The Shira route is another path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west, and it is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. While Lemosho starts at Londorossi Gate and treks through the rain forest to Shira 1 Camp, the Shira route bypasses this walk by using a vehicle to transport climbers to Shira Gate, located near the Shira Ridge.
On the first day on the mountain, climbers begin their hike from 11,800 feet (3,600 m) and spend their first night at the same elevation at Simba Camp. Then, the route merges with Lemosho and follows the southern circuit route.
Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, Lemosho is recommended over Shira due to the relaively high altitude of Shira’s starting point, which is accessed quickly by vehicle. It is possible that climbers will experience some altitude related symptoms on the first day while camping at 11,800 feet.
Arrive anytime at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or from a Nairobi shuttle transfer, there will be transferred to your hotel in Arusha for your overnight.
The best months for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Normally April and May are the months with long rains and should be avoided.
November is usually short rains but it is not often rains all day.
The best time for climbing mount Kilimanjaro is January to February and September.
July to August can be colder and November to December can be wetter.
January to March is the warmest months, almost clear of clouds each evening and morning.
The success rates with our guides are outstanding compared to the overall success rates for all climbers who attempt to reach the top.
We will gather in the evening at 5:30 pm for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive up a steep track within the national park to reach Shira Barrier (3,300m) where the walk begins. We continue on foot onto the Shira Plateau with excellent views across to the main summit. Our first camp is in the centre of the plateau at “Shira One” (3,550 m.). [2 - 3 hours walking]
An easy day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira 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 views from our camp near Shira Hut (3,840 m.) of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. [4-5 hours walking]
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. [5-7 hours walking]
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and drops down into Karanga valley where we take lunch. Afterwards the trail follows an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night. [6-9 hours walking]
We will 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 (5,735 m), 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 (5,896 m), 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 refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,100 m) Mweka . [11-15 hours walking]
A gentle walk takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka gate successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. After lunch we drive back to Arusha hotel. Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate: 3-5 hours walking
Depart from Arusha Hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya.