6 Days Shira Route - Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

  • Duration 6 days
  • No Of People From 1 person

6 Days Shira Route - Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

Very similar to Lemosho route, however it starts at 3,600 meters and is therefore not ideal for trekkers who have little or no experience of high altitude trekking.

On the first day you begin at Shira Gate to Simba Camp before joining the Lemosho Route on day two at Shira Camp 2. The high starting point is however a major negative for this route as many experience altitude sickness from day one without enough time to acclimatize.

The route over the Shira Plateau has several possible variations.After Shira Camp 2 the route joins the Machame Route via Lava Tower, and then descends to the Barranco Camp via the Southern Circuit. Ascent to Uhuru Peak is made via Barafu Camp and up the southern slopes of Kibo.

The route is seldom used by other trekkers and so your initial two days on the mountain are less crowded than on most other routes.

The Shira Route is one of the trekking routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is known for its relatively high starting point, offering a more gradual and less strenuous ascent compared to some other routes. Here's an overview of the Shira Route:

Route Overview:
Duration: The standard duration for the Shira Route is 6 to 8 days, allowing for better acclimatization. Some variations extend to 9 days.
Difficulty: It's considered a moderately challenging route due to its gradual ascent and the extended duration, which helps with acclimatization.
Scenery: The Shira Route offers trekkers the chance to explore the western side of Kilimanjaro, with varied landscapes ranging from heath zones to alpine deserts.

The Shira Route is known for its relatively high starting point, which provides trekkers with an opportunity to gradually acclimatize to the altitude. It offers a quieter and less-crowded experience on Kilimanjaro's western side. Trekkers who prefer a route that starts at a higher altitude and provides excellent acclimatization may choose the Shira Route.

Here are the highlights of Umbwe Route

  • Shira Gate: The trek begins at the Shira Gate, situated at an altitude of approximately 3,000 meters. Trekkers go through park registration and begin the journey from here.
  • Shira Plateau: The route provides trekkers with direct access to the Shira Plateau (3,840 meters), offering stunning views of the mountain's western side.
  • Lava Tower: On day three, trekkers reach Lava Tower (4,630 meters), an iconic lava formation that provides breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape.
  • Barranco Wall: Like other routes, the Umbwe Route also includes the ascent of the Barranco Wall, offering panoramic vistas and an exhilarating challenge.
  • Karanga Valley: Trekkers descend into the Karanga Valley and then ascend to the Karanga Camp (3,995 meters), which is an essential acclimatization point.
  • Barafu Camp: The final campsite before the summit attempt is Barafu Camp (4,673 meters), where trekkers start their midnight ascent to Uhuru Peak.
  • Uhuru Peak: The climb to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) is challenging due to altitude and cold temperatures, but reaching the summit is an incredible achievement.
  • Mweka Route Descent: After reaching the summit, the descent typically follows the Mweka Route, taking trekkers back through the rainforest zone to Mweka Gate, where the trek ends.

Regal Trails Adventures

Tour Features


Budget tour

This budget tour includes camping and hotels

Private tour

This tour will be organized exclusively for you and won’t be shared with others.

Can start any day

If availability permits, this tour can start on any day.

Can be customized

You can request changes to this tour

Suitable for solo travelers

Solo travelers can book this private tour.

Minimum age of 7 years

The minimum age for this tour is 7 years.

Activities And Transportation


A transfer from and back to the airport is included

Getting around: hiking/walking



You will be greeted by a Regal Trails Adventures representative when you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and taken to the Luxury Lodge in Moshi B&B for the night. Your head guide will meet you for a briefing, to check your equipment, and to make arrangements for you to rent any additional equipment.



Itinerary

DAY 1: DRIVE TO KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK SHIRA GATE, HIKE TO SHIRA 2 CAMP

Regal Trails Adventures

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. An overnight at Shira 2 Camp.

Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Distance: 8km/5mi
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest

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DAY 2: HIKE SHIRA 2 CAMP TO LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP

Regal Trails Adventures

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. An overnight at Barranco Camp.

Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Semi Desert

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DAY 3: HIKE BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP

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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.

Overnight at Karanga Camp.

Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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DAY 4: HIKE KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP

Regal Trails Adventures

We continue up toward Barafu Camp, and once reached you have now completed the South Circuit, which offers a variety of breathtaking views of the summit from many different angles.

An early dinner and rest as we prepare for summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.

Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Distance: 4km/2mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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DAY 5: HIKE BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT, DOWN TO MWEKA CAMP

Regal Trails Adventures

Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.

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. An overnight at Mweka Camp.

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

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DAY 6: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI: 9.1KM/6MI |3-4HRS | RAINFOREST

Regal Trails Adventures

After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew, it’s time to say goodbye.

We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.
From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Enjoy a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!

Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m

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Prices

s
No of Clients Price Per Person
1 Client $1,800
2 - 3 Clients $1,750
4 - 6 Clients $1,725
7+ Clients $1,700

Inclusions

  • Professional, English-speaking Wilderness First Responder & CPR certified Guide
  • Proper Ration of Mountain crew (Cook & Porters)
  • Pre and Post accommodations (2 nights Bed and Breakfast)
  • Airport Transfers
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water and Full Board Meals
  • All National Park & Hut Fees, Crew Permits and VAT
  • Quality Imported Equipments
  • Gate Transfers
  • Portable Private Toilet and Porter

Exclusions

  • Flights
  • Visa fees
  • Tips for porters and mountain crew
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Energy food & beverages, alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Personal hire gear such as trekking poles, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Additional lodge nights

Destination Details
Mount Kilimanjaro is situated three degrees south of the equator in Northeastern Tanzania. As the tallest mountain in Africa and the world's highest free-standing peak, it is renowned for being one of the seven highest peaks globally. Interestingly, it stands out as the most accessible and least technically challenging to climb. The ascent requires no specialized climbing skills, making it achievable for individuals with moderate fitness levels.

Is This Expedition Suitable for You?
Upon arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you'll receive a warm welcome and be transported to your accommodation in Moshi. We recommend a day of rest before commencing your trek, with the option to use your transfer from Nairobi as a rest day. If time permits, explore local attractions like rice fields and rainforests, indulge in shopping in Moshi, or simply relax by the pool or with a massage.

Your trekking guide will brief you the evening before your journey, emphasizing the need to separate a dedicated bag for the trek. Rental equipment is available, and any excess luggage can be securely stored in your Moshi hotel. The following morning, enjoy a substantial breakfast before finalizing trip preparations at the trekking office. The drive to the trailhead, depending on the route chosen, may take up to an hour and can be quite rugged.

At the park gate, climbers complete final preparations and sign the national park registration book. Porters organize their packs, carrying essentials like food and water. It's crucial to have all daypack items with you, as porters move swiftly. The daily hike typically begins between 8-9 am, lasting 5-6 hours at a deliberately slow pace. The terrain lower down is breathtaking, offering fascinating views, while higher up, the vast landscapes unfold. Camps provide ample time for absorbing the surroundings and capturing memorable photographs.

The summit hike starts around midnight, adjusting to your chosen route and group speed. Depending on your fitness, some may halt at the crater rim, while others push on to the mountain's highest point. Guides prioritize a swift descent to minimize altitude issues, leading you past the last campsite to the next for an overnight stay.

Traveling Together
Group sizes are limited to 5-7 people, with the option to combine groups on the same route and day. Private groups are available at no extra cost, and efforts are made to accommodate single travelers within a group.

Guides and Support Crew
A local guide, proficient in English, Spanish, French, or German, is mandatory for Kilimanjaro treks. Porters accompany the trip to carry luggage, food, and equipment, leaving you with only a daypack for essentials.

Tips for Guides and Porters
Tips are provided after your trek. Small bills in U.S. dollars, Euros, or Tanzanian shillings are recommended. The suggested tip is $15/day

Transportation and Finances
Except for airfare, all Regal Trails Adventures trips cover transportation costs and arrangements within the destination country. Tanzanian shillings are the local currency, though U.S. dollars, Euros, and credit cards may be accepted at larger establishments. ATMs are available in major towns like Moshi and Arusha.

