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Tanzania Safari

7 Days Shira Route Kilimanjaro Treks

7 Days Shira Route

Description

7 Days Shira Route

The Shira Route is a little-used trail that begins near Shira Ridge. It is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, it is not recommended due to the high altitude of Shira’s starting point which is accessed by vehicle. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day. Climbers using Shira should be confident of their ability to acclimatize quickly.

Shira Map

 

Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, it is not recommended due to the high altitude of Shira’s starting point which is accessed by vehicle. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day. Climbers using Shira should be confident of their ability to acclimatize quickly.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Shira Ridge. The vehicle bypasses the rain forest zone and the hiking trail begins on Shira Ridge. The Shira route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. Then the route traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

7 Days Shira Route Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Day

Arrival day from your country and meet at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) then be transferred to the hotel in Moshi town. Late dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Shira Gate to Simba Camp

Elevation: 11,800 ft to 11,800 ft
Distance: 4 km
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
Habitat: Heath

We depart Moshi for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours; here we will complete entry formalities while guides and porters prepare equipment. We then continue to drive up a steep path to the Shira Gate where we will begin the hike. The trek starts through shrubs and giant heather until we reach Simba Camp

Day 3: Simba Camp – Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 11,800 ft to 12,500 ft
Distance: 6 km
Hiking Time: 3 hours
Habitat: Heath

Early in the morning after breakfast, you have a full day to explore the Shira plateau, trekking slowly eastward towards Kibo’s glacier peak. The Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 ft. The total trekking time is approximately three hours. Dinner and overnight at the Shira 2 (Fischer’s) camp (3900 m).

Day 3: Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
Distance: 7 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 3 km
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

The pace should always be slow when in Kilimanjaro for the success. After breakfast in the morning proceed steadily upwards over vast ridges to ” Lava Tower ” for lunch take approximately 4 hours. In the afternoon, you descend the steep trail into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set in a valley enclosed on 3 sides with the massive walls of the valley itself and the massif of Kibo. For about 6 to 7 hours thereafter dinner and overnight at the Barraco camp (3976 m).

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall, we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 7: Mweka Campsite to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast descends slowly to Mweka gate which is about three hours walk. At the gate, you will be awarded a certificate of competence from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority office for the successful attempt of Uhuru Peak. At Mweka gate you will meet our 4WD vehicle waiting for you for a transfer to the hotel in Moshi for hot lunch, dinner and overnight. It also depends on the itinerary you might be proceeding to the Tanzania wildlife and bird life parks, to the beach or giving a goodbye hand back home.

Tour Includes:

  • 2 Nights accommodation bed and breakfast  in Moshi (before & after the climb)
  • Quality mountain  tents
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue Fees
  • Bottled oxygen, for emergency rescue only
  • All Fresh, nutritious  meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees
  • Mess  tents with table and chairs
  • Camping Mattress

Added charges:

  • Extra night or acclimatization on the mountain $300 single person.

Tour Excludes

  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival and $100 for U.S. nationals
  • Lunch or dinner at the hotel
  • Personal Expenses e.g.( laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Optional Tours e.g. (short safari after your climb etc)
  • Tips and any items of personal nature.
  • Mountain equipment (e.g sleeping bag

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