Lava Tower Camp, Kilimanjaro
For adventurous mountain climbers determined to conquer the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Lava Tower Camp is a mandatory stop. Located at an altitude of 4,600m above sea level, this campsite in the alpine zone is the preferred accommodation for climbers following different routes.
What is Lava Tower?
Lava Tower is an ancient formation that is believed to be the result of a volcanic vent. It appears to have occurred when molten lava emerged from a vent in the ground and then cooled and hardened, eventually blocking up the vent and leaving behind a steep, tower-like structure.
Climbing Kilimanjaro: Lava Tower Camp as a Pitstop
Due to its situated altitude, the Lava Tower Camp is an ideal spot to stop and rest as climbers using the Machame and Shira Routes take the necessary steps to prevent any risks related to altitude sickness. Here, trekkers can also take some time to appreciate the breathtaking views of the lava tower and its surrounding area.
What Activities are Available at Lava Tower Camp?
The campsite’s location has been made to blend in as best as possible with the natural beauty of the mountain. This means that there is no significant structure here apart from the toilets in the form of pit latrines inside a wooden shack.
Climbers visiting the Lava Tower camp can take advantage of its incredible location to practice several activities. Along with camping and trekking, visitors can enjoy sightseeing, rock climbing, picnics, and take pictures of the stunning panoramic views from the tower.
Best Time to Visit the Lava Tower Camp
The best time to plan a visit to this campsite is during the warm and dry seasons in the region, which run from July to February, coinciding with the best times of year to climb the mountain.
Location of the Lava Tower Camp
The Lava Tower Camp is located next to the iconic Lava Tower of Mount Kilimanjaro, following the Northern circuit route, the Shira route, the Lemosho route, or the Machame route. It is roughly two hours away from the Arrow glacier, the camp that sits at the foot of the tallest peak on Kilimanjaro, the Kibo summit.
Lava Tower Camp Map
Below is the location of Lava Tower Camp on a Map
Vegetation and Climate: An Alpine Desert
When it comes to the vegetation surrounding the camp, the term ‘alpine desert’ best describes the barren volcanic grounds, rocks and scree that make up the scenery. The area is usually dry without significant rainfall or snowfall, however, the nights often create ice piles on the lava tower from the moisture condensation. Winds tend to be stronger due to the open spaces around the camp and the effects of the altitude.
For hikers ready to put themselves to the test and face the highest mountain in Africa, the lava Tower Camp offers the perfect pitstop. Not only does the camp provide relief from the effects of altitude sickness, but it also allows hikers to enjoy the activities the area has to offer. With the best times of the year to visit stretching from July to February, this campsite is a must-visit for climbers of all levels of experience.