Shira route is almost identical to the Lemosho route, but starts at a higher elevation at 3,600. Starting at a higher elevation, it is possible for most climbers experience altitude sickness on the first day. This route is better suited to the slightly more adventures hiker, however rewarding with scenic beauty that is not seen on the Marangu route.
- Difficulty: Very high
- Scenery: Excellent
- Traffic: Low
-Arrival and departure Kilimanjaro airport transfers
– Accommodation in Town
-Scheduled Riverside bus shuttle transfer Nairobi-Arusha-Nairobi if arriving/departing from Nairobi.
-Transport from the hotel to the mountain and back to the hotel
-Accommodation as indicated
-Sleeping tent and mattresses on the mountain
-Dining tent on the mountain
-Meals as indicated above (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
-All park fees, including mountain rescue fees, government taxes and all applicable fees and taxes.
-Services of a Professional Leading Guide who is medically trained, certified, licensed and English speaking.
-Services of English-speaking assistant guide (s) and enough number of porters for your luggage, food, and water, and a skilled cook.
-Transport from your hotel to the mountain, and back to your hotel.
-Group average of 4~6 climbers, maximum of 15.
-Oxygen bottle and pulse oximeter
-Items of a personal nature such as passport, and visa,
-Climbing gears (can be rented on arrival)
-Tips (recommended in USD, Cash)
-Medical Equipment which can be rented well in advance for the following costs: $250/group for hyperbaric chamber, and $140/group for a stretcher. Please note these prices include a porter to carry the equipment.
-The pack that the porters carry is limited to 35 pounds (i.e. 15kgs)
-Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $10/day
You can leave extra luggage in Hotel in Arusha (if you leave any valuable items like cash, jewelry, etc) make sure you get a receipt for that.
*If you add that day, instead of just staying at the hotel, we can offer a day trip to the nearby Arusha National Park for game drives for $180pp inclusive of 1to 2 hours hiking on mount Meru. Starting from 4 pax in a group.
Day 1 – Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport,
Met upon Arrival and transfer to hotel in Arusha,
Accommodation & Meals: Arusha Gold Crest Hotel, B, B.
Day 2; Londorosi Gate (2,100 m) to Morum barrier (3,600 m) to Simba Camp (3,680 m)
The Shira Route begins at Londorosi Gate (2,100 meters) in the West, the same start point as the Lemosho Route. The drive to Londorosi Gate takes approximately three hours from Moshi and considerably longer from Arusha. Registration with the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities occurs at the gate and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point at Morum barrier. Most tour operators serve lunch here before the short first day trek to Simba Camp (3,680 meters) begins. You may get lucky and spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you trek towards your first camp. Dinner will be served when you reach Simba Camp.
Estimated Trekking distance: 4km / 2 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 2-3 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone
Accommodation & Meals: Simba Camp (3,680 meters). B, L, D.
Day 3 – Simba Camp (3,680 meters) to Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters)
Day two starts with a gradual hike through the final stretch of the rainforest zone and then gets steeper as you approach the low alpine moorland zone. The trek is a long one that stops briefly for lunch at Shira Camp 1 which is on the western edge of the Shira Plateau; just over 8km from your starting point. You then continue on your hike across and up the Shira plateau to Shira Camp 2 at 3,850 meters. Here you will join trekkers from the Machame Route whilst enjoying stunning view across the valley below and Western Breach of Kilimanjaro above. The plateau is exposed so be prepared for a cold night with temperatures getting below zero.
Estimated Trekking distance: 6km / 4 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 2-4 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone/ Low Alpine Zone
Accommodation & Meals: Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters). B, L, D.
Day 4 – Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters) to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) and then Baranco Camp (3,900 meters)
On day three you will start trekking due east from the Shira Plateau, passing through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’ which also features many giant lobelias. The landscape rapidly becomes desert-like as you approach Lava Tower and the Shark’s Tooth formation at 4,600 meters. You will have lunch at Lava Tower before joining the Southern Circuit trail which descends to Baranco Camp 3,900 meters where you will spend the night at a very similar elevation as the night before. Climbing high and sleeping low is a good way to acclimatize the body to altitude. Note: some tour operators offer variations of this route via Moir Camp just north of Lava Tower, before joining the Southern Circuit.
Estimated Trekking distance: 11km / 7 miles,
Estimated Trekking time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone/ High Alpine Zone
Accommodation & Meals: Baranco Camp (3,900 meters). B, L, D.
Day 5 – Baranco Camp (3,900 m) to Karanga Camp (3,960 m).
After breakfast, we continue up a steep ridge to the great Baranco Wall, and then you climb this imposing obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. With Kibo’s glaciers soaring overhead, you descend into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite for hot lunch. From the camp, you can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky.
Estimated Trekking distance: 4.5km / 3 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Zone: Low alpine zone / High alpine zone
Accommodation & Meals: Karanga Camp (3,960 m). B, L, D.
Day 6 – Karanga Camp (3,960 m) to Barafu Camp (4,680 m).
After breakfast, we leave the camp and continue to the Base camp (Barafu). The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids. After an early dinner, go to bed for a few hours of precious sleep.
Estimated Trekking distance: 5.5km / 3 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 3-5 hours
Zone: High alpine zone
Accommodation & Meals: Barafu Camp (4,680 meters). B, L, D.
Day 7 – Barafu Camp (4,680 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)
Day five starts at midnight with hot tea, biscuits and a long and zigzagging hike up the heavy scree that covers the steep slopes of Kibo. The going is slow and very tough. You will need to dig deep and ensure you maintain a consistent pace to push yourself up to the crater rim. After about 4-6 hours hiking you will reach Stella Point (5,739 meters) where you will have a chance to rest and watch dawn break across the Tanzanian landscape. It is a good idea to have some hot tea or hot chocolate at this point as you will need to muster the energy to continue for another 1-2 hours around and up the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters). Remember to keep your momentum moving forward, one step at a time. Over 60% of climbers stop at Stella Point but most can make it to the summit if they are able to find the metal strength to push through. Obviously if you are experiencing severe AMS symptoms you should descend immediately. Your time at Uhuru Peak will be brief. Take as many pictures as you can, savor your accomplishment and then start heading back to Stella Point. Many trekkers slide down the scree slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp, where you will have a chance to rest before continuing on to Mweka Camp (3,100 meters). In total you will be trekking between 12-16 hours on day 5 so it is really important that you pace yourself and remain hydrated.
Estimated Trekking distance: 4.5km / 3 miles ascent and then 11km / 7 mile descent
Estimated Trekking time: 6-8 hours to the summit and then 5-8 hours to Mweka
Zone: Glacial zone and the all preceding zones
Accommodation & Meals: Mweka Camp (3,100 meters). B, L, D.
Day 8 – Mweka Camp (3,100 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)
The final day on the mountain is a short one, but nonetheless tiring as your body will be exhausted and your knees will likely be sore from the previous day’s descent. Go slowly and enjoy the wonderful rainforest scenery as you head towards Mweka Gate (1,640 meters). At the gate you will need to sign-out with the authorities and will also receive your certificate, either for Stella Point or for Uhuru Peak. It is customary to pay your tips to your trekking team before you depart back to your hotel in Arusha.
Estimated Trekking distance: 9km / 6 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 3-5 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone
Accommodation & Meals: Arusha Gold Crest Hotel, B, L.
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