Shira Route

Shira Route

Shira Route is another trail that approaches Mt Kilimanjaro in the West just a few kilometers away from the Lemosho route. The route is used by very few hikers who come to climb Mt Kilimanjaro as its popularly being replaced by improved Lemosho route. Despite the fact that it’s found down from the Lemosho route most hikers consider them as the same route since they all meet at Shira Camp. The route is used as a rescue route that has easy and quick access by the car and maybe hard experienced climbers who like to be in isolated areas.

The small difference between the two routes is that Lemosho starts from Londorossi gate through the rain forest to Shira one camp, the Shira route bypasses the Lemosho route by use of a vehicle to transport climbers direct to Shira gate just a few meters away from the Shira Ridge. The first hike of the Shira route starts at an altitude of 11,800 feet which is equivalent to 3,600 meters above sea level walking the same elevation till you reach Simba camp where you spend the first night.  

After Simba camp, the route joined the Lemosho route on the Southern circuit route. The hike starts at a high altitude and it requires good acclimatization on the previous day before you drive up to the gate located in the remote heathland that sometimes becomes impassable during the wet season due to much muddy sector. The hikers get the greatest challenge on day 7 when they face a tough hike. It’s at this point where most climbers get altitude sickness.

Shira has a record of a low success rate due to limited time and being the shortest route around 56 kilometers to the summit. It is out of this that we give more days so as to secure one full day of acclimatization time so as to increase the chances of reaching the summit. The Shira route crosses different vegetation zoning like Shira plateau, heath, alpine sections covered with a bizarre plant which shrikes from 5 meters columns of daisy-flowered giant groundsel, Flowering bulbs, red-hot pokers, tussocky white everlasting flowers and many more. This different vegetation zoning is due to variations of altitude as different plants adapt different altitude levels.

Shira route joins other trails at Barranco Camp where you’re given one day of acclimatization as you explore the scenic views of the mountain, lava towers and steep ridges and above all Barranco wall. You will enter the final 5685 meters above sea level where you have a great view of the African sunrise at the top above all the Africa.

Shira Route/Itinerary 6 Days Climb + 2Nights at a Hotel: On this route to Kilimanjaro Summit, you will be able to hike the mountain as you enjoy the amazing height scenery of Tanzania and Kilimanjaro National Park.

Day 1: Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft): On day one of the amazing Shira Route when clients arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport or Dar es Salaam International Airport, you will be met at the airport by our representatives and transferred to the hotel or clients preferred residential home for Overnight. You can start your trek any day, any month of the year!

Day 2: Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft) to Shira Gate (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to Shira Camp 2 (3,840 m/12,600ft) 18 km, 5-7 hours Montane Forest:

On this day of the shira route hike will wake up at 06:00 am and have breakfast from 06:30 am to 07:30 am. Leave Moshi and drive for several hours to the Shira Gate on the western side of Kilimanjaro, register with the Kilimanjaro national park. Begin hiking, and enter the rainforest, as you will be on the high altitude, will need to reach at the Camp early so you get used to the weather around the Shira Route. Your walk through the rainforest is on a winding muddy trail up a ridge. At these lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Stop halfway for lunch and reach the Shira Route Camp in the afternoon. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. You will have Dinner and Overnight at Shira Camp 2.

Day 3: Shira Camp 2 (3,840 m/12,600 ft) to Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft) 15 km, 7 hours Semi-Desert:

Wake up at around 06:30 am and after breakfast on day 3 of the Shira Route hike and you will start the hike around 07:30 am to the East up to a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro looming mass. After several hours, you walk through a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower at 4,630 m/15,190 ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro’s earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. In the evening you will have dinner and overnight at Barranco Camp.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,900 m/12,800 ft) to Karanga Camp (4,200 m/13,780 ft) 7 km, 4 hours Alpine Desert: 

After breakfast, we continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall, 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. From the camp, you can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch in camp, your afternoon is at leisure for resting or exploring. After two long days, this short day is very important for your acclimatization, since your summit push is about to start. After dinner, you will overnight at Karanga Camp.

Day 5: Karanga Camp (4,200 m/13,780 ft) to Barafu Camp (4,550 m/14,930 ft) 13 km, 8 hours Alpine Desert: 

In the morning, you hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. Turn left toward the mountain Kilimanjaro and hike up the ridge through a sparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut where you will receive a hot lunch. 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.

Day 6 – Summit Day! Barafu Camp (4,550 m/14,930 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) 7 km up, 23 km down 8 hours up, 7-8 hours down Scree and seasonal snow

Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. You will reach Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) at around 05:30 am and you will stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point, you join the top part of the Marangu Route but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishments and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hours descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gears, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft). This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon or evening. Dinner and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, and chocolates! After Dinner, you will overnight at Mweka Camp.

Day 7: Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) to Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft) to Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft) 15 km, 3 hours Forest:

After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hours hike back to the park gate. Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Some climbers like to get their Certificates at the Hotel or where they will be staying and have a celebration dinner and drinks with their Porters and Guides and get Certificates with photos of a Give presenting the Certificates to each member of the Group for Good Memory after accomplishing the DREAM. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive Gold with Green colors certificate. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1-hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village, you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a Hotel or similar lodging.

Day 8: Moshi: Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange as many for reasonably priced trips and safaris around Moshi or Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Prices Includes:

  • Pickup and Transfers from Airport to Hotel and Return 
  • Accommodation at the Hotel Half Board for two nights
  • Government taxes
  • Kilimanjaro climbing, entry fees, and All Camping equipment and utensils 
  • Porters to carry luggage, 
  • Guides and assistants Guides, 
  • Transport from base hotel to a starting point of starting the climbing and return pick up. Transfer, are all-inclusive in the climbing tour costs.
  • Salaries for Porters, Guides, Office operations costs
  • All meals on the mountain Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Prices do not Includes:

  • Staff Tips-Driver/guides, Personal Gears for climbing the mountain like warm jackets, walking sticks and warm gloves
  • Hotel staff, international flights from abroad to Tanzania and return.
  • Any personal of nature expenses, outings, sodas, laundry and ironing, pedicure, manicure, massage service.
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