How Long Does it Take to Climb Kilimanjaro?

The climbing duration of Mount Kilimanjaro depends upon several factors, but mainly on the route you take to summit the peak. Many trails lead to the top of the majestic mountain, and the difference in route length and difficulty level brings variation in the duration of your climb. Considering other factors as well, it can be said that the average Kilimanjaro climbing duration can take approximately 5 – 9 days. 

Successful ascent to Mount Kilimanjaro with minimum climbing duration
Successful ascent to Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro climb is considered a relatively more manageable mountain to ascend, however, it is not to be taken lightly. Only with determination and resilience, one can ascend the mountain successfully. The trekking routes of Kilimanjaro welcome numerous trekkers, seeking a connection with the wilderness of Tanzania. Lying at the elevation of 5,895 m (19,341 ft), scaling the heights of Kilimanjaro is not an easy feat. There is no specific answer to the precise Kilimanjaro ascent time but there are several factors, including routes, physical fitness, and climbing speed, to be considered to determine the duration.   

Factors Affecting Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Duration

In order to determine the climbing timeframe for Kilimanjaro, you have to consider these below-mentioned factors which heavily influence your trip. These factors play a valuable role in determining the time you will require to summit the majestic peak, and considering them beforehand will help you plan your trip efficiently.

1. Route Selection

One of the major factors influencing the time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is the route you choose to trek to the peak. There are numerous routes to the peak and is one of the specialties of the Kilimanjaro climb. Among several routes, some of the most popular ones are: 

RouteStandard Duration 
Marangu Route8 Days
Machame Route8 Days
Lemosho Route8 Days
Rongai Route8 Days
Umbwe Route8 Days
Northern Circuit Route10 Days

As each of these routes varies in terms of distance, terrain, and altitude gain, the duration of the climb also automatically varies. The longer the route, the more duration it requires to conquer the soaring height of Kilimanjaro. Likewise, if the difficulty level is high, it will impact the pace of your climb adding to your climb duration. In this way, the chosen path will determine the speed of your climb. Therefore, you can choose the best route to Kilimanjaro depending on your preferred route features. 

2. Physical Fitness

Another important factor determining the Kilimanjaro ascent time is physical fitness. The Kilimanjaro climb is a strenuous endeavor because of its rugged terrain and steep elevation. Such extreme adventure requires proper physical fitness to ascend successfully. You need to have good cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength to trek through the tough route. Your lack of physical fitness may delay the climb duration and affect the overall success of your climb. Therefore, it is a must that you go through proper training to enhance your fitness before attempting to climb Kilimanjaro. 

3. Acclimatization

It is a process of adjusting to high-altitude atmospheric conditions such as lower-oxygen levels and higher air pressure. For those who are not well-adapted to such environmental conditions, sudden exposure to high-altitude terrain can be harsh on their body. It may elevate the risk of altitude sickness as you ascend higher. Therefore, to make your body adapt to the changing environmental condition, you should sufficiently rest throughout the trek. But acclimatization period varies depending upon the individual, which might influence Kilimanjaro climbing duration. It’s important to remember that listening to your body helps to determine how much rest you need. Only with sufficient acclimatization can you summit the peak successfully. 

Acclimatization during Mount Kilimanjaro due to its altitude gain and duration for Climb

4. Climbing Pace

The pace of your ascent also determines how fast you will reach the peak. If you are an avid trekker, you may have mastered the art of climbing fast. But, it’s not the same case for beginners. However, rushing through the strenuous terrain of Kilimanjaro is not recommended regardless of your experience. An increased climbing pace might get you to the peak sooner, but it may also subject your trip to failure because of its impact on your body. Climbing fast may raise the risk of altitude sickness and fatigue and affect you severely. Therefore, it’s wise to climb at a moderate pace with sufficient acclimatization, hydration, and necessary breaks along the way.  

Wondering if you can attempt to climb Kilimanjaro?
Find out how hard it is to climb Kilimanjaro and plan your next trip accordingly.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Route Comparison

The difference in difficulty level and route length of each Kilimanjaro trekking route highly influences the climbing duration. Therefore, This tabular format will give you a better understanding of Kilimanjaro climb time estimates.

RouteDuration (Days)Difficulty LevelRoute Length (Approx.)
Marangu Route5-6Moderate72 km (45 miles)
Machame Route6-7Challenging 62 km (39 miles)
Lemosho Route7-8Challenging70 km (43 miles)
Rongai Route6-7Moderate to Challenging73 km (45 miles) 
Umbwe Route6-7Very  challenging53 km (33 miles)
Northern Circuit Route9-10Challenging98 km (61 miles)

Shorter vs. Longer Routes: Pros and Cons

The choice of longer or shorter routes does affect the Kilimanjaro trek time, but both come with pros and cons. Some might prefer longer while some might prefer shorter routes. For a detailed insight into the advantages and disadvantages, make sure to go through the below pointers and choose the route of your preference.

1. Kilimanjaro Climb via Shorter Routes


  • Requires less time commitment.
  • Requires less overall cost because of the reduced climbing duration.
  • Makes the climb physically less demanding due to less trekking distance and altitude gain.


  • You may not get sufficient acclimatization time, resulting in an increased risk of altitude sickness.
  • Some popular shorter routes are overcrowded during the trekking season, which might affect your travel experience.
  • Not all short routes are easier to trek. For instance, the Umbwe Route is a short trail with very challenging terrain, demanding a higher level of physical fitness.

