We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sleeping at Crater Camp

Windham, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Sleeping at Crater Camp

I've successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route in 2012. We are headed back again, this time with our son. We want to do it this time a bit differently. We are planning an 8 day Machame route which includes staying in the crater overnight. We are going to climb to the summit prior to sleeping in the crater overnight. I like adventure and I had no problem at all my last trip. Just wondering from experienced people who have already stayed in the crater their advice, suggestions and expertise. Thanks for you time!

Windham, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Just need some feedback as to sleeping at Crater Camp ...anyone!

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,085 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Haven't heard of anyone doing it. The forum is also quite slow these days.

Have you tried the Search option above, or Lonely Planet Thorntree forum?

Windham, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Thanks for responding. Just surprised that you only responded...thanks for your input!

Arusha Tanzania
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
Level Contributor
1,649 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Hi

Very very cold and extra costs for portable toilet and bonuses for the crew.

Hope this helps a little

Windham, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Thanks! Yes, I did know that but wondered if you stayed at the crater?

Windham, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

I see in your post that you say to avoid staying overnight in the crater. I did the Lemosho route with no issues. Trying something new, a challenge! We are summiting first, then staying the night to avoid any chance of altitude sickness. The altitude didn't bother me so I thought... what the heck, I am ready for an experience of a lifetime! :)

nyc
Level Contributor
14,789 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

I don't recall reading these many years of anyone sleeping in the Crater.

If no replies here, suggest you contact your tour operator for the trek for references from those who have. Request the email address and phone #s for their input. Good luck!

Newark, Delaware
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Sleeping in the crater camp is a great adventure for some. But it comes with both a price and a significant risk. The main advantage with staying in the crater camp is that you have some time to explore the crater floor and get up close an personal with the glaciers. There are always some crazy surprises left from the receding glaciers. If you Google images for Kilimanjaro Glaciers you will get a glimpse of what you have to look forward to. It is beautiful.

On the other hand sleeping at high altitude is extremely dangerous. Over the years there have been many severe medical issues encountered while staying in Crater camp. During the night it is possible to suffer from Cerebral Edema and if a guide is not checking you regularly throughout the night, the condition could go unnoticed resulting in death. The added difficulty is that there is no way to descend without ascending. Thus, a hyperbolic chamber (gamow bag) is a must.

Overnight at the crater has become quite popular with many of the High End / Very Expensive Trekking companies. They use it as a way to create a niche and to justify their very high sales prices. Currently there are about 1000 people sleeping in the crater over the year (yes no post on TA forums as these are a different type of traveler, but you might find something on Summit Post).

As far as cost goes, it will depend on the number of people in your group, but the costs should not be all that more. Expect: $200 per person special permit from KINAPA, plus Hyperbaric Chamber +/- $200 per trek, Extra Portable toilet for Crew +/- $200 per trek, Extra Emergency Oxygen for Crew +/- $200 per trek, Emergency Stretcher, Crew bonuses, etc. So for a group of 2 your looking at probably $1000 extra cost per person, group of 6 would be more around $600 extra per person. Do plan ahead as the special permits take some time to organize.

The last time I was in crater camp (a little over 2 years ago), it was filthy. Garbage hidden behind rocks, toilets emptied along the trail, and areas where people used the toilet without a proper toilet. None of that goes away naturally. The park now has become very serious about only giving permits to companies that they trust to keep it clean and leave no trace. But it seems they have yet to organize a serious cleanup effort for the damage that had already been done.

As a company we are very cautious and only allow crater camp for people that are already serious mountaineers. Of those that have done the crater, none have regretted it and highly recommend it. But I have spoken with many "amateur mountaineers" that traveled with other reputable operators that really did not value the experience of the Crater Camp. Some were not properly equipped and were cold. Others had altitude problems. And a couple just did not enjoy being on the mountain from what I could tell.

I hope this helps give you an idea of the pros and cons, so that you can put them on the scale. If you are seriously about the crater camp, you should consider using the Grand Traverse route as it gives the best acclimatization.

Windham, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

THANK YOU so much for the great information. We have booked our trip and are going to sleep at Crater Camp. I appreciate your input!

Mackay, Australia
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Sleeping at Crater Camp

Have you done the climb yet, if so how was it staying at the crater camp? I am looking at doing the Lemosho/ Western Breach/ Crater Camp route in June next year, and was just curious too know how you found spending the night at such high altitude, and how cold it actually got, what rating sleeping bag did you use?

Cheers