A SPECTACULARLY SCENICROUTE on KILIMANJARO
The Shira route is a difficult but scenic route on Kilimanjaro. The Shira route begins with a long drive to the Shira ridge, a high starting point. The route crosses the plateau and traverses the southern side of the mountain, before summiting via Barafu. The descent is by Mweka. The Shira route is a beautiful route with a high success rate. The Shira route measures 30 miles (49 km) in distance and takes 8 days total.
DAY 1. Arrive anytime in Arusha, Or Moshi Tanzania
During the arrival
DAY 2.We take a ride to Londorossi National Park
- We take a ride to Londorossi National Parkgate to complete the necessary registration formalities.
- Before driving a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (9,200 ft).
- We continue climbing steadily on foot through shrub forests and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (11,000 ft).
- The views across the surrounding plains open up as we approach our first camp, Simba Camp(11,600 ft).
[4-5 hours walking]
DAY 3.Walk to the Summit of Shira Cathedral (12,300 ft)
- Today is an easy day to help acclimatization and to explore the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations of the plateau.
- We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral(12,300 ft), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles.
- There is a tangible sense of wilderness here, especially when the afternoon mists roll in.
- From our camp nearShira Hut(12,600 ft), we take in the unforgettable views of Mt. Meru as she floats among the clouds.
[4-5 hours walking]
DAY 4. Moorland of Shira Plateau
- The morning walk is a steady climb away from the moorland of Shira Plateau to reach the broad upland desert beneath the Lent Hills, with expansive views in all directions.
- After lunch in our camp close to Moir Hut(13,800 ft), there is the option of a more strenuous afternoon walk to reach the summit of the Lent Hills (15,400 ft).
- We can explore the area beneath the Northern Icefields, a remote place rarely visited by tourists, with unusual views of Kibo.
- Few visitors get to this remote corner of Kilimanjaro.
[3-6 hours walking]
DAY 5. Walking on Lava Ridges
- We enjoy a morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach.
- After lunch at our camp at Lava Tower(14,900 ft), there is a steep but spectacular afternoon walk on the rocky lower slopes of the Western Breach.
- This afternoon excursion is highly recommended for acclimatisation purposes and for the superb views of hanging glaciers on both sides of the Breach.
[4-6 hours walking]
DAY 6. Barranco Valley
- A steep descent into the bottom of Barranco Valley(12,800 ft) leads us to the famed Barranco Wall and its steep climb.
- At the top the undulating trail crosses the flanks of Kibo with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields.
- The terrain is volcanic scree, with pockets of vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness.
- Our next camp is at Karanga Camp (13,100 ft), the last water point on the approach to the summit.
[5-7 hours walking]
DAY 7. Barafu Hut
- We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach Barafu Hut(14,800 ft) for lunch.
- There is a short acclimatisation hike to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley (15,700 ft).
- The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the early morning final ascent.
[3-5 hours walking]
DAY 8. Stella Point
- We start our ascent by torchlight about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point(18,800 ft), in about five or six hours.
- We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi.
- Those who are still feeling strong can make the two-hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak(19,345 ft), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area.
- The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshments, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite, Millenium Camp(12,500 ft).
[11-15 hours walking]
DAY 10. Mweka
- A sustained descent on a well constructed path takes us through a lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest.
- Our route winds down to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Mweka(5,400 ft); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village, where we are transferred to Arusha.
[4-6 hours walking]
DAY 11. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
- After breakfast, we can arrange for a private transfer or taxi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
- Great scenery
- Great acclimatization profile
- High success rate
- Moderate foot traffic