how long does it take to climb mount kilimanjaro

It takes at least five days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. However, a minimum of six days, and ideally seven eight or nine, offers a far better chance of reaching the top. For those with longer to spare, there are several more gradual and scenic ascent routes that can be done over 10 or more days.

The longer you allocate to a Kilimanjaro expedition, the greater the odds of summiting. Data accumulated by Kilimanjaro National Park indicates that fewer than 30 percent of those who attempt a five-day climb reach the top. For six- and seven-day climbs, the success rate increases to around 45 and 65 percent respectively. By contrast, more than 85 percent of those who allocate eight days or longer reach the summit.

Allowing seven days or longer for a Kilimanjaro has several advantages. It is safer than a shorter climb, with a reduced risk of altitude-related illness and fatigue-related accidents. A longer climb also allows you to opt for one of the quieter and more scenic alternatives to the oversubscribed Marangu Route. It gives you greater opportunity to appreciate the landscapes and vegetation, ranging from leafy montane rainforest to Afro-alpine moorland studded with giant lobelias and heathers. And it provides a better chance of encountering monkeys, chameleons, birds and other wildlife.

Below are the Kilimanjaro success rates as reported by Kilimanjaro National Park (2006):

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%

The greater the number of days on the mountain, the better your chances of reaching the top. Therefore the key to a safe, successful climb is to take the longest routes possible.