Shira Route - Difficulty : DIFFICULT
PRESENTATION OF THE CIRCUIT
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.
Primetime Tanzania Adventures offers a seven or eight day private climb. The eight day variation adds a stay at Moir Hut on day three before going to Barranco Camp on day four.
Will depart Arusha/Moshi town heading to Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours; here will complete entry formalities while guides and porters prepare equipment. Will then continue with the drive upwards a steep path to the Shira Gate where you will begin the hike. The trek starts through shrubs and giant heather until you reach Simba Camp.
Today is a fairly easy day to help with acclimatization. Will begin the hike by exploring the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations on the plateau. Then will 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.
Will continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. Then 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.
The day begins by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then will climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall you’ll cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb upwards leads you to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.
After breakfast will ascend a footpath that leads to the next camp. On a clear day there a fantastic views of The Saddle and Mawenzi peak (5149m).
Barafu Hut (4,673m) is situated on an exposed and dangerous ridge, so it is important to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. As on the other days the chef will be preparing your evening meal, giving you a perfect opportunity to prepare your equipment for the summit trek, which we will do tonight at around midnight. Ensure you change the batteries in your headlamp and camera. The higher you go the colder it gets, so we suggest you take water in a thermal flask to avoid freezing. Your guide will advise you prior to that.
Very early in the morning (around midnight), begin to push upwards to the summit attempt. 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. Then, the ascent continues into the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, you’ll arrive at Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft)- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the rooftop of Africa.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, 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.
On this last day on the mountain, you will continue the descent down to Mweka Gate, where you’ll sign out and collect your certificate if made it to the summit. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka Gate to drive you back to the hotel in Moshi / Arusha ~ for a well-deserved shower and drinks to celebrate your achievement.
What an exciting breathtaking trip of a lifetime.!
- • Sun hat or scarf
• Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
• Sunglasses with UV protection
- • Under garments
• Hiking shorts
• Lightweight cotton long pants
• Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
• Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- • T-shirts
• Light and expedition weight thermal tops
• Fleece jacket or pullover
• Fleece wind-stopper jacket (optional)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
• Down jacket
- • Lightweight gloves
• Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)
- • Thin and lightweight inner socks
• Thick and warm wool hiking socks
• Hiking boots with spare laces
• Camp shoes (sneakers / sandals
• Gaiters for protecting you from the stones entering your shoes on the summit night
Personal small first aid kit
- • Pain Killers (Ibuprofen)
• Diamox (Acetazolamide) if you are climbing Kilimanjaro – Paracetamol
• Zinc oxide tape and small scissors.
• Compeed Blister Pads
• Imodium / Loperamide anti-diarrhea tablets
• Any medication you normally use
Dioralyte sachets or similar re-hydration packs.
- Note that your guide or safari liaison will carry a more comprehensive medical kit containing additional Acetazolamide, Ibuprofen, Anti-inflammatory gel, bandages, Loperamide, Amoxicillin, Oral Dexamethasone, and several other items.
- • Headlamp with spare batteries
• Camera and film / digital camera & spare memory cards & charger / batteries
• Day pack 30-40 litres for personal use while on the mountain /safari
• Rack sack or duffel bag to contain everything you will need while on the mountain / safari
• Sleeping bag rated to – 10C if climbing Kilimanjaro with us / +5C if only doing safari
• Sleeping mat
• Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside your rack sack
• Trekking poles
• Water bottles
• Water purification tablets / Iodine drops
• Ear plug – cause there’s some in the camp are snoring
• Spare contact lenses and fluid – if worn /watch
• Reading book
• Journal and pen
• Toothbrush and toothpaste & deodorant – Flat packed wet ones / travel wipes
• Medium sized quick drying towel
• Multipurpose soap
• Face and body moisturizer
• Small mirror
• Hairbrush / comb
• Tissue / toilet roll
• Hand sanitizer
• Lip bum with UV protection
• Vaseline to prevent chafing skin and heel friction blisters
• High energy snacks (Cereal bars, dried fruits and nuts
Mobile phone. There is signal reception in much of the national parks and safari areas. Note: It is a very good idea to unlock your phone before you come out so that a local SIM card can be used. This will make calls home very inexpensive.
• Passport (with additional 6 months’ validity after proposed trip return date)
• Tanzanian Entry Visa. (If flying to Nairobi and taking the bus to Arusha, Kenyan visas can be bought on arrival at Nairobi airport.)
• Air Travel Documents – Cash in US dollars in denominations of $10 and $20 (tipping allowance and local purchases, taxis, meals, etc)
• Credit Cards (recommended for eventualities only & obtaining extra cash from ATMs)
• Travel Insurance Documents
• Vaccination Certificates (where applicable) – Traveler’s Cheques are not recommend as they are subject to extremely poor conversion rates in Arusha.
- Comprimés antipaludiques : si vous choisissez de les prendre. La plupart demanderont conseil à leur médecin généraliste. Remarque: certains traitements antipaludiques doivent commencer plusieurs semaines avant le départ.
- Crème solaire
Please contact us for an enquiry on this trip!
- • Tanzania VAT on tourism activities and Park fees
• Transport to and from mountain’s gate
• 1 Night hotel accommodation before and after the climb
• All Kilimanjaro National Park entry fees, camping fees and climbing permit
• Kilimanjaro rescue fees ( Kilimanjaro Rescue Team )
• Emergency Oxygen Cylinder ( for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
• Basic first aid kit ( for use in emergencies only)
• Camping equipment’s ( tents, chairs and tables)
• Qualified mountain guides, assistant guides, porters and chef
• Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by Kilimanjaro National Park
• Large portion of fresh, health and nutrition food based on three meals per day
• Acclimatization walk and coffee tour before the actual climb
• Water for washing up daily
• Airport pick up
- • International flights
• Tips, drinks and food in Moshi / Arusha town and all items personal nature
• South African passport holders do not require a visa for Tanzania, however, most other Nationalities require a visa for Tanzania
• Health requirements (yellow Fever Compulsory if traveling to Tanzania recommended)
• Highly recommended travel and medical insurance
• All mountain gears (winter closes) we can also arrange for hiring