Shira Route - 8 Days Kilimanjaro Climb

 Detailed Safari Itinerary

 

Mount Kilimanjaro by the Shira Route

The Shira Plateau is one of the most fascinating and scenic areas on Kilimanjaro. It is well worth a visit just to explore the ridges and moorland. However, the road to Shira is only accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicles and can become impassable during wet periods.

The drive to and from Shira offers magnificent views of the Great Rift Valley, studded with mountains. Among them Mt. Meru and Longido are especially prominent. The Shira zone of parasitic cones extends along to the north of the road, from plain to plateau. The vegetation changes along the track are striking. The plateau is grassland, heath and moor, with especially large senecios (up to 10 meters high) in valleys near the Cone. Elands can often be seen on the plateau, and you may see signs of buffaloes, leopards and other animals.

The Shira Cone rises about 200 meters above the plateau. Beyond it, to the west, is the Shira Ridge, a steep rise reaching almost 400 meters above plateau level at its trig point. The southern ridge of the Shira Plateau has two dramatic peaks called Cathedral and the Needle.

Shira Route then Uhuru Point by the Arrow Glacier This is a really steep, hard but short route to the summit from Arrow Glacier Camp, which is itself reached in about 4 hours from the Barranco Hut. From December to February crampons and ice axes may be needed.

 

Day 1 Kilimanjaro airport

Arrive Moshi. Transfer to Fortune Mountain resort for overnight.

 

Day 2 Lindorossi - Plateau (3658m) - Shira Route Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

Drive to the National Park gate at Lindorossi on West Kilimanjaro. We commence the climb walking through the montane rain forest towards the Plateau. Lunch en route. Diner and overnight at the campsite.

 

Day 3 Shira Hut (3926m) - Shira Route Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

After breakfast we continue walking towards the Shira Hut for lunch. The day is spent acclimatizing. A visit can be made to the Plats Cone on the ridge. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.

 

Day 4 Barranco Hut (3860m) - Shira Route Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the East passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue our direction changes to South East towards the Lava Tower, called The Sharks Tooth) shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which brings us up to the arrow glacier. We have now reached an altitude of (4876 m). we now continue down to the Barranco hut at an altitude of (3860 m) here we rest, enjoy dinner and camp overnight.

 

Day 5 Baraffu Hut (4600m) - Shira Route Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

After breakfast we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco wall passing through the Karanga valley and the junction, which connects with the Mweka trail. We continue to the Barafu hut which is located at an altitude of (4600 m) here we make camp. Rest enjoys dinner and overnight. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

 

Day 6 Mweka Hut - Shira Route Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there are often fine views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east. Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.

 

Day 7 Back to Moshi - Shira Route Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

After breakfast we continue the descent (3-4 hours) down to the Mweka Park gate and then drive back to Moshi. Overnight at Fortune Mountain resort B&B basis

 

Variation: Shira Route then Uhuru Point by the Arrow Glacier This is a really steep, hard but short route to the summit from Arrow Glacier Camp, which is itself reached in about 4 hours from the Barranco Hut. From December to February crampons and ice axes may be needed.

 

Climbing certificates are issued by the Kilimanjaro National Park for successful climbers.