Booking for : Shira Route

Shira Route

Tour Details

The Shira Route is a difficult route that begins in the west, at Shira Gate. What is unique about Shira is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather driven. Therefore, climbers using Shira will miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones, the rain forest. (Click on Map to open larger image).

Below is a sample itinerary for the Shira route.

This 8-day route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west. A 4×4 vehicle transports us through a rich, lush rainforest until we arrive at the ridge of the Shira Plateau, where our expedition begins. We trek across an alpine plateau and traverse the great Southern Icefield, before summiting from Barafu Hut. The Shira route is ideal for those with backpacking experience and those seeking a more challenging adventure.

Airport pick-up- Drop off at Hotel,

You will be picked up by the staff of Kilimanjaro Safaris from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and driven to your accommodation in Moshi. Participants will be given a short briefing for the climb the next day. Kits and the necessary equipment will be checked as well. Meals: Dinner

Altitude range: 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) - 3,850 meters (12,600 ft) •Hiking time: 1 hour •Distance: 3 km •Habitat: Rain Forest,

After breakfast, we start a long drive to Lemosho Gate where you will complete the necessary registration. Afterwards, we continue our travel up the Shira Plateau to the trailhead. You will have a short hike through the rain forest to Shira Two Camp where your tent will be pitched. Meals: Dinner Accommodation: Shira Two Camp

Altitude range: 3,850 meters (12,600 ft) - 4,600 meters (15,100 ft) - 3,950 meters (12,950 ft) •Hiking time: 7 hours approx •Distance: 14 - 15 km's (9 miles) •Habitat: Semi desert and rocky terrain,

From Shira Camp, the route turns east towards Kibo and you will find yourself hiking through semi-desert up to the fairly rocky conditions that surround Lava Tower at 4,600 meters (15,100 ft). After lunch, we descend approximately 650 meters to Barranco Camp. Along the way, you will have good views overlooking Western Breach and Breach Wall. Tonight’s camp is located in a valley just below the Breach and gives an impressive view of Great Barranco Wall. Meals: Dinner Accommodation: Barranco Camp

Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft •Distance: 5km •Hiking Time: 4-5 hours •Habitat: Alpine Desert,

This is a short day meant for acclimatization. We take on a route that heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. We turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, we would have reached Barafu Hut. The last water stop on the route is the Karanga Valley, as there is no water available at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales, the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Meals: Dinner Accommodation: Karanga Valley Campsite

Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft •Distance: 4 km •Hiking Time: 4-5 hours •Habitat: Alpine Desert,

After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, 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. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft) •Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent •Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent •Habitat: Arctic,

At 2am, we start our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. We head in a northwest 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 (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and have a well-earned sleep. Meals: Dinner Accommodation: Mweka Hut

Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft •Distance: 10 km •Hiking Time: 3-4 hours •Habitat: Rain Forest,

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village where our vehicle awaits to drive us back to the Hotel in Arusha. Meals: B,L,D Accommodation: Sg Resort

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