6 Days Shira Route Climbing

Tour Overview

6 Day’s Kilimanjaro Climbing Shira Route is a difficult route that begins in the west, at Shira Gate. What is unque 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 rain forest.

Shira ROUTE ELEVATIONS

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Shira Gate, Hike to Shira 2 Camp

The drive from Moshi to the trailhead takes about 3 hours. We hike through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Shira Camp.


  • Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3850m/12,600ft
  • Distance: 8km/5mi
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest
  • Meals: LD
  • Budget Lodging: Shira 2 Camp
Day 2: Hike Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.


  • Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
  • Distance: 10km/6mi
  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Semi-desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Barranco Camp
Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.


  • Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
  • Distance: 5km/3mi
  • Hiking Time: 34 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Karanga Camp
Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.


  • Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
  • Distance: 4km/2mi
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Barafu Camp
Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!
From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.


  • Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
  • Down to 3090m/10,150ft
  • Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Mweka Camp
Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes).


  • Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
  • Distance: 10km/6mi
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Meals: B

Itinerary Map

Includes

  • 2 night’s accommodation in Moshi or Arusha is included
  • Park entry fees
  • Camping fees
  • Transportation to & from the Kilimanjaro gate
  • Team Kilimanjaro Rescue fees
  • 18% VAT on tour fees & services
  • 4 Season mountain tents
  • Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters
  • 3 hot meals daily while on the mountain
  • Enough treated & filtered drinking water throughout the trek
  • Hot water for washing
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
  • Government taxes
  • Ox meter
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
  • Emergency first-aid kit

Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Tips for porters, Guide, Cook and Assistant Guide
  • Flights or overland transfers to Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha town
  • Tips to the mountain staff
  • Meals other than breakfast while in Arusha or Moshi
  • Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included
  • Hotel upgrade costs if you decide to request an alternative hotel to the standard
  • Items considered to be non-essential, such as alcohol, beverages, cigarettes, snacks, etc

traveler photos from this trip

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