It would normally take you between 5 – 9 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to the summit and back. All the routes vary from 5 days to 9 days. Even though Mount Kilimanjaro does not require any technical skills to climb and is walkable, it is still not a walkover mountain, it carries its own challenges. This is evident statistically. Less than half of the climbers make it to its peak. Although Mount Kilimanjaro is known as a “walk-up” mountain, you should not underestimate it and its risks. The overall statistics show that less than half of all climbers reach the summit.

Also read about how much it will cost you to climb Kilimanjaro

How many days does it take to trek Kilimanjaro to the summit?

For many climbers, reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is a significant accomplishment, but how long does it take to climb the mountain? The answer is 5 to 9 days, though this may change depending on the altitude, level of fitness, level of preparation, etc.

If you are a beginner and have never climbed Mount Kilimanjaro before, you shouldn’t be planning to rush things as it will be gambling with your own safety. But how long should we stay on the mountain under the ideal circumstance?

Below are the number of days it takes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro using different routes on the mountain.

  1. Machame Route takes 6 days or 7 days (plus one acclimatization day)
  2. Lemosho Route takes 7 days or 8 days (plus one acclimatization day)
  3. Marangu Route takes 5 days or 6 days (plus one acclimatization day)
  4. Rongai Route takes 6 days or 7 days (plus one acclimatization day)
  5. Umbwe Route takes 6 days
  6. Northern Circuit Route takes 9 days to climb
  7. Lemosho+Crater Camp Route takes 9 days

How long does it take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

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Longer routes give you a high summit chance

Research data indicates that out of the more than 50,000 climbs, fewer than half make it to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

As indicated in our previous article, the route you choose will affect your chances of reaching the summit, so choosing the ideal route for you is key to accomplishing your goal of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Longer days can allow you plenty of time to acclimatize, and the crew members have ample time to set up camp at a lower altitude while you’re trekking.

Only 34% of climbers are reported to make it to the top. On travels lasting 6 days, the percentage rises to 47%; on routes lasting 8 to 9 days, it rises to 80%.

What are the best routes with the ideal number of days

We usually recommend the Lemosho route on 8 days as the best overall route. This route is scenic, and affordable, and gives you optimum time for acclimatization. it is a newer and improved route on the Mountain so is the Northern Circuit Route which takes a duration of 9 days.

How long are the trails on Kilimanjaro?

You shouldn’t choose the shortest trails to reach the peak. The ideal path for beginners to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the Lemosho, Rongai, Northern Circuit, and Machame routes, which may be reached in 7 to 9 days or the Marangu Route for 6 days will still give you a good time for acclimatization.

Route Number of Days Route Length
Marangu Route 5 or 6 64 kilometers (40 miles)
Umbwe Route 6 37 kilometers (23 miles)
Rongai Route 6 or 7 65 kilometers (23 miles)
Machame Route 6 or 7 49 kilometers (30 miles)
Lemosho Route 7 or 8 66 kilometers (35 miles)
Northern Circuit 8 or 9 66 kilometers (35 miles)

Advantages of taking longer routes to climb Kilimanjaro

The longer the route, the more days you will spend on the mountain, also the higher your chances are of reaching the summit. What it means is that for a high summit success rate, choose longer routes. You have a higher chance when you choose the 9-day Northern Circuit route than choosing the 5 days Marangu Route unless if you are an expert mountaineer. Why are the longer routes better than the shorter routes, you may ask? The reason is mainly that the more days you have on your route of choice, the more time you have to acclimatize.

That is why Tranquil Kilimanjaro recommends longer routes that take a duration of about seven to nine days because they give you enough time for acclimatization. Acclimatization is important in reducing and avoiding altitude sickness (AMS).

How many days is it to descend Kilimanjaro?

