The Shira route is another path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west, and it is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. While Lemosho starts at Londorossi Gate and treks through the rain forest to Shira 1 Camp, the Shira route bypasses this walk by using a vehicle to transport climbers to Shira Gate, located near the Shira Ridge.

On the first day on the mountain, climbers begin their hike from 11,800 feet (3,600 m) and spend their first night at the same elevation at Simba Camp. Then, the route merges with Lemosho and follows the southern circuit route. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, Lemosho is recommended over Shira due to the high altitude of Shira’s starting point. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day due to failed acclimatization. Climbers using Shira should be confident of their ability to acclimatize.

The route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, in the south-east. Because the starting point is far from Moshi and Arusha, it is more expensive to climb this route due to the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate. Scenicaly, Shira is beautiful because it crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau, and then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit. Shira has low traffic until it combines with Machame.

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate, Hike to Shira 2 Camp
Day 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate, Hike to Shira 2 Camp

The drive from Moshi to the trailhead takes about 3 hours. We hike through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Shira Camp.

Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Distance: 8km/5mi
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest

Day 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Semi-desert

Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.

Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Hiking Time: 34 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.

Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Distance: 4km/2mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3090m/10,150ft
Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes).

Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Forest

Price includes:

All accommodations per itinerary
All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
All tours and entrance fees per itinerary
All transportation and transfers per itinerary
National Park gate fees
Transport from Moshi to starting point on mountain and return to Moshi
Hut or camping fees
Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
Salaries for all crew members
Rescue fees (as required by national park)
All meals on the mountain
Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
Oximeters

# of People:

     1: $ 2,745
2-3: $ 2,545
4-6: $ 2,245
  7+: $ 2,095

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