How Many Days Does It Take to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro? How long does the Mount Kilimanjaro climb take? Visitors who are interested in Tanzania, particularly to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa, regularly ask this question. The highest peak in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro is situated in Tanzania, an African nation, in the Kilimanjaro region, not far from the Kenyan border. Each year, numerous people from all around the world visit one of the seven summits of the planet. Anyone from the age of five to old age can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but you must be physically fit to reach the uhuru peak.
How long does the Mount Kilimanjaro climb take? A minimum of five days are required to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. However, there is a far greater likelihood of success with at least six days, and ideally seven or eight. There are other more leisurely and beautiful climb routes that can be completed over ten or more days for those with more time to spare. Kilimanjaro is a remarkable natural landmark. Its volcanic origins make it the tallest freestanding peak in the world, rising about 3 km (5 miles) above northeast Tanzania’s scorching, dry plains. Snow covers the ragged glacial peaks all year as they frame the cavernous Kibo Crater. Despite being barely 400 km (249 mi) south of the equator, this is the case.
Mount Kilimanjaro is at the top of many enthusiastic hikers’ and peak-baggers’ (those seeking to reach a collection of summits) bucket lists. The 5,895-meter (19,340-foot) Uhuru Peak is not just the highest point in Africa; it is also reachable without specialized mountaineering gear or training. Despite all of that, this magnificent peak should not be taken lightly. A moderate level of physical fitness and perseverance are needed to climb Kilimanjaro. Additionally, because of the unusually quick ascent in altitude, hikers should be aware of the potential health risks.
All Kilimanjaro ascents must be scheduled with an authorized Tanzanian tour operator such as Focus East Africa Tours, who will supply porters, guides, camping equipment, food, and water. The length of a Kilimanjaro climb is nearly always pre-agreed and will depend on a number of variables. These factors include your choice of route, finances, level of fitness, and amount of time allotted for acclimatization.
The Swiss mountain runner Karl Egloff holds the record for the fastest climb up Kilimanjaro, finishing the entire ascent and descent in under seven hours in 2014. On the opposite end of the timing spectrum, leisurely mountaineers can consider spending two weeks circumnavigating Kilimanjaro’s top slopes before they reach the summit. These, though, are extremes. The majority of organized hikes last five to seven days.
RECOMMENDED DURATION AND SUCCESS RATE FOR CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO
The likelihood of summiting increases with the amount of time you devote to a Kilimanjaro adventure. A five-day climb is attempted by fewer than 30% of climbers, according to data gathered by Kilimanjaro National Park. The success rate rises to about 45 and 65 percent, respectively, for six- and seven-day climbs. In contrast, more than 85% of those who plan to spend eight days or more reach the summit.
There are many benefits to allowing seven days or more for a Kilimanjaro. With a lower chance of accidents caused by weariness and illnesses associated with altitude, it is safer than a shorter climb. A lengthier ascent also gives you the option of choosing one of the more peaceful and picturesque diversion routes from the busy Marangu Route. It gives you a better chance to appreciate the various scenes and plant life, from lush highland rainforest to enormous lobelia and heather-studded Afro-alpine moorland. Additionally, there is a higher likelihood of seeing animals, including monkeys, chameleons, birds, and other fauna.
The disadvantages of a longer ascent are twofold. The first is that every extra day spent on the mountain results in higher park fees, which raise the expedition’s overall cost. The second is that it leaves less time for visiting other famous Tanzanian sights like Zanzibar, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park. Despite this, we strongly advise allocating at least six or preferably seven days to Kilimanjaro because the climb is an once-in-a-lifetime event.
KILIMANJARO ROUTE CHOICE
Which route you select will greatly affect how long it takes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. There are six main paths, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Since the Marangu Route is quicker, less expensive, and in many respects more convenient than any alternate, it is used by the majority of hikers. Unfortunately, there are too many people traveling on the Marangu Route. For those who wish to avoid the crowds yet are on a budget, Machame route is a well-liked alternative to the other routes. The Shira, Lemosho, Rongai, and Northern Circuit routes are more picturesque, leisurely, and quiet options that are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts seeking seclusion and with substantial finances.
Umbwe and Mweka routes are two additional roads. Only extremely experienced mountain hikers who don’t need much acclimatization should attempt these rapid but steep routes again. However, those who ascended via Machame, Shira, or Lemosho frequently use the Mweka Route as a short descent route, How Many Days Does It Take to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?.
Marangu Route (minimum 5 days; recommended 6 days)
More climbers choose the Marangu route than any of the other five combined, making it the most popular way to ascend Kilimanjaro. In close proximity to the well-equipped town of the same name, it begins at Marangu Gate. Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,205ft), Kibo Hut (4,703m/15,430ft), and Mandara Hut (2,700m/8,858ft) are where hikers spend the night throughout the five-day, four-night trek. As it descends, it makes a stop at Horombo Hut. A second night at Horombo on the ascent is added as part of a six-day variant. This longer version increases the likelihood of summiting successfully and lowers the risk of altitude-related problems. Additionally, it gives you all day to explore the bizarre vegetation of the Afro-Alpine region.
Marangu is superior to the alternatives in a number of ways. It is by far the least expensive choice for climbers on a tight budget, in part because it can be finished in five days. Additionally, it is the least challenging route, offers the finest rescue assistance, and is the only one that allows for overnight accommodations in suitable huts with access to bathrooms. The term “Coca Cola Route” was given to several of the huts because they even offer bottled beverages.
On the down side, many hikers believe that Marangu has fallen prey to its own fame. Particularly during the busiest hiking months of August, September, late December, and early January, it frequently feels crowded. Additionally, ugly litter can be an issue, and the volume of tourists makes it doubtful that you will encounter much wildlife.
