How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

Have you ever looked at the horizon and found your eyes drawn toward the majestic silhouette of a mountain? If so, chances are you’ve thought about climbing one and perhaps the first one that comes to mind is the famous Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s the highest peak in Africa and one of the Seven Summits, reaching an impressive altitude of 5,895 meters above sea level. But here’s the million-dollar question – how long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro’s Main Routes

Marangu Route

Dubbed the “Coca-Cola route“, the Marangu route is the most popular and arguably the easiest route to the summit. Typically, this climb takes about five to six days.

Machame Route

Referred to as the “Whiskey route“, the Machame route is more challenging but also more scenic. It usually takes six to seven days to complete.

Lemosho Route

The Lemosho route is the longest but arguably the most beautiful path, offering ample time for acclimatization. On average, climbers spend seven to nine days on this route.

Also Read: How Long Does it Take To Hike Mount Everest

Factors Affecting Your Climb Duration

Physical Fitness and Experience

Like in any sport, your physical condition and experience level significantly impact your climb duration. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Weather Conditions

Weather can be unpredictable on Kilimanjaro, and storms or heavy snowfall can delay your ascent.

Acclimatization Process

Climbing too quickly can lead to altitude sickness, making acclimatization crucial. It typically extends the climb by a couple of days but increases the chance of a successful summit.

Average Duration of Climbing Kilimanjaro

A typical Kilimanjaro climb takes between five and nine days, depending on the route chosen and individual pace.

Breakdown of a Typical Climb

  • Day 1-3: Initial ascent and acclimatization.
  • Day 4-6: Climbing to the summit.
  • Day 7-8: Descent and celebration.

Post-Climbing Recovery and Celebration

Don’t forget to factor in a day or two for recovery and celebration post-climb. After all, you’ve just accomplished a fantastic feat!

Tips for a Successful Kilimanjaro Climb

  1. Stay hydrated.
  2. Go slow to avoid altitude sickness.
  3. Get the right gear and clothing.
  4. Choose the right season to climb.


The journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is not just about conquering the highest peak in Africa but also a testament to personal endurance and the spirit of adventure. The length of the journey can vary greatly, depending on a variety of factors like your chosen route, physical fitness, weather conditions, and crucially, your acclimatization process.

On average, it takes anywhere from five to nine days to ascend and descend Kilimanjaro. However, the experiences garnered and the views witnessed during this climb are boundless, transcending the constraints of time. So, whether you’re a seasoned climber or a novice enthusiast, climbing Kilimanjaro could be the challenge you’ve been waiting for. Remember, every step taken towards the peak is a step towards personal triumph.

Also Read: How Long Does It Take To Climb MT Everest

Nyra Abigail

My Name is Nyra Abigail and in 2016, I made the decision to leave my traditional living situation and hit the road in a Dodge Ram Van. Since then, I've had the opportunity to camp in 48 states and hike in many of the United States' National Parks. My mission is to inspire and assist others in living an adventurous lifestyle, whether that be through van life or RV living. We provide a comprehensive resource to help guide and support individuals on their own journeys of discovery.

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