Shira routes begins on the western slopes of Kilimanjaro and is a remote and rarely visited trail which gives the Kili climber a unique experience. It is also a spectacular and amazing climb, which takes more days to reach the summit. This route is for campers.
Pick up from your hotel in Arusha at 7.00am, drive to the Londorossi Gate for registration, then drive a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (2,800 m.), and continue climbing through shrub forest to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350 m.). The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb (5-6 hours walking). Dinner and overnight at Shira 1 campsite (3,550 m.).
After breakfast start easy day for acclimatization and explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the Shira peak Cathedral (3,750 m.) a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here “especially when the afternoon mists come in” and the Mt Meru views from Shira 2 campsite 3,840 meters, 4 hours walking.
After breakfast you take your lunch packets and we turn eastward and continues climbing towards the Barranco camp “lunch on the way” through lava Tower while getting great views of the spectacular Barranco camp (6 hours walk). Dinner and overnight at Baranco Camp.
After breakfast depart from Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley. The day begins with a 1.5 hour scramble up Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you will have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley to allow for greater acclimatization.
This day after breakfast you will start the trek to Barafu Camp. You will have an opportunity to view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will awake before midnight for your summit hike “4600 mt”.
At midnight, start the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. The hike to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point.
The trek from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru, enjoy views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers.
At Barafu Camp, take your breakfast with short break. You still have another four to five hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp.
After breakfasts proceed back down in to the forest, a beautiful walk again offering good bird watching opportunities, there are some good news points on route to the valley below. Continue down to Mweka Gate. Here you will find our vehicle and be driven back to Arusha.
- A transfer from the airport (or hotel) can be arranged at an extra cost.
- Accommodation before the tour departs can be arranged at an extra cost.
- A safari or beach experience before or after your Kilimanjaro climb can be arranged at an extra cost.