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Where do I do my business on Kilimanjaro and how do I keep myself clean?

The topic nobody wants to talk about, but everybody wants to know about.


Are there showers on Kilimanjaro?

Warm water bowls are provided at every campsite on Mt. Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro climber freshening up in the morning

This might sound a little scary, but there are no showers on Kilimanjaro.

All water on the mountain is carried from the closest stream to the camp and is mostly used for consumption.

To freshen up our cook provides a small bowl of boiled water to wash your hands and face at every campsite in the morning, at lunch and in the evening.

It is advisable to bring wet wipes to clean up. Other products which might be useful are biodegradable soap, a quick dry towel, disinfectent gel, classic antiperspirant and possibly a dry hair shampoo.


Kilimanjaro Public Toilets

Every camp site on Kilimanjaro has public toilets, but it is recommended you lower your expectations (a lot).

The facilities on Kilimanjaro do not feature western style toilets, nor do they have sinks with hot water or soap dispensers.

Many of them do not even have a door, but a walk around wall for privacy instead.

If the toilet happens to have a door, it is often askew due to the cold and therefore difficult to close. The doors usually have locks, however the lock may not work for the aforementioned reason.

Kilimanjaro public toilet
Kilimanjaro long drop toilet

What do public campsite toilets look like?

Public toilets on Kilimanjaro resemble a large outhouse.

Inside is a deep hole dug to allow for a long drop, which is also why they are called "long drop" toilets.

The hole is surrounded by a concrete "launch pad" on which one squats (or stands).

Kilimanjaro long drop toilet at Shira Camp
Morning clean up

Kilimanjaro National Park crews do their best to keep the facilities clean, but it is an uphill battle since almost everyone on the mountain uses them.

Thus, the more climbers arrive at the campsites and the later it gets in the day, the worst the toilet conditions become.

It can be helpful to focus on Kilimanjaro being a life changing experience, and, that most climbers are in the same boat, and, that this is only to be endured for a very short time...

But do not despair. For those of you not finding the above mantra helpful, there is good news below.


Private Toilet Tents on Kilimanjaro

The kind of private toilet tent used on Mt. Kilimanjaro
Private toilet tent on Kilimanjaro

Except for backpacker and budget climbs, Local Moshi Adventures includes one private toilet tent per four climbers on our climbs.

This portable toilet will be set up at every campsite and is available for the exclusive use of our private climb groups.

It can be used just like a regular toilet at home.

A few hand pumps will release water to rinse out the bowl.

The toilet crew is responsible for cleaning, maintaining and transporting the toilet between camps.