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The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the altitude zone

Kilimanjaro Shira Route

Kilimanjaro Shira Route

$2510 / per person
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The Shira Route is a difficult route that begins in the west, at the Shira starting point, Moramu. What is unique about Shira is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather driven. Therefore, climbers using Shira will miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones, the rainforest.


An off-road vehicle transports climbers to the Shira Moramu located at 3400 meters/11,500 feet, where the hike begins to Shira 1 Camp. This is a sizable altitude gain for someone who slept at Moshi or Arusha on their previous night. Since you overnight at low altitudes at Moshi or Arusha which is between 1000 to 1500 meters above sea level, whereby the Shira route starting at 3400 meters above sea level which is so-called the altitude zone, complications from altitude can occur due to failed acclimatization. Due to this, we do not recommend this route to non-experienced climbers.


The route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, in the south-east. Because the starting point is far from Moshi and Arusha, it is more expensive to climb this route due to the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate. Scenically, Shira is beautiful because it crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau, and then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit. Shira has low tourists traffic until it combines with Machame.


Shira is ideal for those who are confident in their ability to acclimatize to the altitude and to walk over steeper paths for extended periods.

  • Destination
  • Departure
  • Departure Time
    Approximately 8.30AM
  • Return Time
    Approximately 7.30PM
  • Dress Code
    Casual, comfortable and light
  • Included
    Airport Pickup
    Airport Transfer
    Mountain Guide
    Park Fees
    Professional Guide
    Rescue fees
  • Not Included

Tour Plan



On your arrival, we will arrange for a driver to pick you up from the airport to your hotel. Usually, a day before starting an expedition, your guide will meet you at the hotel around 5:00 pm for a pre-climb briefing and gear check. Feel free to ask your guide any questions you have about your trip. Usually, breakfast is saved around 7:00 am at your hotel and your guide will pick you up from 7:30 am to 8:00 am. Please ensure that you have packed your bags before breakfast, have signed everything you don't need on the mountain to reception and your valuables to the hotel's safe that includes your passports, as provided that you only need photo copies for national parks formalities except for under 16s, their ORIGINAL PASSPORTS are needed. In the case of group members being in different hotels that time might change to later. Expect further warning for that.

Shira Moramu to Shira 1 Camp

Elevation: 3400 m to 3505 m / 11,154 ft to 11,800 ft Distance: 4 km/2 miles Hiking Time: 1-2 hours Habitat: Heath We depart Arusha or Moshi for Londorossi Gate, where we will complete entry formalities while guides and porters prepare climbing gear and equipment. We then continue to drive up a steep path to the Shira Moramu where we will begin the hike. The trek starts through shrubs and giant heather until we reach Shira 1 Camp.

Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 3505 m to 3810 m / 11,800 ft to 12,500 ft Distance: 6.5 km/4 miles Hiking Time: 4 hours Habitat: Heath Today is a fairly easy day to help with acclimatization. We begin by exploring the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations on the plateau. Then we take a scenic path to the Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles, before settling at Shira 2 Camp.

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower

Elevation: 3810 m to 4630 m / 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft Distance: 7 km/4 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert Lava Tower to Barranco Camp Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft Distance: 3 km/2 miles Hiking Time: 2-3 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at a higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 3,975 m to 3,995 m / 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft Distance: 5 km/3 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall, we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 3,995 m to 4,672 m /13,106 ft to 15,331 ft Distance: 4 km/2 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 4,672 m to 5,895 m / 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft Distance: 5 km/3 miles Hiking Time: 7-8 hours Habitat: Arctic Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp Elevation: 5,895 m to 3,067 m / 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft Distance: 12 km/7 miles Hiking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Rain Forest Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short breaks. Near Stella Point (5,760 m / 18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa, famous known as the African Roof. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 3,067 m to 1,640 m / 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft Distance: 10 km/6 miles Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Rain Forest On our last day on the mountain, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate. At lower altitudes, from Mweka camp to Mweka Gate it is often wet and muddy. After reaching the Gate we will collect our summit certificates and meet our vehicle here, then drive back to Arusha via Moshi for Lunch and celebration with an appreciation for Kilimanjaro supporting team.
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • National Park gate fees
  • Transport from Arusha or Moshi to trailhead and return to Arusha
  • Camping fees
  • Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by the national park)
  • Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Oximeters
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tipping guideline for guides, porters, and cooks (budget $350-550/person)
  • Low season discount in April/May

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