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.
Day 1 :Londorossi Gate/Shira trailhead – River Camp (~3050 m/~10000 ft)
Walking distance: 7 km/4.4 miles
Walking time: 4 hours
Altitude gain: ~950 m/~3100 ft
Drive to the National Park gate at Lindorossi on West Kilimanjaro. We commence the climb walking through the montane rain forest towards the Plateau. Lunch en route. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
Day 2 – River Camp – Shira Huts (3850 m/12630 ft) via Shira Cathedral
Walking distance: 12 km/7.5 miles
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Altitude gain: 800 m/2630 ft
Day 3 – Shira Huts – via Lava Tower (4640 m/15220 ft) – Barranco Huts (3985 m/13070 ft)
Walking distance: 9 km/5.6 miles
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Altitude gain: 135 m/440 ft (790 m/2590 ft to Lava Tower)
After breakfast we continue walking towards the Shira Hut for lunch. The day is spent acclimatizing. A visit can be made to the Plate Cone on the ridge. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
Day 4 – Barranco Huts – Karanga Camp (4040 m/13255 ft)
Walking distance: 5.5 km/3.5 miles
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 55 m/185 ft
From the Shira Plateau we continue to the East passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue our direction changes to Southeast towards the Lava Tower, called “The Sharks Tooth”) shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which brings us up to the arrow glacier. We have now reached an altitude of (4876 m). we now continue down to the Barranco hut at an altitude of (3860 m) here we rest, enjoy dinner and camp overnight.
Day 5 – Karanga Camp – Barafu Huts (4680 m/15360 ft)
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 640 m/2105 ft
After breakfast we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco wall passing through the Karanga valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka trail. We continue to the Barafu hut which is located at an altitude of (4600 m) here we make camp. Rest enjoy dinner and overnight. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Day 6 – Summit attempt via Stella Point (5752 m/18871 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m/19340 ft)
and descent to Millenium Camp (3820 m/12530 ft) (or to Mweka Hut)
Walking distance: 5 km/3 miles ascent + 10 km/6.2 miles descent
Walking time: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 5-6 hours down (the overall walking time may vary from 10 – 16 hours)
Altitude gain: 1072 m/ 3511 ft (Stella Point) or 1215 m/3980 ft (Uhuru Peak)
Descent: 2075 m/6810 ft
An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there are often fine views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east. Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.
Day 7 – Millenium Camp – Shira Gate
Walking distance: 20 km/12.5 miles
Walking time: 5 hours
Descent: 1990 m/6530 ft
After breakfast we continue the descent (3-4 hours) down to the Mweka Park gate and then drive back to Arusha. Overnight at hotel.
End of Tour
- Overnight stays in mountain Huts
- Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
- Mountain Equipment, Sleeping tents, Kitchen tents, Porters, Guides and Chef
- Tents, Table and Chairs, Food utensils and so on.
- All Park fees
- Rescue fees
- All meals while on the Mountain
- Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
- Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
- Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
- Clean, purified drinking water
- Crisis management and safety procedures
- Fair and ethical treatment of porters.
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation in Arusha
- Tanzania Visa
- Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
- Meals not listed above
- Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)