Complete Overview of Kilimanjaro Campsites by Route

There are over 20 Kilimanjaro campsites. In this article, we share details of the campsites on Mount Kilimanjaro by routes and also look at Kilimanjaro’s base camps or high camps.

Kilimanjaro Campsites by Route

Campsites on Mt Kilimanjaro vary by route. Here’s a breakdown of camps by route, including elevations.

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Lemosho Camps

Below are the camps on the Lemosho route. As the route can be completed on a 6, 7 or 8-day itinerary, the camp options vary. For example, 6-day itineraries typically skip Mti Mkubwa, and some operators use Moir Hut as an alternative to Shira Camp 2 (although this is rare).

  • Start Gate: Londorossi (2,100 meters)
  • Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters)
  • Shira Camp 1 (3,500 meters)
  • Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters), sometimes Moir Hut (4,150 meters)
  • Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) via Lava Tower (4,600 meters)
  • Karanga Camp (3,960 meters)
  • Barafu Base Camp (4,670 meters) to Summit (5,895 meters)
  • Descent: Millennium Camp (3,820 meters) or Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)
  • Finish Gate: Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)
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Kilimanjaro camping tents

Shira Camps

The Shira route is almost identical to the Lemosho but has a higher start point. For this reason, it is seldom used as it provides poor acclimatisation. The Shira route is effectively the 6-day Lemosho route with a stop at Simba Camp (3,630 meters) on day 1.

Machame Camps

The Machame route starts in the south and can be completed on a 6 or 7-day itinerary. The latter uses Karanga camp as an additional acclimatisation day. Here are the camps on the Machame.

  • Start Gate: Machame Gate (2,100 meters)
  • Machame Camp (2,820 meters)
  • Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters)
  • Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) via Lava Tower (4,600 meters)
  • Karanga Camp (3,960 meters)
  • Barafu Base Camp (4,670 meters) to Summit (5,895 meters)
  • Descent: Millennium Camp (3,820 meters) or Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)
  • Finish Gate: Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)
campsite-tents-on-kilimanjaro

Umbwe Camps

The Umbwe route follows a more direct path up Mount Kilimanjaro from the Southside of the mountain. The route is used by those looking to scale Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach. It can be completed on a 5, 6 or 7-day itinerary. The latter builds in an additional acclimatisation day at Barranco Camp. Here are the camps on the Umbwe.

  • Start Gate: Umbwe Gate (1,600 meters)
  • Umbwe Cave Camp (2,850 meters)
  • Barranco Camp (3,900 meters)
  • Karanga Camp (3,960 meters)
  • Barafu Base Camp (4,670 meters) to Summit (5,895 meters)
  • Descent: Millennium Camp (3,820 meters) or Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)
  • Finish Gate: Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)

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Marangu Camps

The Marangu Route is the only trail on Kilimanjaro that uses hut accommodation. It can be completed on a 5 or 6-day itinerary. The latter builds in an additional acclimatisation day at Horombo Hut. Here are the camps on the Marangu.

  • Start Gate: Marangu Gate (1,870 meters)
  • Mandara Hut (2,700 meters)
  • Horombo Hut (3,720 meters)
  • Kibo Hut (4,700 meters) to Summit (5,895 meters) back to Horombo
  • Finish Gate: Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)
Hut accommodation on the Marangu Route

Rongai Camps

The Rongai Route is the only trail that starts from the North of Mount Kilimanjaro. It can be completed on a 6 or 7 day itinerary. Here are the camps on the Rongai.

  • Start Gate: Nalemuru Gate (2,020 meters)
  • Simba Camp (2,625 meters)
  • Second Cave Camp (3,480 meters)
  • Kikilewa Camp (3,630 meters)
  • Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,310 meters)
  • Kibo Camp (4,700 meters) to Summit (5,895 meters)
  • Descent: Horombo Hut (3,720 meters)
  • Finish Gate: Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)
Sleeping under the stars on Mount Kilimanjaro

Northern Circuit Camps

The Northern Circuit is an extension of the Lemosho route that uses the northern traverse around Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the longest and quietest route on Kilimanjaro and can be completed on an 8 and 9-day itinerary. Here are the camps on the Northern Circuit.

  • Start Gate: Londorossi (2,100 meters)
  • Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters)
  • Shira Camp 1 (3,500 meters)
  • Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters)
  • Moir Hut (4,150 meters)
  • Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters)
  • Third Cave Camp (3,870 meters)
  • School Hut (4,750 meters) to Summit (5,895 meters)
  • Descent: Millennium Camp (3,820 meters) or Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)
  • Finish Gate: Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)

Mweka Camps

The Mweka route is used for descent only. There are two camps on the Mweka, the Millennium Camp (3,820 meters) and Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)

Kilimanjaro Base Camp

Mt Kilimanjaro has three base camps or high camps:

  • Barafu Camp (4,670 meters): Barafu base camp is used by the hikers on the Lemosho, Machame and Umbwe routes. It follows a zigzag route up the slopes of Kibo to the sub-summit, Stella Point (5,739 meters).
  • Kibo Hut/Camp (4,700 meters): Kibo base camp is used by hikers on the Marangu and Rongai routes. It follows a slightly steeper and longer path up the slopes of Kibo to the sub-summit, Gilman’s Point (5,685 meters).
  • Crater camp (5,800 meters): Crater base camp is the highest camp on Mount Kilimanjaro, and is situated in Kibo’s volcanic crater. Due to its altitude, one needs to properly acclimatise before sleeping at crater camp.

Sources: Tanzania Tourist Board, UNESCO World Heritage Convention List

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