How long does it take to walk up Kilimanjaro? This a question we get quite frequently. The answer depends on several factors.
First, what route to the summit would you like to do? Below is a list of the routes:
Kilimanjaro Route Overview
|ROUTE||DISTANCE (MILES)||TREKKING DAYS||DESCRIPTION|
|Lemosho||46.37||7* or 8||The Lemosho route is regarded as one of the prettiest routes on Kilimanjaro. It starts from the west side of the Park. You’ll trek through the rainforest for the first day and a half before you traverse the Shira Plateau. It then meets with the Machame route and the two routes approach the summit from the south.|
|Machame||38.63||6* or 7||The Machame Route is known as the “Whiskey” route. It begins at Machame Gate, located at the southern base of the mountain. The route continues to climb through the lush rainforest to the Shira Plateau. It then joins with the Lemosho route traversing the mountain beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Icefield, before summiting from Barafu Hut.|
|Marangu||47.68||6*||The Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca-Cola” Route. It is the oldest summit approach on Mount Kilimanjaro. Marangu is considered the easiest ascent to the summit since it has a more gradual approach. However, it is the least scenic since you ascend and descend on the same trail. It is the only route that offers the sleeping huts which makes it ideal for rainy season climbs.|
|Northern Circuit||53.79||9||The Northern Circuit Route is the most amazing journey on Kilimanjaro. This is a relatively new route. It is a longer approach, yet fewer people travel the Northern Circuit. This makes it tranquil and you’ll have the stunning panoramic scenery almost to yourself. The route starts from the west, this is the only route that travels north around Mt. Kilimanjaro. It traverses nearly the entire mountain before the summit push. This is absolutely the most scenic path available and has almost no traffic on its northern face.|
|Rongai||42.53||6 or 7*||The climb begins at the remote, northern side of Kilimanjaro, near the Kenyan border. We hike through a true wilderness area towards the jagged Mawenzi Peak, then cross a barren desert saddle, before climbing up Kibo’s eastern crater wall. This is a more gradual ascent, and is therefore preferred by those with little or no backpacking experience, but is equally enjoyable for even the most hardened trekkers.|
|Northern Crater||56.5||10*||The Northern Crater Route is a variation of the Northern Circuit Route that adds an additional night of camping at Crater Camp. Crater Camp is located near Furtwangler Glacier – part of the ice cap that once crowned the entire summit of Kilimanjaro. From there, if you are feeling up to it, you can take the short hike over to the Reusch Crater and Ash Pit. The Northern Crater route is for the thrill seeker who wants a unique experience on Kilimanjaro.|
|Shira Route||41.0||–||Peak Planet does not guide the Shira route since it starts by driving above the rainforest—too high to really acclimate well. Once above the Rainforest, it is basically the Lemosho Route.|
|Umbwe Route||31.7||–||The Umbwe route is very short and steep. It has the lowest summit rate and for that reason, Peak Planet does not guide it. After day two it joins with the Machame route.|
Number of Days
Once you decide your route, you’ll need to pick the number of days.
Our climbs have an arrival and departure day built in. We recommend that you come in at least one day earlier. For example, if your arrival day is October 5th. Book your flight to arrive on the 4th. Booking this rest day allows for any flight delays and for any delayed or lost bags. This also gives you a day to recover from the long flight and to participate in the trip briefing.
When we say 10-day climb, you are on the mountain for eight days.
Private or Group
Though not a factor for how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro, you also need to decide if you would like a group or private climb.