Kilimanjaro Crater Camp

Kilimanjaro Crater Camp : Crater Camp is a unique place. It is the highest campsite on Mount Kilimanjaro, rising 18,865 feet above sea level. Just 475 feet separate it from the top. On the Northern Circuit and Lemosho routes, we provide the option to stay at Crater Camp. The regular routes will become the 9 Lemosho Crater Route and 10 Northern Crater Route with this option, which will add one day to each. We ascend to the peak throughout the day and return to Crater Camp for additional acclimatization.

The rest of the mountaineering team stays at high camp on the other Kilimanjaro routes; only the guides and clients reach the summit (i.e., Barafu). Our efforts are greatly increased when using Crater Camp because the entire mountain crew and all of the expedition gear must climb 4,000 feet higher than they normally would. As a result, taking the Crater Camp route comes at a significant premium.

A one-hour optional hike to Reusch Crater is available from Crater Camp, or you may just wander around the region near Furtwangler Glacier. It’s a beautiful sight to see Reusch Crater. The ash pit is 1,300 feet (400 meters) broad and 400 feet (120 meters) deep, and it is almost perfectly circular. Tourists rarely ever see this.

We can see the appeal of staying at Crater Camp. Yet, sleeping at such a high altitude has the consequence of being somewhat risky. If sufficient altitude acclimatization is not obtained, serious AMS may manifest. The 9-day Lemosho Crater Route and 10-day Northern Crater Route can only be taken on special requests and with Focus East Africa Tour’s consent due to customer and employee safety concerns.


 How high is Crater Camp? 5,750 m (18,865 ft.) above sea level is Crater Camp. The mountain’s top, Uhuru Peak, is 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) high. So, you don’t really descend very far before putting up a tent. Everest Base Camp, which stands substantially lower at 5,364 m, offers a different height comparison (17,598 ft).

How far from Uhuru Peak is Crater Camp? Only one kilometer (0.6 miles) separates Crater Camp from Uhuru Peak. The hike there can take up to an hour.

Which route must I climb for Crater Camp? We provide hiking to Crater Camp for clients ascending the Lemosho or Northern Circuit. For a stay at Crater Camp, good acclimatization is provided by these routes.

What’s special about Crater Camp? The opportunity to explore the crater throughout the day is Crater Camp’s main draw. Daytime temperatures may be pretty warm, and there are hardly any other people around for you to explore the crater with at your leisure.

Visitors to Kibo Crater can take advantage of getting up close and personal with sights like the ominous Ash Pit and the steep edges of the Furtwangler Glacier, which many people will never get to see. Also, the sunrise the following morning will be magnificent and unmatched, thanks to a short walk to the crater rim!

Lunar landscape

Kibo Crater’s lunar-like scenery is captivating. You move across grey-brown ash, scree, and rocks when they are not covered in snow. A small layer of snow in the winter can soften the scene and disguise its strange quality.

Ice fields

While the ice fields and lone glaciers on Kilimanjaro’s summit fluctuate with the seasons, the snow does not. Yet they have regrettably shrunk since 1912, losing 80% of their original mass.

While the Southern Ice Field is breathtakingly beautiful and accessible to all Kilimanjaro hikers, those who remain at Crater Camp get a closer glimpse at the Northern Ice Field, particularly the Furtwangler Glacier.

Furtwangler Glacier

One of the most well-known Kilimanjaro glaciers is Furtwangler Glacier. This is due, in part, to its proximity to Uhuru Peak. Nonetheless, the majority of hikers never even approach it. On the other side, those that travel down to Crater Camp get the pleasure of approaching it directly.

It is impossible to really appreciate Furtwangler’s size from a distance or from above, but you can do so by standing at the base of the mountain. You also get a chance to fully appreciate the grandeur of its icy blue and white hues and to observe up close the repetitive patterns that years of exposure to harsh cold and winds have inflicted on it.

Kilimanjaro Crater Camp
Furtwangler Glacier

The Ash Pit

The impressive mountain vent in Reusch Crater is known as “The Ash Pit.” The hole serves as a vivid reminder of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic past, and the precipitous descent is an impressive sight.

Reusch Crater and the Ash Pit are accessible by a two- to three-hour roundtrip hike from Crater Camp for those who are in good physical condition. It has to be among the most amazing photo opportunities available!

Expect a rough night.

Crater Camp guests should prepare for a challenging night. The extreme cold and altitude are the two main difficulties.

A very cold night

In the evening, Kibo Crater’s temperature can quickly fall below -10 °C (14 °F), occasionally even reaching about -20 °C (-4 °F). Another possibility is snow. The coldest months, with the greatest chance of snowfall, are December and January. Snowfall might make the scenery difficult to see, so keep that in mind. We strongly advise reading Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro before deciding on a month to climb.

Who should stay at Crater Camp? Those who have already traveled and slept at high altitudes are better suited for a stay at Crater Camp. These people are more aware of what their bodies are capable of and incapable of. Those who are accustomed to living at high altitudes also benefit.

