How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

"How long it takes to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro depends entirely on your fitness level climbing routes and so much more!"

Reaching the top of Kilimanjaro is a major achievement for many climbers, but How Long Does It Take to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro? The answer is 5-9 Days but may vary with various factors like the altitude, fitness level, preparation, etc.

You shouldn’t be planning to Climb Kilimanjaro quickly as it will be dangerous especially if you are a newbie and have no prior experience in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. But what is the right amount of time that we should spend on the mountain? Let’s find out.

The Truth About Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Duration

With an average fitness level, a normal healthy person can reach the summit from 5 days to 9 days. “How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?” is now a common question asked by every hiker. The more days you will spend while Climbing Mount Kilimanjarothe higher the chance of a better success summit will be more.

You should not go for the shortest route with 5 to 6 days for the summit. Climbing in between 7 days to 9 days, in Lemosho, Rongai, Northern Circuit, and Machame route is the best option for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro For Beginners.

  • Strong determination – Your burning desire can motivate and urge you to keep going for the summit.
  • Confidence – Have the confidence for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing but do not underestimate the mountain. Have faith yourself and prepare for an adventure. 
  • Fortitude and stamina – Build your stamina and be steady like a fort but continuously keep going.

Why Worry With Thoughts Like – How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro When The Journey Itself Is Breath-taking!


Mandatory Duration for Kilimanjaro Climb

How Long Does It Take To Descend Kilimanjaro? This is the question we often get asked by new hikers and hikers having a chronic disease.

  • To reduce the number of emergency evacuations from Kilimanjaro and to stop irresponsible climbers ascending too fast, the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority has declared it mandatory to spend a certain number of days on different routes.
  • Kilimanjaro Climbing regulations say that it is mandatory to spend at least six days on all routes. There are two exceptions to this rule - Rongai Routeand Marangu Route, where the regulations require you to spend at least five days.

If you are planning for Climbing Kilimanjaro Solo for the shortest days for the summit, it is a bad idea. We advise you to take along some of the best Kilimanjaro Guides for maximum success on the mountain.

How Long Does It Take To Walk Up Kilimanjaro & Descend Kilimanjaro?

To know the time and the Best Route to Climb Kilimanjaro, you should know the number of days the routes take and factors like fitness, stamina, etc.

There are many examples of world record which is completed within 1 day or 24 hours. So, it’s up to you.

The question on “How Long Does It Take to Descend Kilimanjaro?” fully depends on the Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing regulations say that it is mandatory to spend at least six days on all routes.

Recommended Duration and Kilimanjaro Success Rate

As the Kilimanjaro Success Rate depends upon the duration to complete for the summit, you should check the duration for the summit.

As per the data given by Kilimanjaro National Park, you can see the variation in success rate depending upon the recommended duration.

  • All climbers, all 5 day routes 27%
  • All climbers, all 6 day routes 44%
  • All climbers, all 7 days routes 64%
  • All climbers, all 8 day routes 85%

In the case of “How Long To Climb Kilimanjaro?” can be answered depends on the fitness and route duration.

Recommended Duration on Different Kilimanjaro Routes

Each route’s duration, accommodations, level of difficulty varies, and also the scenic views.

Route Number Of Days Distance
Marangu Route 5 to 6 days 72 km
Machame Route 6 to 7 days 62 km
Lemosho Route 8 to 9 days 70 km
Rongai Route 6 to 7 days 73 km
Northern Circuit Route 9 to 10 days 98 km
Umbwe Route 6 days 53 km

Longer Routes Is the Key to Success on Kilimanjaro

According to data, there are more than 50, 000 climbers among which less than half reach the summit.

As per Climb Kilimanjaro Guidethe summit success rate is dependent on the route chosen by you.

Longer days can give you plenty of time for acclimatization and during the trekking, the crew members have enough time to arrange the camp at a lower altitude.

It has been recorded that only 34% of the climbers reach the summit. The percentage increases to 47% on the 6 days routes and 80% on 8 to 9 days route.

Climbing Kilimanjaro World Records

Have you heard of the stories, where some of the hikers climb Kilimanjaro in a matter of hours and not days? Have you wondered how it is possible?