Climbing via Umbwe Route
Climbing via Umbwe Route

2. Kilimanjaro Climb via Longer Routes


  • Sufficient acclimatization period, minimizing the risk of altitude sickness.
  • Longer trails offer scenic views and allow you to immerse in the tranquil vista.
  • Lower crowd even during the trekking season which allows you to enjoy nature in peace.


  • Increases the climbing duration.
  • Rise in overall cost because of the longer trip duration.
  • Requires a high level of physical and mental endurance to consistently ascend the rugged terrain of the mountain.  

Climbing via Northern Circuit
Mount Kilimanjaro Climb via Northern Circuit

Tips for Efficiently Managing Time on the Mountain

Climbing Kilimanjaro is not an easy endeavor. As various factors influence your climb, managing time can be a difficult task in the mountains. Therefore, go through these pointers to get a better insight into managing your time effectively during the Kilimanjaro climb.

  • Ensure to follow your daily itinerary as provided by your guide or tour organizers.
  • Maintain a consistent pace to make steady progress. 
  • Make sure to get sufficient rest breaks, sleep, and acclimatization. 
  • Stay organized and keep your belongings organized throughout the climb.
  • Maintain a well-balanced meal break to gather sufficient energy during the climb.
  • Openly communicate with your guides and follow their instructions.
  • Take care of your physical and mental fitness and maintain a positive mindset during the trek.

Realistic Kilimanjaro Climb Timeframe: Balance, Speed, and Safety

As discussed earlier, there is no specific answer to the duration of the Kilimanjaro hike. But, the approximate timeframe is from 5 to 9 days as per the standard itineraries for different routes. Various factors come into play influencing your climb duration. However, you must strike a balance between speed and safety for a successful climb. 

The most crucial aspect of the Kilimanjaro climb is your safety. Only focusing on speed might compromise your safety during the trek. If not taken necessary safety measures, mountains can be a dangerous place. Therefore, you should be realistic about your capabilities during the climb to prevent facing accidental hazards. 

Guest climbing in Realistic Kilimanjaro Climb Timeframe

The first thing you need to ensure to bring balance between safety and speed during the climb is your physical fitness. The routes to the summit demand a necessary level of fitness to endure the strenuous nature of the routes. Do not underestimate acclimatization and rest breaks. Without proper rest, the chances of reaching the top will get slimmer with heightened safety risk. All in all, proper preparation and balance between safety and speed are vital for a successful and enjoyable climb.

Role of Fitness and Experience in Climbing Duration

Fitness and experience are the two most crucial factors influencing time for summiting Kilimanjaro. The higher level of fitness and a well-rounded climbing experience will make your journey easier, helping you cut down the summiting time.

Good physical fitness will enhance your capabilities to scale through the heights of Kilimanjaro with ease. The endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and leg strength will help you climb faster and make you better equipped for strenuous terrain. Likewise, your previous hiking experiences also impact your climb, making it relatively easier. You will have already garnered necessary hiking skills such as route navigation, walking through steep trails, and maintaining speed. Therefore you could use these skills to enhance your climbing pace through the routes of Kilimanjaro as well. 

Moreover, with proper fitness and sufficient trekking experience, you will be able to cut down acclimatization time which will reduce your overall climbing duration. It will also help you build mental resilience, propelling you to a successful climb regardless of the challenges. Therefore, the role of fitness and experience in the timing of the Kilimanjaro climb is undeniably crucial.

Kilimanjaro Climb Success Rate

As per the available data from Kilimanjaro National Park, the average success rate of the climb ranges from 60% to 70%. On the other hand, 30% to 40% of climbing attempts are unsuccessful because of a wide range of factors. 

So what determines a successful climb? Physical fitness, climbing season, proper preparation, and time management are some of the factors affecting the success rate. Sometimes, even a single mistake in the rough terrain of mountains can cost you heavily. Therefore, you should consider some of these fundamental pointers to summit the mountain successfully.

  • Maintain proper physical fitness.
  • For a safe trip, it is wise to travel during the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Choose a trustworthy and authorized guide or tour organizer.
  • Make sure to gather sufficient knowledge and experience before attempting to climb Kilimanjaro.
  • Acclimatize and rest adequately throughout the trek.
  • Make sure to pack all necessary Kilimanjaro climbing gear.
  • Adapt all the safety measures and follow the instructions of your guide.


Mount Kilimanjaro climbing duration is influenced by several factors as discussed above. In order to ascend the glorious mountain successfully, you must take into consideration all those factors beforehand and plan your trip accordingly. Allow Himalayan Glacier to help you make your adventure hassle-free and join our upcoming Kilimanjaro climbing group now.

Our success rate of 98% and hundreds of positive testimonials from our clients speak volumes about our top-notch service. As we have conducted several successful trips to the Kilimanjaro summit, we guarantee you an adventure of a lifetime through our assistance. We offer the flexibility of customized trip that suits your preferences. So, without further delay connect with our Kilimanjaro experts now. You may also reach out to our team via Whatsapp (+1-410-307-0007).

Leave a Reply

Planning a Trip?

We have a pool of travel experts working in this industry for more than a decade. Consult to get started.

Book a Call Back