What Are the Toilet Facilities Like on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Our usual toilet experiences differ significantly from those on Mount Kilimanjaro. In this article, we’ll explore the available toilet options on the mountain, ranging from basic campsite facilities to the possibility of private portable solutions.

Using Toilets on Kilimanjaro 

Every campsite on a Kilimanjaro trek is equipped with public toilets. However, it’s important to adjust your expectations. These are not the porcelain thrones with locking doors and soap dispensers that you might be accustomed to. Instead, you’ll find basic wooden structures, often lacking doors, surrounding a deep hole in the ground. Prepare for squatting and minimal privacy. Kilimanjaro National Park staff work hard to maintain these facilities, but the sheer volume of climbers presents challenges. As a result, the communal ‘long drop’ toilets can emit strong odors, making the experience uncomfortable and unsanitary.

Private Toilets on Kilimanjaro 

Yes, we offer “portable private toilets.” These are fully equipped chemical toilets enclosed in their own discreet tents for complete privacy. This private restroom is reserved exclusively for you and your group’s use. Similar to the basic facilities, this portable toilet is set up and accessible only at the campsite. The porters responsible for the trek ensure the cleaning, maintenance, and transportation of these portable toilets between camps. This guarantees hygienic and private restroom breaks for you.

Using Toilets Between Camps 

For urination, if necessary, you can discreetly find a private spot behind a tree or bush. It’s advisable to inform your guide to avoid any misunderstandings. As you ascend beyond the tree line, finding cover becomes more challenging. You might find larger shrubs or boulders for privacy. Carrying a suitable container can be a practical solution for both urination and defecation. Specialized products like Shewee for women and Peebol for everyone are available on platforms like Amazon. There are also “personal toilet” kits designed for events like festivals that work well for Kilimanjaro treks. Having a container proves useful during the hike and at night. If you need to defecate while on the trail, find a secluded spot, and use disposable plastic bags for waste collection. Carry toilet paper and wet wipes for cleanup. Proper disposal is crucial, and you must take everything with you to the next campsite. The porters will manage it from there.

Understanding Long Drop Toilets 

A long drop toilet, also known as a pit latrine, is a simple setup where human waste is collected in a hole in the ground beneath the toilet seat. This can function with or without flowing water. Long drop toilets are designed to reduce the spread of diseases and pathogens through flies.

Maintaining Long Drop Toilets 

The maximum depth for a long drop toilet is typically one meter below ground level. Once it’s filled up to about 330mm, a new hole must be dug. After use, the hole must be thoroughly covered with soil for proper disposal.