7 Days Kilimanjaro trekking Shira Route

Day 1:

Shira Gate to Simba Camp

We depart Arusha to Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours; here we will complete entry formalities while guides and porters prepare equipment. We then continue to drive up a steep path to the Shira Gate where we will begin the hike. The trek starts through shrubs and giant heather until we reach Simba Camp.

Day 2:

Simba Camp to Shira 2 Camp

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.

Day 3:

Camp to Lava Tower

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 down 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 higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Day 4:

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

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.

Day 5:

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

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.

Day 6:

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Very early around midnight, we begin our push to the summit. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 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.

Day 7:

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Arusha.

  • montane forests, mossy jungle
  • Tropical forest zone
  • A number of small mammals
  • Animals that inhabit this ecosystem
  • Camping relaxing, and sunset view
  • Drier and cooler forest
  • Stretches grassland, bell flowers
  • tiny golden buttercups gradually
  • lower volcanic cones
  • lava from rocks, coffee plantations
  • hyrax and bush babies venture
  • Over 200 bird species
  • Hartebeest, pythons, gazelle
  • Colobus monkeys on lower slopes
  • Wild dog, sable and puku

The Shira Route is a little used trail that begins near Shira Ridge. It is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, it is less favorable than its successor due to the relatively 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.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Shira Ridge. The vehicle bypasses the rain forest zone and the hiking trail begins on Shira Ridge. The Shira route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. Then the route traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

June to September: How cold does it get on Kilimanjaro? At the summit, Uhuru Point, the night time temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro's great height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict.

January to March: This is best time for Mountain Trekking safari in Tanzania also in late January to February is the best time to see the calving in the southern Serengeti. This is an excellent time to see predator action. calving season usually occurs January to March in Tanzania's southern plains. This is an incredible time to be in the Serengeti, with thousands of calves being born every day, and thanks to the short-grass plains the riveting predator action in clear view.

March to June: In late March and April continues the long rainy season , sees plenty of clouds and rain throughout. Southern and western parks have the highest humidity during the rainy season so can become somewhat uncomfortable.  Despite the rains, this season can be some people’s favourite time to visit Tanzania for safaris. The parks are often devoid of other travellers yet full of animals making the most of the abundant water supplies.  On late may sees the start of the best season to visit all areas of Tanzania. The dry season begins and clear skies and sunshine perpetuate.

June to September: July to October are best in the Central Serengeti after the herds of wildebeest have passed through. animals are easier to spot since they concentrate around waterholes and rivers and there is less vegetation. Wildebeest and zebra may start heading back south from Kenya and crossing the Masai Mara between September and October (depending on water levels and rainfall) . Also in Lake Tanganyika is at its warmest at this time of year and with Mahale still being fully accessible it is a great time to see the chimpanzees and get to know BigBird the pelican at Greystoke Mahale.

September to December: In 0ctobar to December is supposed to be the start of the short rains (mvuli) period across Tanzania but this does vary depending on where you want to travel. Generally speaking the northern parks are good for game year-round and although the Serengeti receives rain, this subsequently means the wildebeest will be moving south across the plains to make the most of this moisture. Tanzania is very popular over Christmas and New Year so it is important to book well in advance to secure the parks and accommodation you want. This also means that lodges charge peak season prices and there will be numerous safari vehicles around when out on game drives.

Total Safari Cost: $2,800