Lava Tower campsite

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Altitude: 4630 m.a.m.s.l.

The lava tower campsite is an overnight camping area that is located next to the lava tower of mount Kilimanjaro. It is primarily used as an accommodation point for trekkers using the Northern circuit, Shira, Lemosho and Machame routes. The campsite is popular due to its location next to the Lava tower, a tall rock structure that trekkers were allowed in the past to climb to the top of and enjoy an amazing 360 degree view of the neighbouring areas and Kibo (the summit); However, this practice has since been banned for safety reasons.

The campsite does not have cabins for accommodation, offering only camping spaces where trekkers can pitch their tents for the night. The only built structures onsite are toilets but due to the lack of water supply at the camp, most of these are dry toilets in the form of 'long drop' pit latrines, housed inside a small wooden shack.

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Location of Lava Tower campsite

The lava tower campsite is located next to the lava tower and about a two hours hike to the base of Kibo (arrow glacier camp), the tallest of the three volcanic peaks/cones of mount Kilimanjaro. The vegetation of the area can be described as alpine desert, with little to no plants or rainfall, although the area does receive the occasional snowfall. More common are the formation of ice piles on the tower and 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).

Abbreviationsm.a.m.s.l. - metres above mean sea level

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