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6 Days Kilimanjaro Climb Shira Route

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6 Days Kilimanjaro Climb Shira Route

Mount Kilimanjaro offers six established routes for climbers: Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. Among these, the Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe approach from the south, while the Lemosho and Shira routes approach from the west. The Rongai route, on the other hand, approaches from the north, near Kenya. All routes, except Marangu and Rongai, descend via Mweka.

The 6 Days Kilimanjaro Climb Shira Route: High Altitude Adventure for Experienced Trekkers

Sharing similarities with the Lemosho Route, the Shira Route begins at a lofty 3,600 meters, making it less suitable for novices in high-altitude trekking. Starting at Shira Gate, you’ll trek to Simba Camp on the first day before merging with the Lemosho Route at Shira Camp 2 on day two. However, the high starting point poses a challenge as altitude sickness may strike early without adequate acclimatization time.

Traversing the Shira Plateau with various possible variations, the route eventually joins the Machame Route via Lava Tower, descending to Barranco Camp through the Southern Circuit. The ascent to Uhuru Peak proceeds via Barafu Camp, ascending the southern slopes of Kibo.

Route Itinerary

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate, Hike to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Distance: 8km/5mi
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest

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. An overnight at Shira 2 Camp.

Day 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Semi-desert

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” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). 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. An overnight at Barranco Camp.

Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Hiking Time: 34 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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. An overnight at Karanga Camp.

Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Distance: 4km/2mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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. An overnight at Barafu Camp.

Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3090m/10,150ft
Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

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. An overnight at Mweka Camp.

Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi

Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Forest

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).

Tour Price Includes

Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary

Professional, English-speaking Wilderness First Responder & CPR certified Guide

Proper Ration of Mountain crew (Cook & Porters)

Pre and Post accommodations (2 nights Bed and Breakfast)

Airport Transfers

Meals according to the itinerary

Drinking water and Full Board Meals

All National Park & Hut Fees, Crew Permits and VAT

Quality Imported Equipments

Tour Price Excludes

Travel or Medical Insurance is required and you should ask for Recommendation

beverages, alcoholic and soft drinks

Personal hire gear such as trekking poles, sleeping bags, etc.

Additional lodge nights if early descent from the mountain $150 per room

Flights, Visa fees, Gamow Bag, and Medication

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