  • The athletes who attempt to Climb Kilimanjaro have undergone acclimatization training to these high altitudes before the hike.
  • These athletes camp at higher altitudes and until they have fully acclimatized in the thin oxygen levels do not return from the campsites.
  • This is the best way to acclimatize on Mt. Kilimanjaro and avoid altitude sickness on the mountain.
  • This is the reason even children and older people have succeeded in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro successfully.

The following are some of the amazing world record holders on Mount Kilimanjaro. Have a look!

  • The fasted person to climb Kilimanjaro is Karl Egloff of Switzerland who accomplished the climb in 2014. He made the climb in just 4 hours 56 minutes. The entire ascent and descent on the mountain was of 6 hours 42 minutes.
  • Also, the fastest woman to climb Kilimanjaro is Kristina Schoou Madsen in 2018 of Denmark who made the climb in 6 hours 52 minutes.
  • Did you know that the fastest unaided ascent and descent was carried out by Simon Mtuy of Tanzania who completed the round trip in 9 hours 19 minutes in 2006? He carried his food, water, and clothing along the summit.
  • Also, the oldest person to climb Kilimanjaro is Anne Lorimor of the USA who is 89 years old and completed the climb in 2019.
  • After her, the second oldest person to summit the mountain is Fred Distelhorst of the USA who completed the climb in 2017 and is 88 years old.

Impact of Kilimanjaro Summit Night on the Mount Kilimanjaro Hike

Reaching the summit of the tallest free-standing mountain in the world is the biggest achievement in the world for any climber, but the one night that he/she may not forget in a lifetime is the summit night.

  • It is the toughest part of the climb on Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • At temperatures going below minus degree Celsius, and oxygen levels almost reduced to half compared to the sea level, the climb to the final leg on the mountain is one that can only be achieved through strong determination and preparation.
  • Also, the right Kilimanjaro Guides of Jerry Tanzania Tours helps you immensely in completing the last stages of the climb.

Descend down Mount Kilimanjaro is even tougher

Did you know that from the summit it takes about 2 and a half hours to reach Kosovo Camp or 3 hours to return to the Barafu Camp? Climbing the summit and descending to almost 4,650 meters occurs on the same day.

  • After taking rest for around 2 hours and having lunch, the descent begins again, downhill.
  • It takes around 6 hours to reach the Mweka Camp at the height of 2,795m from sea level.
  • You will be seeing some unique animals on the mountain even during descent.
  • The descent period is tough as you will be on your feet for 12 to 14 hours without sleep.
  • No matter how fit you are this descent is harder.
  • To be able to walk downhill without any serious health conditions on the mountain, we suggest you prepare well during training.
  • You can include backpacking on hills and Stairmaster as part of your Kilimanjaro Training.
  • More such Kilimanjaro Travel Advice contact our travel experts at Jerry Tanzania Tours today!

Here is some advice from our experts to help you descent well downhill:

  • Beware of the Five-Day Trek

The very first thing you need to be mindful of is Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in just 5 – days. There is very little chance that you will reach the summit. Apart from this, the Kilimanjaro national park authorities will not let you complete the climb in less than 5 – Days. Your body needs to acclimatize well before reaching the summit.

  • Take at least a week to hike Kilimanjaro

The Kilimanjaro Climb duration less than a week will make you compromise your Kilimanjaro summit journey. Your chances of success increase with each additional day. We suggest that 7-9 days is the ideal time to be on the mountain to succeed effortlessly. Also climbing slowly can be of great help.

Factors affecting how long it take to climb Kilimanjaro

Numerous factors influence the time it takes for you to climb Kilimanjaro. Some of them we have mentioned below:

Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness

One of the toughest challenges on Mount Kilimanjaro (the fourth highest mountain in the world) that affects the Kilimanjaro Success Rate is the rapid gain in altitude from the base of the peak.

  • Kilimanjaro is the fourth tallest mountain in the world.
  • The effects of altitude are seen on the mountain in the symptoms of altitude sickness such as headaches, breathlessness, and insomnia, as well as more unusual and potentially fatal conditions such as pulmonary or cerebral oedemas.
  • The only way to minimize these effects (on the tallest mountain) is by acclimatizing to the altitude. This can be done by taking some days on the mountain with no climb but rest for your body to adjust to the elevation.
  • To avoid Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness you can use Diamox during your climb.
  • For those wondering - what is the tallest mountain in the world, it is not Mount Kilimanjaro but Mount Everest in Nepal.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Season

Whether you are climbing in the peak or low seasons, the most important aspect to understand is the effect of seasons on your Kilimanjaro Success Rate.

