulting in a longer overall duration.

Individual Pace: Every climber has a different pace, and this can affect the overall duration of the climb. Some climbers may be slower and require more frequent breaks, while others may be able to maintain a consistent pace. Factors such as age, experience, and overall endurance also influence an individual’s pace.

Summit Success Rate: It is important to note that the overall duration of the climb may be influenced by the success rate of reaching the summit. Climbing teams often schedule extra days to ensure climbers have enough time to acclimatize and increase their chances of successfully summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.

Considering these factors, the duration of a Mount Kilimanjaro climb can vary from five to nine days or even longer, depending on the circumstances and individual factors. It is crucial for climbers to plan and prepare accordingly to make their climb a safe and enjoyable experience.

Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

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