Discover The Unexpected

7 Days Shira Route

Overview

Shira Plateau is one of the most scenic and most fascinating areas of Kilimanjaro and offers magnificent views of Mt. Meru and the Great Rift Valley. Shira route is only offered to hikers who are already acclimatized to 4000m. Depending on weather conditions, you can drive by 4×4 or walk for 1/2 hours to Shira Hut (4000m). Game is often sighted and the scenery changes from forest, grassland, heath to moorland. The fast ascend by vehicle to about 4000m will require additional acclimatization, after which it will be possible to ascend Uhuru Peak either via the Western Breach or via Barafu hut.

Best time to visit: Dec-Mid-March / Mid-June-October

Duration

7 days

Map Overview

Places to Visit

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 -Day 1- Airport pick-up- Drop off at Hotel

You will be picked up by the staff of Gosheni 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.

Inclusion

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation

Sg Resort

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.

Inclusion

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.

Inclusion

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 Karranga 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.

Inclusion

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.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Barafu Camp

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.

Inclusion

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.

Inclusion

Meals: B,L,D

Accommodation

Sg Resort

Inclusions

  • Park fees
  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • All Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water on all days
  • Camping Equipment
  • Porterage

Exclusions

  • International flights (from/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (tipping guideline US$20.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Rescue Fee
  • Climbing Gear
  • Sleeping Bag

Frequently Asked Questions

These are general FAQ to guide your planning. For detailed information specific to your destination, please visit the corresponding page on our website.
What is the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
Most guided climbs have experienced guides and porters trained in first aid. In case of emergencies, evacuation procedures are in place, including the use of helicopters if necessary.
The duration of the climb depends on the route chosen, but most treks take between five to nine days to reach the summit and descend.
Altitude sickness can affect climbers due to the rapid altitude gain. It’s essential to acclimatize properly and be aware of symptoms such as headache, nausea, and dizziness.
No prior climbing experience is necessary, but a reasonable level of fitness and preparation is recommended for the trek.
Essential items include sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, a sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures, waterproof gear, and high-energy snacks. Check out our packing list for a comprehensive reference.
Yes, permits are required for all climbers, and they must be arranged in advance through a licensed tour operator.
Accommodation on Kilimanjaro varies depending on the route but generally includes tents for camping and lodges along the trekking route.
While it’s technically possible, climbing Kilimanjaro without a guide is strongly discouraged due to safety reasons and the complexity of the terrain.
The overall success rate for reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is around 65-70%, with factors such as route choice, fitness level, and altitude acclimatization affecting individual success.
There are no strict age restrictions, but climbers must be in good health and sufficiently fit to undertake the trek.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is considered challenging, primarily due to the altitude and unpredictable weather conditions. However, with proper preparation and guidance, it is achievable for many trekkers.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is considered challenging, primarily due to the altitude and unpredictable weather conditions. However, with proper preparation and guidance, it is achievable for many trekkers.
While tipping is not mandatory, it is customary to show appreciation for the hard work of guides and porters. A suggested amount is around $20 USD per day, per person, but tipping amounts may vary based on the level of service and satisfaction.

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