The Shira Route is sometimes called the Lemosho Route because it runs parallel to the Lemosho Route at the beginning but begins much higher up. The Shira Route connects with the Machame Route at Shira 2 Camp.
Itinerary in Brief
DAY 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate, Hike to Shira 2 Camp
DAY 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
DAY 3: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
DAY 4: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
DAY 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
DAY 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi
Trekking to the highest mountain in Africa
Climb Kili in 6 days
Day 1 : Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate, Hike to Shira 2 Camp
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.
Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Budget Lodging: Shira 2 Camp
Day 2 : Hike Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
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.
Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Budget Lodging: Barranco Camp
Day 3 : Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
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.
Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Hiking Time: 34 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Budget Lodging: Karanga Camp
Day 4 : Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
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.
Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Budget Lodging: Barafu Camp
Day 5 : Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
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.
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
Budget Lodging: Mweka Camp
Day 6 : Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi
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).
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Don't forget to tip your guides and porters.
Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
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