6 Days Kilimanjaro Tour Shira Route
The Shira route starts at the Londorossi entry point, the same gate is used by the Lemosho route. Again, your hike does not start at the national park border. You drive in your Toyota Landcruiser or Landrover Defender on a bumpy track with a great view of the neighbouring volcano Mount Meru and Arusha Nationl Park. The hike begins at an altitude of 3600 meters in the heath and moorland zone.
The next two days you hike over the Shira Plateau, one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Africa. Here you will see wildebeest, buffalo and sometimes even leopard. The Shira cone, an old crater, rises about 200 meters above the plateau. Along the southern ridge of the Shira Plain there are two dramatic peaks, the Cathedral and the Needle. All this creates a fantastic backdrop that you can enjoy on this route. The Shira Route joins the Machame Route on the third day of the trek. From this point both trails lead to the Lava Tower and the Barranco Valley.
Day 1: Arrival in Arusha / Moshi
Transfer from Kilimanjaro airport or Arusha bus terminal (e.g. from Nairobi) to your accommodation in Moshi or Arusha.
Day 2: Arusha – Londorossi Gate (2,250 m) – Shira 1 Camp (3505 m)
altitude Δ: car only, distance: approx. 3 km, time required: approx. 1 hour
After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel in Arusha or Moshi and driven to the Londorossi Gate entry point (about 2 to 4 hours depending on your accommodation). After you have completed the formalities, you will sign into the mountaineering book. Afterwards you will go on by 4×4 car to Morum Barrier Gate. Then you start your short first hike at 3500 meters altitude through heath land to the first camp. You will notice that the view of the Kibo peak over the plateau is breathtaking. Dinner and overnight at Shira 1 Camp.
Day 3: Shira 1 Camp (3,500m) – Shira 2 Camp (3,900m)
altitude Δ: 400 m, distance: about 7 km, time required: about 4 hours
Today a pleasant hike through the Shira plain is on the agenda. After an extensive breakfast you will hike on relatively level paths through the unique heath and moorland landscape with its characteristic giant lobelia plants. This part of the hike is certainly the most beautiful of your entire trip and also serves to acclimatize. If the weather is fine, you will enjoy a truly magnificent view of Mount Meru up to the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron. After about 4 hours you will reach Shira 2 Camp, where the Lemosho and Shira routes merge. Dinner and overnight at Shira 2 Camp.
Day 4: Shira Camp (3,845 m) – Lava Tower (4,640 m) – Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
altitude Δ: ~100 m, distance: approx. 10 km, time required: approx. 6 hours
Today you will climb about 800 meters of altitude. Nevertheless, your destination for today is almost at the same altitude as your starting point, ideal for the acclimatization strategy “climb high and sleep low”. The hike begins with a long hike over the Shira Plateau towards the Lava Tower. The route leads through the extensive Barranco Valley with its famous alpine climate zone with many unique plants. After 6 hours you reach the Barranco Camp. Dinner followed by an overnight stay in tents.
Day 5: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) – Barafu Camp (4,640 m)
altitude Δ: 650 m, distance: approx. 9 km, time required: approx. 7 hours
After your breakfast the ascent from Barranco Camp starts at the Great Barranco Wall, then continues to Karanga Valley Camp (4070 m). This site is challenging but offers great views of the southern glaciers of Kibo. From Karanga Valley Camp we continue on a ridge to Barafu Camp (4600 m), your base camp before the summit ascent at night. Dinner followed by an overnight stay in tents.
Day 6: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Mweka Camp (3,080 m)
altitude Δ: 1560 m, distance: 17 km, time required: approx. 12 hours
Night ascent with flashlight from Barafu Camp in northwestern direction through scree and snow to the summit of Kilimanjaro. After about 6 hours you will first reach Stella Point (5725 m) at the crater rim. Due to the altitude this is the physically challenging part of the hike. With good visibility you will experience a magnificent sunrise here. From here you need another hour to reach the summit of Uhuru Peak. Now you stand on the roof of Africa and enjoy the best viewpoint on the continent. Then you descend again to Barafu Camp, rest there for a while and continue your descent to Mweka Camp (3100 m).
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3,080 m) – Mweka Gate (1,630 m) – Arusha / Moshi
altitude Δ: 1450 m, distance: approx. 10 km, time required: approx. 3 hours
The last stage of your hike begins after a hearty breakfast. Afterwards you will walk gently downhill through the tropical rainforest to Mweka Gate. Your faithful mountain crew will bid you farewell here with a traditional ceremony and your summit certificate. Afterwards you will be brought to your accommodation for a well-deserved drink and dinner.
Day 8: Arusha / Moshi