6 Days Shira Route
Mount Kilimanjaro/Shira Route
- ideal for those who are confident in their ability to acclimatize to the altitude, and to walk over steeper paths for extended periods.
- the route merges with Lemosho at Shira 2.
- Shira offers higher start point compared to Lemosho and poorer acclimatization
- Fully catered camping only
The Shira Route is a path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. What is unique about Shira is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather driven.
The minimum numbers of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, in the south-east. Shira route 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.
Recommended Trip Length Accommodation
6 Days / 5 Nights Camping
Day 1 Shira Gate (1830m) - Shira camp 2 (3840m)
Hiking time: 5-7h Habitat: Montane forest Register at Londrosi gate and continue driving up to Moram (11,800ft/3,600m), the trek starts on the Shira plateau for a flat and short hike to Shira 1 Camp (11,800ft/3,600m). Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Day 2 Shira 2 camp (3840m) – Lava Tower(4630m) – Baranco camp (3976m) Hiking time: 6.5h Habitat: semi desert
After breakfast, leave Shira behind and head up towards the Lava Tower(15,190ft/4,630m) where we will have lunch before descending into the Barranco Valley(13,045ft/3,976m) for camp. Enjoy the amazing sunset on Kibo and the Great Barranco Wall.
Day 3 Baranco Camp(3976m) – Karanga camp (4200m)
Hiking time: 4h Distance: Approximately 7 kms Habitat: Alphine desert
After breakfast, leave Barranco camp and scramble up the spectacular Barranco Wall. Once over the wall, it is an undulating walk to Karanga Camp. Enjoy the views of Kibo above and the plains below, from this point you can see Moshi Town far below.
Day 4 Karanga Camp (4200m) - Barafu camp (4673m)
Hiking time: 7.5h Distance: Approximately 13kms Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast head upwards towards the final camp at Barafu(15,330ft/4,673m). This day is steep but short and you will have a hot lunch. Enjoy the short day, as you will wake around 11 pm to leave for the summit. Mawenzi dominates the view from Barafu. Day 5 – the big day (Summit Day) Barafu camp (4673m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3068m)
Hiking time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak, 7 - 8h to descend to Mweka Distance: Approximately 7 kms ascent and 23 kms descent Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Wake at 11pm to get ready for summit attempt. Hike upwards on very steep trail in the dark, reaching Stella point(18,958ft/5,745m) after ~6hrs at dawn. Continue on the more gradual incline to Uhuru Peak (19,341ft/5,895m), 1hr from Stella point. After pictures and congratulations, head back down to Barafu for 2-3 hrs rest and lunch before continuing down to Mweka camp (10,065ft/3,068m). Day 6 Mweka camp (3068m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 3h Distance: Approximately 15 kms. Habitat: Forest
Final day on the mountain, head from Mweka Camp down through the forest to Mweka gate(5,380ft/1,640m) for certificates. Congratulations, you made it! Duration 2-3hrs. You now drive back to Moshi/Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!