  • Many trekkers even ask us where is Mount Kilimanjaro? The location of the mountain is the major reason for its seasonal variations.
  • The high winds and sub-zero nocturnal temperatures are highly likely on the mountain at all times of the year, but it is far preferable to climb in dry conditions. 
  • The period from January to March or July to October is, therefore, the best time to hike Kilimanjaro.
  • The rainy seasons of April to June and November to December are not so much preferred for hiking the mountain.

Fitness For Kilimanjaro Climb

Even though you do not need to be extraordinarily fit to hike Kilimanjaro, a reasonable level of fitness is necessary to achieve a high success rate on the mountain.

  • For the inexperienced hikers, undertaking a training schedule, to build a stronger upper and lower body strength is essential to climb the mountain.
  • We, therefore, advise you to include some aerobic exercises, weight training, and strength training to achieve maximum success on the mountain.
  • Eating the right Kilimanjaro Food is also essential on the mountain to succeed.
  • Many trekkers ask us - is coffee bad for you on the mountain? And the answer is no, it is not. You will be served tea and coffee as part of your afternoon snack on the mountain.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Jerry Tanzania Tours for maximum success

Who doesn’t want to achieve the maximum success rate on the mountain after having spent thousands of dollars on the trek? But why do people wish to save on their Kilimanjaro Climb Cost by choosing smaller itineraries and eventually are unable to summit the peak? The best thing to do is to take advice from our experienced climbers who are the Kilimanjaro Guides and experts in hiking the mountain.

So call us now and speak to our experts at Jerry Tanzania Tours right away!

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How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro FAQ’s

We Have Compiled A List Of The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro In General, And About Kilimanjaro Climbing Program, Get The Real Kilimanjaro Guide From Jerry Tanzania Tours.

As part of various Kilimanjaro Faqs, we are often asked – How Fast Can You Climb Kilimanjaro? The fastest person to have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro is the Spanish mountain runner Killian Jornet, who got to Uhuru Peak in 5 hours 23 minutes and 50 seconds in 2010. However, the current fastest combined ascent and descent time record is held by the Swiss-Ecuadorian Karl Egloff, who completed a run up the Umbwe Route and descent via Mweka in just 6 hours, 56 minutes, and 24 seconds in August 2014.

Wondering How Long It Takes To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Depending on your choice of the route it may take you from 5 to 9 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. For example, for the climbers choosing the Marangu route can take up to 5-6 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, while it takes 6-7 Days through the Machame route, Lemosho route, while on the Rongai route it takes, 7-8 Days and on the Northern circuit route, it takes 9-10 Days. The additional period of a day or two on any route is for the acclimatization. This is essential to adapt to the changing climatic zones on the mountain and achieve high success rates.

It takes around two days to descend Kilimanjaro. Although to come back down from the Mountain top takes around 12 hours while the climb may take around 5 days and 8 hours for experienced trekkers. However, for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro For Beginners, we suggest they climb slowly by taking a day or two for acclimatization on the mountain.

It is around 37 miles for Kilimanjaro Climbing. Depending on the choice of your route the distance from the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate to the peak of the summit varies from 62 km/37 miles to 70 km/44 miles. You can choose from various routes like the Machame route (62 km/ 37 miles), Marangu route (72 kilometres/45 miles), Northern Circuit (the longest route - 97km or 60 miles), Lemosho route, Rongai route, Shira route or the Umbwe route.

With different variations, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro could take as long as five to nine days to complete. We highly recommend you take an extra day to acclimatize, whichever route you choose as this helps gain maximum Kilimanjaro Success Rate on the mountain.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro takes approximately, five to nine days for any beginner. However, even though Mount Kilimanjaro is known as a "walk-up" mountain, you should not underestimate it and its risks, as per overall statistics than half of all climbers reach the summit. But with guided tours, it is extremely easy to climb the mountain.

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