Climbing Africa’s highest mountain is no mean feat. If you’re thinking about taking on the challenge, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro. There’s no set, defined way to take on the mountain, and people make different choices, as do expedition companies. But we know the best way to take on the challenge in a manner that’s safe, manageable and, most importantly, gives you the best chance of a successful summit. So, if you’re wondering how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro, read on…
This is a marathon, not a sprint
There’s no set answer as to how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro. In fact, the fastest ascent ever was by Swiss ultra-runner Karl Egloff in 2014, whose round-trip ascent of Kilimanjaro took a shocking 6 hours and 42 minutes. However, this is of course far quicker than most people! Our expedition is 12 days in total, and the trek to the top of Kilimanjaro takes seven days.
How we climb Kilimanjaro
We have years of experience leading hikers to the top of Kilimanjaro, and we know the best way to make it happen. Our 12-day itinerary includes seven days of trekking on the Machame Trail. This time-frame allows for greater acclimatisation and increases the chance of a successful summit. If you tried to do it any faster, you run the risk of falling victim to high altitude and having to turn around.
What about summit day?
The super long summit day for Kilimanjaro actually starts in the dead of night, and you’ll be trekking for 14 hours. But unlike most companies, who spend their last night before summiting in Barafu camp, we stay in Kosovo camp. Kosovo camp is much higher, so it cuts an hour off our summit night!
Don’t forget, as well as our team of porters, guides and our expedition leaders, all of our trips are accompanied by a doctor. So you can be assured of your safety along the way.