Kilimanjaro Trek: Shira Route

Overview

With dramatic gorges and spectacular views of Kilimanjaro, the Shira route is a challenging trek ideal for those who are fit for the steeper ascents and confident in their ability to acclimatise quickly to the higher altitudes.

This route is also great for the time-poor; a 4×4 takes hikers up the lower slopes, leaving the steeper slopes to be tackled on foot – the ascent is therefore that much faster.

Tour Information

Duration

Availability

Year round

Tour Highlights

Advanced Difficulty Hike

Price:

Starting from USD 1,945 per person sharing

Duration

6 Days

Day 1

Elevation (ft): 11,800 to 12,500
Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitation: Forest

Arusha – Shira Gate – Shira Camp 2

  • After breakfast at your hotel in Arusha, you are greeted by our guide and transferred to Shira Gate in the Kilimanjaro National Park.
  • Located at over 4,000 ft, the drive to Shira Gate can take several hours – allowing you time to start adjusting to the altitude
  • On arrival at Shira Gate, you have time to check in and register before we begin our trek
  • We start our ascent through the rainforest, which is where most of Kilimanjaro’s wildlife is found – including troops of monkeys living in the jungle canopy
  • Once through the misty rainforest, the trail widens out into a vast expanse of heathland – brimming with beautiful and indigenous flowers and plants
  • The climb today is long and hard, so take your time and listen to your body as it acclimatises to the altitude
  • As we climb, admire the magnificent views of the giant Kibo massif
  • By afternoon, we arrive at Shira 2 Camp to unpack and rest for the evening

Day 2

Elevation (ft): 12,500 to 15,190 to 13,044
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 7 hours
Habitation: Semi-Desert

Shira Camp 2 – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp

  • After breakfast, we hike East up the steep ridge towards Lava Tower – an incredible 300ft tall volcanic rock formation set against a backdrop of desert landscapes and cloud formations
  • After lunch near the volcanic tower, we descend through the Senecio Forest to the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall in order to reach Barranco Camp
  • Although you start and end the day at the same elevation, this time spent at high altitude will be beneficial for acclimatisation
  • We then set up camp at Barranco, in time to enjoy an early sunset dinner

Day 3

Elevation (ft): 13,044 to 13,106
Distance: 7km
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Habitation: Alpine Desert

Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp

  • Today, we begin the day by descending to the base of the Great Barranco Wall and then climb the non-technical but steep façade of the Great Barranco Wall
  • Having reached the top of the wall, we then cross a series of hills and valleys until we reach the Karanga Valley campsite
  • From the campsite, we can see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi soaring above the African sky and spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring the surroundings. This short day is important for acclimatisation, as tomorrow we begin the final push

Day 4

Elevation (ft): 13,106 to 15,331
Distance: 13km
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Habitation: Alpine Desert

Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp

  • In the morning we set out over intertwining ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Trail
  • From here, we continue up to the rocky terrain to Barafu Camp, where we enjoy a well-earned hot lunch
  • Once we arrive, we make camp, rest and enjoy an early night before our ascent to the top the following day
  • Before it gets dark, be sure to look out and admire the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo, both in perfect view from this vantage point

Day 5

Elevation (ft): 15,331 to 19,341 to 10,065
Distance: 7 km up and 23km down
Hiking time: 8 hours up and 7-8 hours down
Habitation: Scree and seasonal snow

Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp

  • We rise around midnight and commence our trek into the night
  • This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of your trek, as we begin the six-hour climb through the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, traversing heavy scree to reach Stella Point on the crater rim
  • At Stella Point, we stop for a short rest and enjoy watching the sun slowly rise over the horizon
  • As we push on, we arrive at Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa and the final stop on our ascent
  • You’ve reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – the world’s highest free-standing mountain – and have the splendours of Africa at your feet
  • Weather conditions on the summit determine how long we are able to spend here taking photographs and admiring the incredible vistas before we begin our descent
  • From the summit, we make our descent through the rocky terrain, passing through Barafu Camp for lunch and continuing straight down to Mweka Camp
  • We arrive back to Mweka Camp in the late afternoon, to enjoy a well-earned rest and a last dinner on the mountain

Day 6

Elevation (ft): 10,065 to 5,380
Distance: 15km
Hiking time: 3 hours
Habitation: Forest

Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate – Arusha

  • On your final day, a hearty breakfast is served before we begin the scenic three-hour hike back down to the park gate
  • Once you’ve had a chance to revel in the glory of completing your trek, we take you back to your hotel in Arusha for a hot shower and a well-earned rest
Day 1

Elevation (ft): 11,800 to 12,500
Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitation: Forest