We don’t think it’s our place to recommend or advise against including a Crater Camp sleepover. Everyone is unique, therefore, for some people, the scenery and experience of spending the night in Crater Camp will surpass any inconveniences. Others may find the nearly certain headaches, nausea, and insomnia to be too excessive and would be better off avoiding this choice. The only person who truly knows you is you.

Yet, we won’t just take everyone to Crater Camp. Your trip manager will need to know about your experience with high-altitude trekking, your familiarity with physical discomfort, and your comfort level with taking risks. The ascending path you would take will also be discussed with your trip manager because you need to climb a route that provides excellent acclimatization, Kilimanjaro Crater Camp

Thus, certainly, we will plan a Crater Camp itinerary for individuals who request it and who we believe are capable of handling its challenges. If you’d like to learn more about Crater Camp, please contact us. We’d be pleased to talk with you about it and provide you with free advice.



After traveling for almost 4 hours from Moshi, we arrive at the Londorossi Gate, where you must fulfill the entry procedures. The Lemosho trailhead next by driving there. At the trailhead, we start our hike through untouched forest that leads to the first camp site.

  • Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 6 km (4 miles).
  • Habitat: Rain Forest


We keep moving down the track that exits the rain forest and enters a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock covered in lichen beards. We reach the Shira Ridge before descending gently to Shira 1 Camp as we ascend through the verdant rolling slopes and cross various streams. Now, across the plateau, we receive our first glimpse of Kibo.

  • Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 8 km (5 miles).
  • Habitat: Health


We spent the entire day exploring the Shira Plateau. A leisurely stroll through moorland meadows leads to Shira 2 Camp. Next, we leave the main trail and head off to Moir Hut, a remote location at the foot of Lent Hills. Lent Hills offers a wide range of treks, making this a fantastic chance to acclimate. One of the highest plateaus on the planet is the Shira Plateau, Kilimanjaro Crater Camp

  • Elevation: 11,500 ft to 13,800 ft
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Distance: 11 km (7 miles).
  • Habitat: Health


We start the day by ascending a mountain and then move southeast in the direction of the 300-foot-tall Lava Tower, a volcanic rock formation. We drop to an elevation of 13,000 feet before entering the unusual but lovely Senecio Forest. Even if you start and end each day at the same level, spending time at a higher altitude helps your body adjust to the higher altitude.

Moir Hut to Lava Tower 

  • Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

  • Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
  • Hiking Time: 2–3 hours
  • Distance: 7 km (4 miles).
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Distance: 3 km (2 miles)
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


We start the day by making our way down a gully to the Great Barranco Wall‘s base. Then we hike up the approximately 900-foot cliff, which is not technically difficult. We travel through a number of hills and valleys after leaving the top of the Barranco Wall before making a sudden turn into the Karanga Valley. We have one tougher ascent before we reach Karanga Camp. Acclimatization is the goal of today’s shorter day, Kilimanjaro Crater Camp

  • Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 5 km (3 miles)
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


After leaving Karanga, we arrive at the intersection where the Mweka Trail joins it. We keep going up the steep slope to Barafu Hut. You have now finished the Southern Circuit, which provides views of the peak from a variety of positions. We set up camp here, took a nap, and ate a leisurely dinner before the summit day. From here, one can see Mawenzi and Kibo, the two summits.

  • Elevation: 13,106 ft. to 15,331 ft.
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 4 km (2 miles)
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


We start our ascent of the summit during the typical early hours. This section is the hardest part of the walk, both physically and mentally. It is the hardest part of the walk, both physically and mentally. We climb slowly but steadily for several hours, stopping frequently for little rests. As we go steeply to the crater rim, the trail becomes a dense scree. In the distance, we can make out the summit sign at Stella Point (18,900 feet). We keep going around the crater rim until we reach Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point on both Mount Kilimanjaro and Africa.

The remainder of the staff will join us to set up camp at Crater Camp once we descend a short distance there. You can choose to trek to Reutsch Crater and the ash pit, or you can just wander around the region around Furtwangler Glacier. At this height, sleeping can be hazardous. The guides will continuously watch you because serious AMS can arise if adequate altitude acclimation has not been accomplished, Kilimanjaro Crater Camp

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

  • Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours

 Uhuru Peak to Crater Camp

  • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 18,865 ft
  • Hiking Time: 0.5–1 hours
  • Distance: 5 km (3 miles)
  • Habitat: Arctic
  • Distance: 1 km (0.6 miles)
  • Habitat: Arctic


We now leave Crater Camp and continue straight down to the Mweka Hut campsite, stopping at Barafu for lunch along the way. Trekking poles are helpful because the terrain is fairly rocky and can be quite taxing on the knees. Due to its location in the upper forest, Mweka Camp may experience late-afternoon mist or rain. We have our final meal on the mountain later in the evening before a well-earned rest, Kilimanjaro Crater Camp

  • Elevation: 18,865 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Distance: 12 km (7 miles).
  • Habitat: Artic


We continue the descent to Mweka Gate on our final day, where we pick up the summit certificates. It could be muddy and damp at lower altitudes. We go another hour to Mweka Village from the gate. We’ll be picked up by a car at Mweka Village and taken back to our Moshi or Arusha hotel.

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 10 km (6 miles)
  • Habitat: Rain Forest
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