Shira is one of two routes which approaches Kili from the west, crossing the stunning Shira Plateau before joining with the Machame route and the beautiful scenery of the southern circuit (the descent also follows the Mweka route to the southeast). Shira is one of the most difficult routes, as climbers are driven to the starting point at Shira 1 gate which lies at 3,500m, meaning the first night is at high altitude and acclimatisation is a challenge. Shira is suitable for experienced high altitude trekkers looking for a spectacular journey.
Day 1: Moshi - Shira Gate - Shira Camp2
After breakfast and a briefing from your guide, leave Moshi and drive for several hours to the Shira Gate on the western side of Kilimanjaro, register with the national park. Begin hiking, and enter the rainforest immediately. Your walk through the rainforest is on a winding muddy trail up a ridge. At these lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Stop halfway for lunch, and reach the Shira Camp in the afternoon. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. Dinner is served during the early evening at 7 PM.
Day 2: Shira Camp2 - Barranco Camp
After breakfast, you will hike east up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro's looming mass. After several hours, you walk through a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower at 4,630 m/15,190 ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro's earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness.
Day 3: Barranco Camp - Extra day for Acclimatization
Adding this day will ease your effort, and amplify your acclimatization.
Day 4: Barranco Camp - Karanga Camp
After breakfast, we continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall, then you climb this imposing obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. With Kibo's glaciers soaring overhead, you descend into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite. From the camp, you can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch in camp, your afternoon is at leisure for resting or exploring. After two long days, this short day is very important for your acclimatization, since your summit push is about to start.
Day 5: Karanga Camp - Barafu Camp
In the morning, you hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. Turn left toward the mountain and hike up the ridge through a sparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut where you will receive a hot lunch. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for ice. The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids. After an early dinner, go to bed for a few hours of precious sleep.
Day 6: Summit Day! Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak
You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft). This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!
Day 7: Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate
After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. Don't give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night at your hotel in Moshi.
Accommodation may vary from the listed properties depending on availability at the time of booking.
Included in this Tour:
- Return transport from Arusha/Nairobi to Mount Kilimanjaro
- Use of our professional Mountain Guide/potters
- Accommodation in Mountain Huts/tents where applicable
- Three meals a day while on the mountain
- All park entrance fees and Taxes
Excluded in this Tour:
- All your climbing gears
- Personal insurance
- Personal spending money
- Tips for guide, potter and cook.
Booking Terms & Conditions
A minimum of 30% of the total price is required at the time of booking and the balance no latter than 21 days prior to the departure of the safari. For overseas bookings payments can be made in US dollars, Sterling pounds and Euros. Residents pay in local currency at the rate of exchange applicable at the time of payment. Late bookings Full payment is due at the time of booking for reservation made withi n 21 days prior to the commencement of the tours.
Modification of tour
If you choose to modify the arrangements after the commencement of the tour i.e. change accommodation or the duration of your stay, the com pany can accept no liability for any loss or additional expense and no refunds will be made.
Tour prices include: All expenses for drivers and vehicles appropriat e for the itinerary as set out. i.e. for transfers, game drives, drive rs allowances unless stated in the itinerary. Government hotel taxes, training levy and service charges, all park entry fees except where sp ecifically indicated separately. Normal communication costs incurred to make the reservation. Tour price exclude: Personal insurance, Airport taxes, landing fees for charters and visas, gratuities to drivers and porters (other than hotel service charge), Beverages (unless otherwise indicated), Laundry, other personal expenses of tour members (i.e. telephone calls etc), any other tour services requested that do not appear in the itinerary.
Demand for safaris can be high and may lead to shortage of the specified hotel/lodge/ tented camp accommodation. All bookings will be confirmed, but on occasions changes may be necessary. Hotel. Lodges and tented camps, here specifically named are given as an indication of the category and rooms may be reserved at similar Lodges/ hotels/ tented ca mps. We undertake to advise you of any changes known to us prior to departure, but the possibility of change without notice, must be accepted when booking. Wherever possible we book rooms with private baths/showers throughout on the basis of two persons sharing a double room. Single rooms are a vailable at supplementary cost but neither single room nor rooms with private bath/showers can be guaranteed. Safari minibuses, cars, four wheel drive or coaches will be provided a ccording to the route and number of participants. The right is reserved to employ the services of subcontractors. English speaking driver/guides are provided. Occasional mechanical problems, changes of lodge or adverse road cond itions may in turn lead to change in routing or game viewing without prior notice being given. We reserve the right to offer substitutes of equal value to cancel the operation of any tour. In practice, Very few itineraries are affected but a little flexibili ty on your part will ensure the tour is unique and rewarding. Safari description Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, regrettably errors do occasionally occur. You must therefore check all details of your holiday booking with your travel agent or supplier at the time of booking. The Company cannot therefore accept responsibility for any information not contained herein, being confirmed verbally by its staff or representatives unless subsequently reconfirmed in writing by the Company.
The Company is insured against legal liability arising from injuries that might be received by passengers while inside vehicles. i. You are however strongly advised to takeout your own insurance against the risks inherent in travelling in an underdeveloped country especially as there may be times when your tour visits remote regions without the means of rapid evacuation or medical facilities. Please remember that your supplier does not undertake to provide such assistance at its expense hence our strong recommendation that you arrange your own insurance to cover such eventualities. ii. The Company and its agents act only as agents of the passenger in all the matters relating to hotel accommodation, sightseeing, tour and transport whether by aircraft, rail, motor vehicle, boat or any matter howsoever except when the passenger is being carried in transport owned by the Company. iii. The Company's obligations apply to those services, which they agree to provide on your behalf. We cannot be held liable for any third party arrangements you arrange in conjunction on your own. For instance, the Company will not be held liable if you miss your tour departure because you fail to arrive at the departure point at the agreed time. iv. The Company's liability to passengers carried in its own vehicles is governed by the laws of the respective country in which services are provided and no other country, and all the claims are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the respective country in which the services were provided. v. The company reserves the right to employ subcontractors to carry out all or part of the services agreed to be supplied and in the event of such right the terms to the clause iii relating to the company's liability shall apply vi. Whilst every care is taken, the company cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage of baggage. It is therefore advisable to effect separate baggage insurance. vii. In the event that a claim is made against the travel agent or the tour operator in respect of any loss or damage occasioned by the breach of contracts, negligence or other fault of the company, the Company shall be liable to indemnify the Travel agent or tour operator (as the case may be) in the courts of the country in which services were provided if the Travel Agent or Tour Operator (as the case may be) had submitted jurisdiction in the said courts. viii. In respect of any such claim mentioned in sub clause (ix) of th is clause, the Company shall be under no liability expressly assumed in this clause. ix. For the purpose of this clause, the Company shall be deemed to include its servants and agents and shall be deemed to contract on behalf of such servant and agent.
Passports and Visas
You are required to ensure that your passport and travel documentation is in order and that you have obtained the necessary visas for your journey. Should you require assistance on this matter we will be pleased to make recommendations.
It is a condition of booking one of our tours that the traveller is adequately insured for the full duration of the tour in respect of illness, injury, death, loss of baggage and personal items, cancellation and curtailment. The choice of insurer is the sole discretion of the client. General Prices are based on fares and other costs prevailing at the time of your request of the price lists and is subject to change if fares or costs subsequently vary. We reserve the right to decline any person as a member of any tour at any time in which event an equitable amount will be refunded.