How long does it take to climb mount kilimanjaro?

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By William on December 30

Travelers planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro frequently ask how long does it take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

It typically takes anywhere from 5 to 9 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, depending on the route you take and your level of fitness. Most people choose to take a longer route and allow more time for acclimatization, which can help reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

The shortest route to the summit, known as the Marangu Route, takes about 5 or 6 days to complete. The Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca-Cola” route because it is the most popular and well-equipped route, with huts offering sleeping accommodations and food along the way.

Other routes, such as the Machame Route, the Umbwe Route, and the Rongai Route, generally take 6 to 7 days to complete. These routes are more challenging and do not have the same level of amenities as the Marangu Route.

Finally, there are more remote and less crowded routes that take 7 to 9 days to complete, such as the Lemosho Route and the Northern Circuit Route. These routes offer a more wilderness experience and typically have a higher success rate for reaching the summit due to the extra time for acclimatization

It is important to choose a route that is appropriate for your level of fitness and experience, and to allow enough time for proper acclimatization to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

Factors affecting how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro

  1. Physical fitness: Your physical fitness level plays a significant role in determining how long it will take you to climb Kilimanjaro. If you are in good shape and have experience with high-altitude hiking, you may be able to complete the climb in a shorter amount of time. To get your physical fitness ready our article about Kilimanjaro Climb Training.
  2. Route chosen: There are several routes that you can take to climb Kilimanjaro, and each one has a different difficulty level and duration. For example, the Marangu route is the shortest and easiest, while the Lemosho route is longer and more challenging.
  3. Acclimatization: It’s important to allow your body to acclimatize to the high altitude as you climb Kilimanjaro. This can involve taking extra days to rest and acclimatize at various points along the route.
  4. Weather conditions: The weather on Kilimanjaro can be unpredictable and can affect the length of the climb. If there are heavy rains or strong winds, it may take longer to complete the climb.
  5. Group size: The size of your group can also affect the length of the climb. A larger group may take longer to move through the route, as it will take longer to get everyone moving and on the trail in the morning.

Overall, it typically takes anywhere from 5 to 9 days to climb Kilimanjaro, depending on the route and other factors.

How long does it take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro on each route?

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, can be climbed via several routes, ranging in length and difficulty. Here is an overview of the various routes and the estimated duration of each:

  1. Marangu Route: This is the most popular route, also known as the “Coca-Cola” route due to its ease of access. It is the shortest and easiest route to the summit, taking about 5-6 days to complete.
  2. Machame Route: This is a more challenging route that takes about 6-7 days to complete. It is known for its stunning views and varied terrain, including a rainforest and moorland.
  3. Umbwe Route: This is the shortest and steepest route to the summit, taking about 5-6 days to complete. It is recommended for experienced climbers in good physical condition.
  4. Rongai Route: This route is less crowded and takes about 6-7 days to complete. It approaches the mountain from the north and is known for its beautiful scenery.
  5. Lemosho Route: This is a longer route that takes about 7-8 days to complete. It is known for its stunning scenery and low crowds, making it a popular choice for those looking for a more immersive experience.
  6. Northern Circuit Route: This is the longest route, taking about 8-10 days to complete. It offers a variety of landscapes and the opportunity to summit via the less-trafficked Northern Circuit.

It is important to note that the duration of each route can vary depending on factors such as the pace of the group, weather conditions, and acclimatization to the altitude. It is also worth noting that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physically demanding activity that requires a good level of fitness and proper preparation.

You can climb Kilimanjaro in 5 or 6 days but is it worth the risk?

Climbing Kilimanjaro can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but it is important to carefully consider the risks before embarking on the journey. The short answer to the question is that it is possible to climb Kilimanjaro in 5 or 6 days, but it may not be the safest or most advisable option for everyone.

Climbing Kilimanjaro in 5 or 6 days involves a very strenuous and fast-paced schedule, and it requires a high level of physical fitness and acclimatization to the altitude. Such a rapid ascent can increase the risk of altitude sickness and other adverse effects of high altitude, such as dehydration, fatigue, and cold injuries.

It is generally recommended to allow more time for acclimatization to the altitude, as this can help to reduce the risk of altitude sickness and other altitude-related issues. A longer itinerary, such as a 7-day or 8-day climb, can provide more time for acclimatization and allow for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

It is important to consult with a qualified medical professional and a reputable tour operator before deciding on a Kilimanjaro climbing itinerary. They can help you evaluate your fitness level and determine the best and safest route for you to take.

How long Does it take to descend Kilimanjaro?

It typically takes about one to two days to descend from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, depending on the route and pace of the climb. The time it takes to descend from the summit will also depend on how long you spend at the summit and any rest or acclimatization breaks that you take along the way. but approximately time is 5hrs to reach Camp overnight and the following day 4hrs to 6 hrs. depending on the route and trekkers experience.

How long will it take YOU?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience: you’ve trained for it, paid for it, and don’t compromise your safety or chance of success.

Got questions? Leave us a comment, send us an email or hit the live chat button.

Ready to choose your route? Or wondering when is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

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About the Author

William is a Tanzanian Safari and Kilimanjaro expert motivated to write about his Safari and Kilimanjaro Trekking experience because of his passion for adventures. Through his stories and articles, William sought to inspire others to experience the thrill of adventure and to appreciate the beauty of  Africa around them.

