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How Long Does it Takes to Hike Kilimanjaro

How Long Does it takes to hike Kilimanjaro to the summit? This is the common question for many people who are planning to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro hiking routes and their variations take between five to nine days to complete. 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.


It takes between five to nine days on the longer routes to hike to Mount Kilimanjaro Summit Uhuru peak and descend to the Finish point. The more days you spend on the mountain acclimatizing, the better your chances of reaching the top. Trekkers who spend only 5 days have the lowest Summit success rate. Trekkers who spend 8 or 9 days have a much better chance of summiting. Read more about the best routes to climb Kilimanjaro and the days they take.

How Long Does it takes to hike Kilimanjaro

How long does it takes to hike Kilimanjaro on each route?

There are a total of six different routes you can use to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The shortest possible way to the summit is by the Marangu or the Umbwe Route. These routes can be completed in 5 days (but we don’t recommend it for most hikers). The longer treks, Lemosho, Machame, Rongai or Northern Circuit route take 6-10 days.

The main reason you’d want to take a longer route is to give your body time to acclimatize to the altitude, but there are other considerations as well. Unless you are very fit, covering the same amount of ground in a shorter time-frame can increase your chances of fatigue and injury – and compromise your enjoyment of the environment.

We recommend Trekkers who have a flexible schedule to consider a longer route or build-in one or two acclimatization days and have an easier time reaching the summit. Each route is varied in the duration on the mountain, the types of accommodation, the level of difficulty, the type of scenery, and other factors.

The table below lists each route, sorted by the number of days usually taken on each route.

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

Don’t Rush Your Kilimanjaro Climb

Our primary concern is that you have a safe, enjoyable, memorable Kilimanjaro climb.

It is possible to climb the mountain in five or six days, but why take the chance? Some clients want to minimize their days in order to save costs, which is understandable. But we feel that the additional cost is well worth it. Not only is it safer, but you increase the probability of your success, have more time to enjoy the experience, can take acclimatization hikes to other parts of the mountain you’d otherwise miss, and will probably feel better as well, given that there is less stress on your body.

Ask yourself this. How would you feel if you scheduled a route with the minimum required days, only to have to turn around within the first couple days because the rate of ascent was too quick? Wouldn’t you rather have added a couple days to your trip to give yourself a better chance, to be more fair to your body? Were the ‘savings’ you got for not taking additional days worth the cost of cutting your climb short, not making it to the summit, or even worse, putting your health at risk?

Journey to the Top of Africa with Confidence


A trek in this mountain is a life-time awe experience, a world class achievement that we are at Smile with Us will be happy to be part of while you take on. Focus is to get you to enjoy every moment of the trek as you find your way to the top. A team of well-motivated professional Kilimanjaro guides and porters will take on the lead as you take the challenge.