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Toilets On Kilimanjaro And What To Expect When Doing Your Business

Mark Whitman

The camping facilities and toilets on Kilimanjaro are rather basic. For some the biggest complaint are the toilets on Kilimanjaro. Let's just say the loos leave much to be desired.

So what can you do to improve your ablution experience on Kili?

Going to the toilet is an intensely personal experience. Doing so whilst camping on a 6 or 7 day hike however takes the 'personal' and the 'experience to a whole new level.

On Kilimanjaro there are really only two toilet options. In this short article, we'll discuss both.

Toilets on Kilimanjaro

toilets on kilimanjaro

A room with a view (base camp).

Option 1 - Use the toilets on Kilimanjaro

This option is chosen by most climbers and is probably why so many people complain. If you decide to use the toilets on Kilimanjaro then set your expectations really low and you won't be too disappointed. Bring your own toilet paper (2 rolls should be more than sufficient) and a sachet of baby wipes (preferably the biodegradable kind) - these are great for cleaning in general.

toilet kilimanjaro

From the outside, the camp bathrooms don't look too bad but unfortunately they're a lot worse on the interior.

There are toilets at the entrance gates and all the camps on Kilimanjaro plus you will find a few bathroom blocks at popular lunch stops on some of the routes. Other than those at the gate, these generally long-drop toilets and not much more than a hole in the floor. This is expected for many mountain bathrooms and not too much of a shock.

Here's my problem with these toilets; the contents of portable private toilets (more on this option below) also get dumped in these holes. Sadly, those emptying the 'buckets' often don't take much care with aim. 


This one is pretty foul but unfortunately, it's not all that uncommon to find a Kili toilet in this state.

Option 2 - Hire a Kilimanjaro Portable Loo

Most climbing companies offer climbers the option of taking a portable loo up the mountain.

porta potty, toilet kilimanjaro

Unless you want to brave the hole-in-the-floor toilets on Kilimanajro, hiring a portable toilet is a worthwile option.

Portable loos are nifty little devices that come with their own mini tent and work a dream. The loo is carried by a porter and setup at each camp. Typically the cost of hiring a portable loo is $150, which may seem a lot, but if you are in a group with two or three other climbers it can be very affordable.

Portable loos may sound a little extravagant and maybe they are. But at the end of the day if they make your climb more enjoyable we would argue that they are a good investment.


A little portable loo.

Another option

Finally, you will notice that some people take the opportunity to go native on Kilimanjaro and do their 'business' in the bushes on route. If you do need to go during the trek and in between camps then please don't leave your dirty toilet paper lying about. Take a small plastic bag with you for your rubbish and dispose of it when you get to your next camp.

So that's it for toilets on Kilimanjaro. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments below if you have any questions. We aim to respond to all comments within 24 hours.

You can also find a complete Kilimanjaro gear packing list here.

Mark Whitman

Hi, I'm Mark! Welcome to Climb Kilimanjaro Guide - the Web's No.1 Trekking Guide to Mount Kilimanjaro. This site is your one stop shop for everything Kilimanjaro. To date over 5 million people have visited Climb Kilimanjaro Guide, many of which have gone on to summit Kili! I hope you find all the answers you are looking for, but if you have any questions don't hesitate to drop a comment below!

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  1. Hello, climbing Kilimanjarro next week and I would like to hire a porto toilet and Tent. Our tour company can’t help us, could you please advise where to hire this from and is it advisable to hire now or when we get there. We will be staying in Moshi for the Machame route but home is the UK. Many thanks…

    1. Hi Lor, That’s unusual that the tour company doesn’t offer a portable toilet service – most companies do. Who are you trekking with? Your best bet is to try contact a company in Moshi who would be willing to hire a portable toilet to your tour operator for the duration of the trek. I don’t know any that would though. If you do manage to find a operator that is willing to hire out their portable loo then you will need to confirm with your tour company that they are willing to arrange an additional porter for your support crew as the toilet needs to be carried from camp to camp. Your tour operator will undoubtedly charge for this, in addition to the rental cost. Hope this is helpful and sorry I can’t recommend anyone who I know that would be willing to ‘hire out’ their loos onto another operators tour.

  2. I would like to arrange a portable loo for a group of ladies who will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro from Tuesday 14 July, please send me more information as I would really like to hire one asap

    1. Hi Nomvuyo, we are not a tour operator. I recommend contacting your tour operator who can organise a portable loo for you. Best regards!

  3. 2 questions.
    1. Where are the portable toilets emptied every day? I am guessing that there are composting areas near the ranger stations.
    2. How far from the campsites do the porters have to go to replenish the drinking water on the Machame Route?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi April, The porters generally empty the portable loos into the latrines at each of the camps. There is good access to water throughout the Machame route util you get to Barafu, here the porters have to walk back towards Karanga to replenish water. Hope this answers you questions.

  4. Hi, I am thinking of booking with gadventures, they don’t seem to include the toilet tent. Has anybody done the trecking with them

    1. Hi Irene, I would recommend getting a quote from my recommended operator. They include toilet tents and are by far one of the best operators on the mountain. All the best!

    1. Hi Kobo, different operators will have different costs. Some include a toilet as part of their package, whereas others charge extra for it. It should come in at around $150-$250 (including porterage).

  5. Is there any possibilities to bring one portable folding toilet with me? I don’t want to share my toilet with any other and the 150$ is too much for me to afford alone. So, it will be a pleasure to bring my own small portable toilet with me.

    1. Hi Shwan, I recommend checking with your tour operator if you can bring your own portable loo. The trouble is the loo and it’s tent need to be carried, which necessities another porter, hence the cost. If you join an open group with a good company they usually include a portable loo as standard. To get in touch with an operator who include a portable loo as part of their service go here: https://www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/go/

  6. If you do have to use the bathroom while you are on the trail do you have to bag up everything and carried out including if you have to urinate so should I be takenA container to collect my urine and then dispose of it when I get to camp

  7. This is really a good stuff. I have now an idea on what I do to improve my ablution experience on Kilimanjaro. Thanks!

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