How Long To Summit Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and one of the continent’s most recognized landmarks. It stands tall at 5,895 meters and has been talked about for centuries as a mountain of extreme difficulty and that has challenged many climbers all over the world. It’s an amazing mountain to stand on and an even more amazing feat to have climbed it. But how long does it take to conquer the massive Kilimanjaro?
Kilimanjaro has many routes to the summit, each leading to different camps, terrains, and length of climb. The most popular route is the Marangu or ‘Coca-Cola’ route and takes around five to six days, though the actual time to summit can be longer depending on how you handle the altitude. The Marangu is the cheapest and the easiest route up the mountain, though much less scenic than the other routes.
The Machame route is the most popular alternative to the Marangu route and takes anywhere from 6-8 days to complete, including a summit day. Since this route has a higher and more gradual elevation, it makes it easier and safer to reach the summit when compared to the Marangu route. With the Machame route you will also get to view some of Kilimanjaro’s most beautiful valleys and glaciers.
Other routes to the summit include the Lemosho, Rongai, and Shira routes, which are all slightly harder than the Machame route. Depending on the route taken, climbers should plan on spending a minimum of seven days to summit the mountain. These routes generally provide better acclimatization opportunities, increase the chance of making the summit, and provide for more scenic hiking.
When attempting to summit Kilimanjaro, it is important to make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the climb. It is recommended to start training at least four weeks before the climb by doing cardio exercises such as running, biking, and swimming. It’s also a good idea to start a basic strength training routine as well. The better prepared that you are, the easier and faster it will be for you to summit.
In addition to getting in physical shape, it is important to get in acclimation shape as well. Altitude sickness is the number one concern when it comes to Kilimanjaro and can be very dangerous if not taken seriously. The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to take your time while climbing and make sure that you don’t rush your ascent.
How long it takes to summit Kilimanjaro ultimately is up to the individual and the route taken, but it’s important to make sure that you take your time and get acclimated to the altitude. With the right preparation and proper acclimation, making the summit of Kilimanjaro is possible and can be a life-changing experience.


When it comes to conquering Kilimanjaro, safety should always be the priority. Even though it is possible to summit without a guide, it is important to hire a reputable guide and hire a professional outfitter to provide the quality tools and equipment necessary for your adventure. A good guide will be able to plan out the appropriate schedule and make sure that you are properly acclimatized throughout the journey. Your guide will also help look out for any potential medical issues that may arise, as well as provide essential route finding and navigation while on the trail.
It is also important to make sure that you have the right clothing and equipment. Making sure you have the right clothing and equipment is paramount to staying safe and comfortable throughout your journey. Your clothing should be designed to wick away moisture, insulate you from cold temperatures, and provide protection from harmful ultraviolet radiation. For more protection and warmth, you should also look into purchasing a down jacket and insulated shell.
When it comes to selecting a tent for the camp, it is important to make sure that it is capable of handling both wind and snow. The last thing you want is for your tent to blow away in a storm or be filled with snow in the night. Also make sure to bring plenty of food and water with you on your journey, as you will be consuming much more than usual due to the high altitude and hard physical effort.
In summary, safety should always be the top priority when climbing Kilimanjaro. Make sure you have the necessary tools and supplies to stay comfortable, warm, and well-nourished, and always pay attention to your body and the signs of altitude sickness. Doing so will ensure that you have the best chance of making it to the top.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is the biggest danger when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro. It is a very real and dangerous condition that can completely derail your climb and can even put your life in danger if left untreated. To give yourself the best chance of avoiding altitude sickness it is important to make sure that you properly acclimatize to the increased altitude during your trek.
At high altitudes, the air is thinner which means there is less oxygen in the air than at lower elevations. This lack of oxygen can cause the body to become starved of oxygen, leading to the various symptoms of altitude sickness – shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and general fatigue. The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to go slowly and give your body time to get used to the thinner air before pushing it too hard.
If any of the symptoms of altitude sickness are experienced then it is important to stop and rest. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat plenty of calories to keep your body nourished. If the symptoms become worse, then it is important to descend until the symptoms subside.
In the event of a serious medical emergency, there are a few organizations who will provide airlifts for emergencies, such as the International Rescue Committee and KINAPA Help. However, it is important to keep in mind that these organizations do not operate all the time and can take several days to respond.
The best advice is to always use common sense and take your time while ascending. Going too fast and pushing too hard can lead to serious medical problems, so it is important to be aware of your body and know the signs of altitude sickness. With the right preparation and a slow, steady approach, it is possible to summit Kilimanjaro and reach the “roof of Africa”.


Training is essential to successfully summit Kilimanjaro. This means both physical and mental training. Physical training should start at least four weeks before the climb, with an emphasis on cardio exercises and basic strength training routines. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a physical challenge, and training will help to prepare your body for the rigors of the climb.
Mental training is also important and is a great way to help stay motivated, focused, and strong throughout the climb. Create a positive mindset by visualizing yourself reaching the summit and preparing for challenging moments. Listen to music that motivates you, read positive affirmations, or list positive thoughts in a journal to help motivate yourself towards your goal.
It is also important to understand the hazards of the mountain and the various measures you need to take in order to safeguard yourself while on the mountain. Preparing yourself mentally will give you the strength and determination you need to make it to the top.
Finally, it is important to remember to stay positive throughout the journey. Pacing yourself, staying calm when challenges arise, and enjoying the small milestones of your journey will help keep you focused on your final goal – reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.


Climbing Kilimanjaro is no easy feat – it is a long and arduous journey that is strenuous both physically and mentally. It is important to keep in mind that challenges will arise and you will have to dig deep and find the strength within to push through and make it to the top.
Before setting out on the trail it is important to come up with a plan for how you are going to handle the challenges and obstacles that you will face. Every climb is different and it is important to be prepared for anything that may arise. Secondary goals should be set that will help motivate you, such as reaching a certain camp or section of the trail in a certain amount of time.
In addition to planning and setting goals, it is important to stay connected to the team and the support systems around you. Your team can help you stay focused, motivated, and focused on reaching your goal. It can be easy to get caught up in the journey and forget why you set out on the climb in the first place, so it is important to stay connected and have people there to hold you accountable and cheer you on to the top.
Finally, it is important to remember that you are on Kilimanjaro for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, it has to be something that is important to you and will keep you going in moments of doubt and exhaustion. It is your mission and vision that will drive you to the top and help you to turn a seemingly insurmountable task into an achievable goal.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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