The lava Tower Camp is situated in the upper area of Mount Kilimanjaro, otherwise known as the alpine zone. The alpine zone is distinguished by infertile, barren, and full of rocks thereby bearing very few and scattered plants with a robust ability to survive these harsh climatic conditions.

The Lava Tower camp is popular among mountain climbers accessing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route as an alternative trail to Barranco Camp. This route to Barranco Camp via the lava Tower assists in minimizing the effects of altitude sickness and helps with acclimatization by assisting climbers to climb high and camp at the lower altitude. The Lava Tower Camp’s main purpose is to act as an overnight stop especially on the third night for climbers using the  Shira Route.

Lava Tower’s preferred camping site

This camp is primarily the overnight camping site used as an accommodation area located next to the popular lava tower of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Which Routes use the Lava Tower camp?

The Lava Tower camp is the preferred option for a number of climbers using the following routes:

Why is the lava Tower Camp so popular?

The campsite is located near a popular Mount Kilimanjaro feature, the lava Tower, a gigantic and tall rock structure on Mount Kilimanjaro. This tower offers panoramic, 360 degrees views of the mountain and the neighbouring areas as the tallest summit on the mountain, the Kibo.

A few years back, climbers had permission to climb the lava Tower but for safety reasons, this practice has been forbidden.

The lava Tower camp is only a campsite and camping area, only tents are to be pitched here as the area has no cabins or significant structures apart from toilets in the form of pit latrines inside a wooden shack. The pit latrines are the better option here since there is no running water available.

What to do at the Lava Tower Camp

Among the activities to do this campsite include camping, hiking, picnics, rock climbing, sightseeing, and trekking.

Best time to visit the lava Tower

The best time to visit this campsite is during the warmer and drier seasons of July to February, all year round which is also the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Location of Lava Tower campsite

The Lava Tower Camp is situated next to Lava Tower, at an altitude of 4,600m above sea level, on the upper part of Mount Kilimanjaro in the alpine. It is also worth noting that the campsite is located along the Shira Route and on a small diversion from the Machame Route.

It will take you approximately two hours hike from the camp to arrow glacier camp at the foot slopes of the tallest peaks of Kilimanjaro, the Kibo summit.

lava Tower, KilimanjaroLava Tower Vegetation and Climate

The vegetation and climatic zone around the Lava Tower can be categorized as an alpine desert, with scarce plants and rainfall with equally little snowfall.
More common is the formation of ice piles on the tower and the area around it, as a result of moisture condensation during the nights.

Much of the area around the campsite holds barren volcanic grounds with rocks and scree serving as the only vegetation.

However, winds are moderately high mostly due to the open spaces on each side.

The next campsite after this would be either Moir’s hut (Northern circuit route), Arrow glacier (Western breach route) or Barranco (Machame, Shira and Lemosho routes).

Additional information

RoutesNorthern circuit route, Shira route, Lemosho route, Machame route.
AmenitiesCampsite, Pit Latrines
VegetationAlpine Zone

lava tower camp
Lava Tower