Where do we poop while on Mount Kilimanjaro? This is one of those critical questions that visitors wishing to visit Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro ask themselves, and sometimes, us. First things first, we will begin by describing how the toilets are on the mountain. Then we’ll go through how our clients handle their short and long calls, you know the number ones and twos. You will come across toilets on every designated campsite on each route and the Kilimanjaro Park authorities are the ones that are in charge of maintaining these toilets on the mountain.
What are the toilets like on Mount Kilimanjaro?
Every campsite on the mountain has “long drop” toilets, as shown above. Toilets on Mount Kilimanjaro are very basic structures. They’re just holes drilled into the ground with a wooden shelter built on top of them. You stand or squat over the pit on a ceramic “launchpad.” Long drop toilets or the pit latrines on Kilimanjaro, as you might expect, are unmaintained and kind of unhygienic. The Kilimanjaro Park authorities are responsible for the general maintenance and hygiene of the toilets, which they do from time to time but we recommend hiring private toilets that come with an additional cost.
Our Private Toilets for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbers
We provide private bathroom tents for our guests, as indicated in the photo on the right. For privacy, the toilet tent is made up of a plastic potty covered with a phone booth-sized and shaped tent.
A cover, toilet seat, and water-based flushing system are included with the potty. You use it in the same way as you would a conventional toilet at home. Water is pumped into the bowl with a couple of hand pumps.
What if you have to go to pee while hiking Kilimanjaro?
You just hide behind a shrub or a rock when you need to take a short call or to pee while climbing Kilimanjaro.
Can I shower while climbing Kilimanjaro?
No, there are no shower facilities or bathrooms on the mountain.
A call of nature is a normal occurance and we should not be shy about it. We all need to use the loo at some time or the other and some of us do it frequently during the day or at night time.
Let’s start by putting your mind at ease. Every camp stop on a Kilimanjaro trip has public toilets. However, you’ll have to lower your expectations. Forget about lockable porcelain toilets, marble sinks with soap dispensers, hot water, and high-tech hand dryers. We’re talking about a wooden cabin that surrounds a deep pit in the earth (typically without a door, much alone a lock).
Unfortunately or fortunately enough, the toilets on the mountain are not that luxurious. They are basic structures built to do one purpose and one purpose only. You’ll have to get used to squatting and minimum privacy. Also, while Kilimanjaro National Park staff do their best to keep these facilities clean, it is not that easy to do it every day as these toilets are frequented by climbers, every single day. But look at the bright side, despite the limited hygiene issues on the toilet, you get to enjoy stunning views from your loo!
Can I get a private toilet on Kilimanjaro?
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro is a fantastic way to bond with your friends and family. Your guides, porters, and fellow hikers will become honorary brothers and sisters over time. However, we do understand that your privacy is of utmost importance and we have better options that are more hygienic and offer better privacy.
The porters on your climbing expedition are in charge of cleaning, repairing, and moving the toilets between camps, so that you can concentrate on your attempt to reach the summit and have a more stress-free mountain climbing adventure..
Do portable toilets cost more?
Yes, it may cost you between $100-$200 to get your own portable toilet while climbing mount Kilimanjaro. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding having private loos on your trip.
Biodegradable disposable bags for toilet paper
Any toilet paper and wipes used on the trek must not be left on the mountain to help preserve the nature of Kilimanjaro National Park. Instead, bring biodegradable (compostable) disposable bags to use each time you go to the bathroom to store your used toilet paper and wet wipes. Then you may get rid of them in camp every evening. You basically want the same bags you’d use for walking your dog — tiny ones that you can shut with a knot.
It’s worth noting that Tanzanian law prohibits the importation of standard single-use plastic bags. As a result, you must carry biodegradable bags.
What do I do when I need to poo in between the camps on Kilimanjaro?
If it is just to pee, you can just hide behind a bush or a rock and do your thing, but what happens when you want to go to the loo to poop but you have not reached the camp yet?
if you feel the urge to make a long call while trekking in between camps we strongly advise that you take a break behind the bush or rock and take your time. However, we strongly advise that you use disposable plastic bags or a container that can be emptied later and at least one roll of toilet paper or wet wipes for cleaning up. Please do not leave the tissue papers and wet wipes behind, carry them with you in a plastic bag or container, to throw away when you descend the mountain. This will keep Mount Kilimanjaro cleaner and greener as it is environmentally friendly.
Peeing on Mount Kilimanjaro: Advice for the ladies
Since you will be drinking a lot of water as recommended on your Kilimanjaro climb, you will need the urge to pee more too.
Additionally, as you climb higher, you will need to urinate more regularly, as altitude causes you to urinate more frequently.
Some female climbers on Kilimanjaro choose to use a Shewee or similar urination gadget to make it simpler to relieve themselves while on the mountain without squatting. These gadgets allow you to urinate like a man: simply turn away from the audience, unzip your pants, and push your panties aside, then wee into the contraption. Your wee will flow out in a stream away from your feet thanks to the funnel. We recommend going with a gadget that has a storage container.
Below is a video on how to use Shewee for ladies.