The journey down Kilimanjaro from the summit of Uhuru Peak to the finish line takes about two days. Depending on the route and the experience of the trekkers, the descent may take up to 5 hours to reach the camp for the night and 4 to 6 hours the following day. Only two routes are used to descend the mountain. The Mweka route is used by all routes to climb down the mountain except the Rongai Route and the Marangu Route which use the Marangu Route to descend.

Which short route is the best to climb Kilimanjaro if I have limited time?

If you have limited time, at least choose the Marangu Route for 6 days which is the most popular and best option for people with little time on their hands. It is also the most affordable route on the mountain and does not use camping as a form of accommodation, instead, you will sleep in dormitory-styled huts.

Who should take the shorter routes to climb Kilimanjaro?

Some people would prefer the shorter routes due to a limited budget or limited time but we recommend the longer routes because, at the end of the day, safety and enjoyable adventures come first.

However, it is fine for experienced climbers and expert mountaineers to take shorter routes that range from five days to six days.

Longer routes that take more days to complete are a guaranteed way to reach the summit and come with a higher success rate. Not only that, but they are also safer too and more scenic. safer,

It is common sense to take care of your body and not allow it to strain and expose it to stress or even put your health at risk?

Below are the Kilimanjaro success rates in accordance with how long it takes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

All climbers, all routes 45%


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%


All climbers, all 9-day routes (90%)

Kilimanjaro World Records

Speed: Is it possible to climb Kilimanjaro in a single day or in a few hours? Yes, but not just anyone. Professionals and athletes to be precise can only do it. These people that smash these records have put in so much practice that is why it sounds so unreal. They have undergone extreme acclimatization by camping at high elevations for days until they get used to breathing in thin oxygen levels under the harshest conditions. Because of this, they can get away with not having the effects of altitude sickness.

Below are some of the records broken for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in the speed category.

Fastest Summit (2014)Karl Egloff of Switzerland reached the peak of Kilimanjaro in a whopping 4 hours 56 minutes. He completed the whole trip in 6 hours 42min making it also the fastest ascent and descent.


Fastest Summit by a Female (2018) Kristina Schoou Madsen of Denmark CLIMBED it to the summit of Kilimanjaro in a record 6 hours 52 minutes.


Fastest Unaided Ascent and Descent (2006)Simon Mtuy of Tanzania made it to the top of Kilimanjaro and back in a record 9 hours and 19 minutes without any help as he carried his own food, water, and gear.


Age: Mount Kilimanjaro being a walkable mountain and having a gradual slope, allows people of all ages to take up the challenge of climbing it. Young children and old folks alike have all graced this giant of a mountain. Despite the recommended age limit for kids is 10 years and above, there are exceptions of human beings that display exceptional abilities like the records below broken by age category.


Oldest Climber to Summit (2019) Anne Lorimor of the USA Lorimor and seven others embarked on their journey to the summit on 12 July 2019 and used the 9 Days Rongai Route. Lorimor completed the Kilimanjaro climb without oxygen(cylinders) or artificial aids.

This was her second time climbing Kilimanjaro in her 80s, having already climbed when she was 85 years old but Angela Vorobeya from Russia broke her record in the same year. She returned to climb Kilimanjaro and reclaim her record at the age of 89 years old,


Second Oldest Climber to Summit (2017)Fred Distelhorst of the USA is the second oldest man to climb Kilimanjaro to the summit at age 88.


Second Oldest Female to Summit (2015)Angela Vorobeva of Russia is the second oldest woman to climb Kilimanjaro at 86 years old.


Youngest Climber to Summit (2018)Coaltan Tanner of the USA climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro at just the tender age of 6 years old.


Youngest Female to Summit (2018)Montannah Kenney of the USA also climbed Kilimanjaro at 7 years of age to become the youngest female to the summit before Coaltan Tanner beat the record, young Montannah was the previous record holder.

In conclusion to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, normally it takes 5- 9 days, the longer the route, the higher the chances of making it to the top.

Private Mount Kilimanjaro Packages

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The Marangu route, which is the mountain's oldest and most popular path, is used in the five-day Marangu route itinerary.

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