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7-Day Migration Safari with Williamson: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience! My friend and I had a 7-day migration safari (River Crossing) with Williamson Adventures exceeded our expectations. The captivating sights of wildebeest herds were absolutely breathtaking, a true testament to the wonders of nature. Our knowledgeable guide Raymond made the experience even more remarkable with his deep understanding of the wildlife and their behaviors. The seamless combination of the safari with a day trip to Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour added a perfect touch of cultural immersion. The lush greenery and the thundering waterfall were a sight to behold, and the coffee tour was enlightening. Williamson's team orchestrated a flawless journey, ensuring comfort and safety throughout. This safari was a life-changing experience, and I'm incredibly grateful to William and his team for making it so exceptional.
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Unforgettable experience in Tanzania The Ultimate Tanzanian Safari and Cultural Experience! I can't thank Williamson enough for the incredible 7-day migration safari adventure. Witnessing the Great Migration in person was an awe-inspiring spectacle, and Raymond Our Guide added an educational layer that deepened our appreciation. His passion for wildlife is contagious! The highlight was coupling this safari with a day trip to Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour. The waterfall's beauty left us speechless, and the coffee tour was a delightful insight into the local culture. The Accommodation during our safari experience was top notch, thank you William for organizing our trip and his team was amazing! I am going to miss Tanzania ❤️ # one of my best trip ever # amazing travel experiences # lots laughs & fun during the trip # unforgettable moments
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Incredible Safari in Tanzania We did a 5 day Incredible honeymoon safari with Williamson Adventures , we were researching good company for our safari It is our luck to go with them the communication was smooth, we exchanged so many texts until we reached the conclusion . The guide Allan was knowledgeable who knows alot about animals and plants his driving skill was exceptional on the rough road on the way to Serengeti national park , The accommodations were good during our safari we will recommend Williamson Adventures to our family and friends .
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2023-07-21
Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route My dad and I booked the Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route and since the first contact with William I received all the information and help that we need and our conversation was easy. Our team at the Kilimanjaro hike was really friendly and helpful and our guides were perfect with us! Cannot recommend more I and have no words to thank enough all the team.
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2023-03-19
Er du interessert i fugleliv såvel som dyreliv prøver du Williamssons adventures med Ian som guide Er du interessert i fugleliv i tillegg til dyreliv bør du be om å få Ian som guide. Han var kunnskapsrik om både fugler, dyr, fauna og stoppa opp på alle henstillinger og svarte tålmodig på alle spørsmål. Ian var også ein flink sjåfør. Vi var i alle nasjonalparkene, Tarangire, Serengeti, Manyara og Ngorogoro conservation area. Vi var på en fire dagers safari, og lunsjboksene, frokostene og middagene var fantastiske. Likeså med overnattingsstedene. Vi ble tatt vel i mot og tatt vare på. Denne safari er ett minne for livet, og kan anbefales på det sterkeste. I tillegg til kjempemange fugler og dyr fikk vi også sett alle fem store????
Jessica D
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2023-02-06
Perfect Kilimanjaro trek, perfect safari, perfect Guide From the first day of emailing Williamson Adventures for a safari and Kilimanjaro quote we were answered in professional way with full of information about the tour in Tanzania.The Director William was helpful and well organized our Kilimanjaro trek and 5 days safari , we started hiking for 6 days machame , the team was very helpful and the porter were strong and friends they really supported us to carry our luggages and guide was very professional especially during the summit day we really appreciate them . After safari we went to safari where we saw many animals excluding rhino because the guide explained that they're now endangered sometimes it's hard to spot them although it was good experience, the food good and accommodation was superb with high comfortability. Thanks Williamson Adventures for making our trip unforgettable
Norbet h
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2023-02-02
Kilimanjaro Climb Experience! My husband and I booked 7 days Machame route Kilimanjaro mountain climb with Williamson adventures, we liked the experience from the day we started hiking up to last day at mweka camp. The tour was very organized and the team was extremely friendly . During the summit Day it's was really challenging for me but the guide and porter was really helpful and fun to be around , the food was delicious and plentiful so we really appreciate our chef , the tent were top quality and brand new so we slept in comfortable tents . I really recommend Mr William to arrange your Kilimanjaro mountain trekking if you wish to make it to the top of Kilimanjaro mountain. Best wishes from USA
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2023-01-31
Unforgettable safari in Tanzania My Safari experience in Tanzania with Williamson adventures was really good since from the day we emailed them they were very cooperative , we had 8 days safari in Tanzania with them the guide was very detailed about Flora and fauna of Tanzania national park, I really liked Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater the most because of its scenic views and abundant of Animals, we managed to see all the big 5 during safari, the accommodations was nice and clean, we really thanks this company for making our journey in Tanzania unforgettable
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2023-01-29
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willegamba94
willegamba94
2023-01-25
7 day Kilimanjaro Climb Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 7 days Lemosho was an experience of a lifetime. The trek to the summit was challenging, but the breathtaking views and sense of accomplishment made it all worth it. The scenery was absolutely stunning, from the lush rainforest at the base to the barren, lunar-like landscape at the summit. The guides were knowledgeable and supportive, and the porters were incredibly helpful in carrying our gear. The final summit push was grueling, but the sunrise from the top was truly unforgettable. Despite the physical demands, I would highly recommend Williamson Adventures for Kilimanjaro climb to anyone looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The sense of camaraderie among the climbers, the challenge of reaching the summit and the stunning beauty of the mountain made it an experience I will never forget.

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