Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing 6 Days Shira Route Hike

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Kilimanjaro Shira Route

This 6-day Kilimanjaro climb follows the Shira Route, a difficult route that begins in the west, at Shira Gate 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. Therefore, climbers using Shira will miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones, the rainforest. An off-road vehicle transports climbers to the Shira gate, located at 11,500 feet (3,600 meters), where the hike begins to Simba Camp.

This is a sizable altitude gain for someone who slept at Moshi or Arusha on their previous night. Climbers may experience some altitude-related symptoms on the first day while camping at 11,800 feet.

The tour begins with a transfer from Arusha/ Moshi to Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours where you will complete entry formalities while guides and porters prepare equipment. After lunch at the gate, drive for about 2 hours further up (vehicle bypasses the rain forest zone) to where you’re hiking trail begins on Shira Ridge.

The drive to Shira offers magnificent views of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Meru, and Longido, and the plateau’s parasitic cones extend north of the road, rising from plain to plateau. You may see Elands, buffaloes, leopards, and other animal spoor.

The trek starts at Shira Gate to Simba Camp before joining the Lemosho Route on day two at Shira Camp 2. The high starting point is however a major negative for this route as many experience altitude sickness from day one without enough time to acclimatize.

The route over the Shira Plateau has several possible variations. After Shira Camp 2 the route joins the Machame Route via Lava Tower and then descends to the Barranco Camp via the Southern Circuit. Ascent to Uhuru Peak is made via Barafu Camp and up the southern slopes of Kibo. Descent is made via the Mweka route in the southeast.

Scenically, Shira 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.

Shira is ideal for those who are confident in their ability to acclimatize to the altitude and to walk over steeper paths for extended periods. The high starting point is however a major negative for this route as many experience altitude sickness from day one without enough time to acclimatize.

The route is seldom used by other trekkers and so your initial two days on the mountain are less crowded than on most other routes. Overnight are in camping tents.

Safari Itinerary in Summary

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate (1830 Meters/ 6000 Feet), Hike to Shira 2 Camp (3850 Meters/12,600 Feet)
Day 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp (3850 Meters/ 12,600 Feet) to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp (4000 Meters/ 13,000 Feet)
Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp (4000 Meters/ 13,000 Feet) to Karanga Camp (4050 Meters/ 13,250 Feet)
Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp (4050 Meters/ 13,250 Feet) to Barafu Camp (4700 Meters/ 15,350 Feet)
Day 5: Barafu Camp (4700 Meters/15,350 Feet) Hike to Summit 5895 Meters/19,340 Feet), down to Mweka Camp (3090 Meters/10,150 Feet)
Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp (3090 Meters/ 10,150 Feet) to Mweka Gate (1680 Meters/ 5500 Feet), drive to Moshi/ Arusha

Safari Itinerary in Detail

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate (1830 Meters/ 6000 Feet), Hike to Shira 2 Camp (3850 Meters/12,600 Feet)

The drive from Moshi to the trailhead takes about 3 hours. We hike through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Shira Camp.

The hiking distance is 8 Kilometers/ 5 Miles and the hiking time is between 4-5 hours through Montane Forest.

Overnight at Shira 2 Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Lunch and Dinner}


Day 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp (3850 Meters/ 12,600 Feet) to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp (4000 Meters/ 13,000 Feet)

From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elevation 4650 meters/ 15,250 feet).

Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

The hiking distance is 8 Kilometers/ 6 Miles and the hiking time is between 5 to 6 hours through Semi-desert.

Overnight at Barranco Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}


Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp (4000 Meters/ 13,000 Feet) to Karanga Camp (4050 Meters/ 13,250 Feet)

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.

The hiking distance is 5 Kilometers/ 3 Miles and the hiking time is between 3 to 4 hours through the Alpine Desert.

Overnight at Karanga Camp
Meal Plan: {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}


Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp (4050 Meters/ 13,250 Feet) to Barafu Camp (4700 Meters/ 15,350 Feet)

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. 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 hiking distance is 4 Kilometers/ 2 Miles and the hiking time is between 3 to 4 hours through the Alpine Desert.

Overnight at Barafu Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}


Day 5: Barafu Camp (4700 Meters/15,350 Feet) Hike to Summit 5895 Meters/19,340 Feet), down to Mweka Camp (3090 Meters/10,150 Feet)

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction 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, you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit.

Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch.

You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain. The hiking up distance is 5 Kilometers/ 3 Miles and the hiking time is between 5 to 7 hours through Stone scree and the ice-capped summit.

Hiking Down distance is 13 Kilometers/ 8 Miles and the hiking time is between 5 to 6 hours through Stone scree and the ice-capped summit.

Overnight at Mweka Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}


Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp (3090 Meters/ 10,150 Feet) to Mweka Gate (1680 Meters/ 5500 Feet), drive to Moshi/ Arusha

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). 

From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi/ Arusha. 

Hiking Down distance is 10 Kilometers/ 6 Miles and the hiking time is between 3 to 4 hours through Forest.

Meal Plan: {Breakfast}

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing 6 Days Shira Route Hike Prices

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing 6 Days Shira Route Hike Rates Includes:

Oximeters + Hut or camping fees + National Park gate fees + All meals on the mountain + Salaries for all crew members + Rescue fees (as required by the national park) + Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes + Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils & Transport from Moshi to starting point on the mountain and return to Moshi

Dates From Dates To 1 Guest 2-3 Guests Per Person 4-6 Guests Per Person

7+ Guests Per Person

1st Jan 2022

31st Dec 2022 2,745 US Dollars 2,545 US Dollars 2,245 US Dollars 2,095 US Dollars

Notes

* We can offer you the Shira route 6 days 5 nights + 2 nights at the Hotel (Before and After the climb). Kindly inquire
* The Shira trail is one of the two longer Kilimanjaro climb routes that start on the western side. (The other route starting here is the Lemosho Route)


Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing 6 Days Shira Route Hike Rates Do Not Include:

* Drinks
* Laundry
* Travelers insurance
* Communication charges
* Tips or gratuity for guides and porters
* Accommodation and meals in Moshi/ Arusha
* Visas, international airfares and airport taxes; meals
* Sightseeing not included in the package; optional activities
* Personal expenses such as transfers to/ from the airport (supplement airport transfer cost applies for tours starting from the airport)

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