Kilimanjaro Shira Route Overview

Initiating from the west Shira route is a tougher route to try. The uniqueness of this route is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but somewhat driven. This is why the climbers miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro biological zones, the tropical rain forest. An off-road vehicle transports climbers to the Shira gate, where the climb begins to Simba camp. This is a substantial altitude gain for someone who slept at Moshi or Arusha on their previous night. Complicantions from altitude can occur due to failed acclimatization.

The route takes six days minimum to complete, though seven days is acclaimed. The descent is down Mweka, in the southeast. Because the starting point is far from Moshi and Arusha, it is more expensive to climb this route due the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate.

Shira is stated to be one of the most scenic routes to Kilimanjaro. The spectacular Shira Plateau combine with the Machame route and the beauties of the Southern Circuit this experiences the lower traffic, yet remains one of the most sought after route to the summit.


Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Moshi

No need to arrange transport! Our transfer driver will collect you and all your gear from Kilimanjaro Airport and take you to the hotel in Moshi. Relax after your flight, take a dip in the pool or explore Moshi. Later you will meet the Bujo Tours operation team. They will tell you more about the trip, share tips and safety information and thoroughly check your gear to see if you have everything you need.

Day 2: Moshi to Londorosi Gate to Shira One Campsite

Drive from Moshi to the trailhead to Londorosi gate for registration. Following this you will board a vehicle again and drive further up to Moramu gate. You trek through the moorland and heather vegetation heading to the east crossing ridges and valley as well as a long flat distance to Shira One campsite.

Elevation: 1200m to 1830m to 3500m, Distance: 18km, Hiking Time: 3 hours, Habitat: Montane forest to moorland and heath vegetation

Day 3: Shira One campsite to Shira Two campsite

This day you will trek to east across Shira plateau visiting Cathedral Peak (3850m) for acclimatization. At this peak you will have great views of both Mt. Meru and Kibo Peak You would also encounter many spectacular special features before continuing walk to Shira Two camp where meal and overnight will take place.

Elevation: 3500m to 3800m, Distance: 7km, Hiking time: 5-6 hours, Habitat: Moorland and rock.

Day 4: Shira Two campsite to Barranco campsite

This is long but important acclimatization day. You will have an early breakfast then continue trekking east to a junction leading to Lava tower rock (4600m) for acclimatization after you will continue to Barranco hut camp for supper and overnight.

Elevation: 3800m to 3950m, Distance: 13km, Hiking time: 7-8 hours, Habitat: Moorland

Day 5: Barranco Campsite to Karanga Campsite

Today is short day walk. In the morning you will start climbing Barranco wall and reach 4200m for acclimatization and continue crossing ridges and valleys to Karanga campsite for a hot lunch. Rest for a while and get prepared for another acclimatization of trekking up the scree slopes towards the Southern ice field. Explore till the night falls and then come back to the camp for dinner and the overnight.

Elevation: 3950m to 3900m, Distance: 6 km, Hiking time: 4-5 hours, Habitat: Moorland

Day 6: Karanga Campsite to Barafu Campsite

Today you would have to trek to the Barafu ridge campsite. It is undoubtedly a tougher task.  It is a short distance and the walk would take few hours, yet you are required to walk slowly to avoid tiredness. You will completely walk across alpine desert with strong and cold winds blows from the ever closer Kibo peak and its ice. You will have an early dinner at 1700hours then rest until midnight when we you commence your push for the summit.

Elevation: 3900m to 4620m, Distance: 8 km, Hiking time: 3-4 hours,Habitat: Alpine Desert.

Day 7: Barafu Hut Campsite to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Hut Campsite

Wake at midnight to a light breakfast and then prepare for your summit ascent. This is the most difficult and the important ascend of the trek. Leave for the peak at 12 am. Keep in the mind that you have to reach at Stella Point-the crater rim at 5,861m-between 4 and 5 am. At this point you can have the best view of the crater and its icecap. Another 1 hour trek would take you to the Kibo crater rim and after that you would slowly hike up to the true Kilimanjaro summit “Uhuru”. There would be too cold. So finish your photo session as soon as possible and start descending back to the Barafu huts campsite, for lunch and rest. Now it is the time to collect your belongings and walk down through moorland and heath zone to Mweka huts campsite where you would have your dinner and overnight.

Elevation: 4620m to 5895m to 3100m, Distance: 15km, Hiking time: 10 to 12 hours, Habitat: Desert and ice.

Day 8: Mweka Hut campsite to Mweka Gate

After breakfast, today is your last day on the mountain so you will descend down to Mweka park gate walking across Montane forest this descent will take 3-4 hours. Then here at the gate you will sign out and get ready to board the vehicle ready for the transfer back to the hotel in Moshi for your certificate presentation celebration.

Elevation: 3100m to 1700m, Distance: 9km, Descending time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Montane forest.

Day 9: Hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport

After breakfast, you continue with your travel plans or take a transfer to the Kilimanjaro Airport.

7 Days Shira Route +2 nights hotel

SOLO (1)Persons 2 Persons 3 Persons 4-5 Persons 6-8 Persons 9-10-Persons
US$1950 US$1850 US$ 1790 US$1690 US$1640 US$ 1590

Price includes;

  • Park fees, camping fees, Hut fees & rescue fees
  • Twice a day medical health checkup, monitoring with pulse-oximeter and stethoscope with basic first kit
  • Oxygen Cylinder
  • Orientation meeting in Moshi and gear check as well.
  • 18% Value Added Tax on tour fees & services
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mat, camp chairs, camp tables, mess tent & cutlery for meals) and 3 Season mountain tents
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Transportation to & from the mountain gate
  • Medically qualified mountain guides, cooks and porters
  • 3 Meals while on the mountain + evening tea with popcorn or peanuts.
  • Hot water for washing up daily and treated water for drink while climbing.
  • Pre & Post Trek accommodation in Moshi. Bed & Breakfast Basis with storage facilities for excess luggage during hikes.
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
  • 3-4 porters per climber, which includes porters to carry up to 30 lbs of your personal gear.
  • Kilimanjaro certificate for your successful summit attempt.

Price excludes;

  • Flights
  • Tips to mountain crew
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Laundry Services
  • Entry visa for Tanzania

Bujo Tours and Safaris LTD lead your dream to the roof of Africa

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