Machame Route (minimum 6 days; recommended 7 days)
Although it has some challenging sections, the second most popular way up Kilimanjaro is more picturesque and offers a more gradual ascent than Marangu. More acclimatization is possible in terms of altitude, especially if you select the seven-day, six-night option. The ascent includes overnight stays at Barafu Hut (4,600 m/15,092 ft), Shira Hut (3,840 m/12,598 ft), Machame Hut (2,890 m/9,482 ft), and Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,959 ft). Despite the misleading labels, you must camp along this path because there are no longer any usable shelters.
Shira Route (minimum 6 days; recommended 8–10 days)
Shira Gate (3,590 m/11,778 ft) marks the beginning of this picturesque but seldom used path up Kilimanjaro’s western flank, which joins with the Machame Route before the summit. It entails a steady multi-day trek across a sparsely explored section of Afro-Alpine moorland famed for its stunning volcanic rock formations. Additionally, there is a chance to view buffalo, eland, and other sizable creatures. The Shira Route begins above the 3,500-meter (11,483-foot) contour in terms of altitude, giving you lots of time to acclimate before summiting. It can be completed in six days, but it’s best to add one or two more, How Many Days Does It Take to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?.
Lemosho Route (minimum 6 days; recommended 8–10 days)
Lemosho, one of the most picturesque ascent routes up Kilimanjaro, begins on the western slopes like Shira but is much lower in elevation. As a result, your chances of having problems with altitude on the first day are lower. Additionally, it has the benefit of allowing you to spend the first day below the Shira Route’s starting location, in the woodland zone. On the second day, the Lemosho Route and the Shira Route merge.
Northern Circuit (minimum 9 days; recommended 10–11 days)
The most difficult ascent of Kilimanjaro begins in Lemosho and loops north before ascending from the east. It takes at least nine days and is the longest path. It is possible to add a day or two to the schedule, which is highly advised, in order to spend the night inside Kibo Crater. Before attempting Uhuru Peak, you have a whole week to prepare. This path has the highest success rate but is the priciest choice due to the slow ascent.
Rongai Route (minimum 6 days; recommended 7 days)
The only way to climb Kilimanjaro from the north is via Rongai. Due to the fact that it experiences significantly less precipitation than any of the southern routes, it excels during the rainy season. It is a nice option at other times as well because it offers a comparatively smooth rise and a higher than usual possibility of running into large species. It is also remarkably uncrowded, at least up until the day before the summit, when it meets up with the Marangu Route at Kibo Hut. Compared to the six-day basic method, the seven-day version has a far greater success rate.
FACTORS AFFECTING HOW LONG IT TAKES TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO
Almost all climbs of Kilimanjaro have a set number of days allotted to them in advance. Therefore, the length of the climb is rarely a surprise, with the exception of the possibility that ill or injured climbers could need to cut the climb short in order to return to base. However, a lot of variables will influence your chances of summiting successfully, so it is important to consider them beforehand.
The steep ascent from the base to the peak is the largest barrier to successfully climbing Kilimanjaro. Altitude has a certain impact on almost all climbers. These include minor annoyances like headaches, shortness of breath, and insomnia, as well as more serious and potentially fatal illnesses like pulmonary or brain oedemas.
Acclimatization is the best strategy to lessen the more detrimental effects of altitude. This implies giving the ascent as many days as you can. Three times as many people climb for more than eight days as those who take the bare minimum of five days to reach the peak. Spending a few days in a mid-altitude area before the ascent, such as Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha National Park, or Marangu, is also beneficial. Once on the mountain, hike slowly and steadily rather than rushing to get to camp as soon as possible.
Seasonal variations in Kilimanjaro’s weather are significant. It is likely to be below zero at night and windy at all times of year, but it is much better to climb when it is dry. Because of this, the dry months of April to June and November to December are significantly inferior for hiking compared to January to March or July to October. Try the Rongai Route, the only one that stays on the drier northern slopes, if other circumstances force you to plan a climb during the wet season, How Many Days Does It Take to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?.
You need to be reasonably fit to effectively climb Kilimanjaro. If you have never hiked before, it is worthwhile to start a training regimen and work your way up until you feel confident going for about five hours through mountainous terrain. Use the practice treks to break in your boots and get comfortable with the daypack you’ll carry up the mountain. Your aerobic fitness will also improve as a result of running and cycling.
OTHER PREPARATIONS FOR CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO
At higher altitudes, Kilimanjaro has a blazing tropical sun by day and can be very damp and freezing at night. For a successful trek, the following equipment are required or highly desirable:
- A jacket and pants that are waterproof and windproof.
- Waterproof gloves
- Every day, wear one pair of light inner socks and one pair of thick hiking socks.
- UV sunglasses and a broad hat.
- A pair of completely waterproof hiking boots that have been worn in and a lighter pair of evening shoes
- Trekking poles that are adjustable.
- A top-notch ground mat and a four-season sleeping bag (if not supplied by the operator).
- A pair of 2L (68 ounce) water bottles or a waterproof bladder.
- A first-aid box with anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, foot blister plasters, sunscreen, and medication to lower the risk of altitude-related disorders.
- A sizable supply of bars, dried fruit, almonds, and other high-energy foods.
Conclusion: You will need to stay on the mountain for at least 6 to 8 days, regardless of the path you choose. There are numerous paths to select from and a rigorous ascent process for Mount Kilimanjaro. Focus East Africa Tours will assist you in planning the hike of your dreams if you need assistance deciding on the ideal route.