Arusha – Shira Gate – Shira Camp 2

  • After breakfast at your hotel in Arusha, you are greeted by our guide and transferred to Shira Gate in the Kilimanjaro National Park.
  • Located at over 4,000 ft, the drive to Shira Gate can take several hours – allowing you time to start adjusting to the altitude
  • On arrival at Shira Gate, you have time to check in and register before we begin our trek
  • We start our ascent through the rainforest, which is where most of Kilimanjaro’s wildlife is found – including troops of monkeys living in the jungle canopy
  • Once through the misty rainforest, the trail widens out into a vast expanse of heathland – brimming with beautiful and indigenous flowers and plants
  • The climb today is long and hard, so take your time and listen to your body as it acclimatises to the altitude
  • As we climb, admire the magnificent views of the giant Kibo massif
  • By afternoon, we arrive at Shira 2 Camp to unpack and rest for the evening
Day 2

Elevation (ft): 12,500 to 15,190 to 13,044
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 7 hours
Habitation: Semi-Desert

Shira Camp 2 – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp

  • After breakfast, we hike East up the steep ridge towards Lava Tower – an incredible 300ft tall volcanic rock formation set against a backdrop of desert landscapes and cloud formations
  • After lunch near the volcanic tower, we descend through the Senecio Forest to the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall in order to reach Barranco Camp
  • Although you start and end the day at the same elevation, this time spent at high altitude will be beneficial for acclimatisation
  • We then set up camp at Barranco, in time to enjoy an early sunset dinner
Day 3

Elevation (ft): 13,044 to 13,106
Distance: 7km
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Habitation: Alpine Desert

Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp

  • Today, we begin the day by descending to the base of the Great Barranco Wall and then climb the non-technical but steep façade of the Great Barranco Wall
  • Having reached the top of the wall, we then cross a series of hills and valleys until we reach the Karanga Valley campsite
  • From the campsite, we can see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi soaring above the African sky and spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring the surroundings. This short day is important for acclimatisation, as tomorrow we begin the final push
Day 4

Elevation (ft): 13,106 to 15,331
Distance: 13km
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Habitation: Alpine Desert

Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp

  • In the morning we set out over intertwining ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Trail
  • From here, we continue up to the rocky terrain to Barafu Camp, where we enjoy a well-earned hot lunch
  • Once we arrive, we make camp, rest and enjoy an early night before our ascent to the top the following day
  • Before it gets dark, be sure to look out and admire the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo, both in perfect view from this vantage point
Day 5

Elevation (ft): 15,331 to 19,341 to 10,065
Distance: 7 km up and 23km down
Hiking time: 8 hours up and 7-8 hours down
Habitation: Scree and seasonal snow

Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp

  • We rise around midnight and commence our trek into the night
  • This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of your trek, as we begin the six-hour climb through the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, traversing heavy scree to reach Stella Point on the crater rim
  • At Stella Point, we stop for a short rest and enjoy watching the sun slowly rise over the horizon
  • As we push on, we arrive at Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa and the final stop on our ascent
  • You’ve reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – the world’s highest free-standing mountain – and have the splendours of Africa at your feet
  • Weather conditions on the summit determine how long we are able to spend here taking photographs and admiring the incredible vistas before we begin our descent
  • From the summit, we make our descent through the rocky terrain, passing through Barafu Camp for lunch and continuing straight down to Mweka Camp
  • We arrive back to Mweka Camp in the late afternoon, to enjoy a well-earned rest and a last dinner on the mountain
Day 6

Elevation (ft): 10,065 to 5,380
Distance: 15km
Hiking time: 3 hours
Habitation: Forest

Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate – Arusha

  • On your final day, a hearty breakfast is served before we begin the scenic three-hour hike back down to the park gate
  • Once you’ve had a chance to revel in the glory of completing your trek, we take you back to your hotel in Arusha for a hot shower and a well-earned rest
shira2
Whats included
  • Return transfers from your hotel in Arusha/Moshi to the park gates
  • All park entry fees
  • All camping and rescue fees
  • Mess Tent, tables, chairs and sleeping tents
  • Guide and porters’ fees
  • All accommodation on the mountain, including three meals a day
  • All cooking and kitchen utensils
Whats excluded
  • International and domestic flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation in Arusha before and after the climb
  • Any items of a personal nature such as: telephone calls, drinks, tips for drivers and guides etc
  • Sleeping bags and mountain gear – although we can arrange for you to hire these on request

Accommodation

No Recommended Accommodation

Feeling Inspired

Speak to one of our travel specialists today to start planning your Tanzanian adventure

Sassabi Expeditions hero

Book 2022 Tanzania Safari Now For The Price of 2021

Subscribe to our mail listing to receive a booking code