Kilimanjaro Climber’s Packing List

  • The porter's load is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds).
  • Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $5/day.
  • Store electronics in sealed waterproof bags (double-sealed if possible).
  • Wrap clothing in plastic bags.
  • In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain pants, and jacket at a minimum.
  • Add any other items you might need during the day since you may not see your porters until the end of the day.
  • Regal Trails is interested in purchasing second-hand gear for rentals.
  • You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters or donations to the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society.
  • You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at the Springlands Hotel for no charge.
  • You can leave valuables in a safe deposit box at the Springlands Hotel for $1/day.
Baggage
  • Day pack, for you to carry
  • Large duffel bag or backpack, for porters to carry
  • Plastic bags
Clothing
  • Inner layer should be wicking – no cotton
  • Next layer should be insulating and warm, and the top layer should be waterproof but breathable.
  • Layers are essential as temperatures vary greatly.
  • Shorts for the first and last day only
  • Pants for hiking and lounging in the evenings
  • Short-sleeved or t-shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts for hiking and lounging
  • Long underwear
  • Fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Fleece pants
  • Down jacket or ski parka for temperatures well below freezing plus wind
  • Rain jacket and pants needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
  • Underwear and sport bras for women
Cold Weather Accessories
  • Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
  • Wool or pile hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)
Footwear
  • Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle support
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
  • Gaiters
  • Hiking socks for warmer conditions
  • Wool socks for colder conditions
  • Sock liners to wick away moisture
Sleeping
  • Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
  • Sleeping pad and repair kit
  • Tents are supplied by Regal Trails Adventures at no charge
  • Foam sleeping pads are provided by Regal Trails at no charge (Thermarest is highly recommended, however)
Other
  • Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
  • Get 3 liters of bottled water before the trip.
  • Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use steripens for water sanitization.
  • To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket.
  • Sun hat with brim
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Money ($400 or more in cash and/or travellers cheques, including some small U.S Dollar, Euro, or Tanzanian bills)
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera, film, tripod
  • Video camera, tapes
  • Batteries
  • Bring extra sets for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook, journal, pencil, and pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Electricity adapter
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Playing cards, games, books, frisbee, football, kite
  • Chocolate or pens for village children, momentos for guides, porters, and other climbers
  • Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season, can be purchased in the market for around $2
  • Plastic bags and zip-lock bags for waterproofing
  • Sewing kit
  • Salt, pepper, and spices for bland food
  • Business cards
  • Alarm clock
  • Calculator (for currency conversion)
  • Swim suit for hotel swimming pool
Toiletries
  • Toilet paper (and baggie to carry used paper while on trail)
  • Small towel
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Handi-wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Glasses, contacts, solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
  • Comb, mirror
Documents
  • Passport
  • Yellow fever certificate
  • Tanzania Visa
  • Medical insurance
  • Address book
  • Vaccination records
  • Airline tickets
  • Cash, travellers cheques, credit cards
  • Maps, guidebooks
  • Make copies of passport, TZ visa, airline tickets/schedule, and travellers cheques numbers. Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a separate place in your luggage.
First Aid
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin
  • Throat lozenges
  • Bandaids
  • Moleskin
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
  • Bandages and tape
  • Diahrea medicine
  • Antihistemines
  • Ace bandage
  • Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
  • Malaria pills (talk to your doctor)
  • Antibiotics (talk to your doctor)
  • Prescription drugs (talk to your doctor)
  • Diamox (talk to your doctor)
Packing for your flight to Africa
  • U-shaped neck pillow (blow-up)
  • Books/magazines
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Walkman and music
  • Eye shades, ear plugs
  • Melatonin or other sleep aid
  • Critical climbing gear (in case baggage is delayed)

  1. What is the best time to trek Mount Kilimanjaro?

    The best time to trek is during the dry seasons, typically January to March and June to October.

  2. How difficult is the climb?

    Kilimanjaro is challenging but does not require technical climbing skills. A good fitness level and mental preparation are essential.

  3. What trekking routes are available?

    Popular routes include Machame, Marangu, Lemosho, and Rongai. Each offers a unique experience and varying difficulty levels.

  4. Do I need a guide for Kilimanjaro trekking?

    Yes, a certified guide is mandatory for all treks on Mount Kilimanjaro.

  5. What is the accommodation like during the trek?

    Accommodations range from basic mountain huts to tents, depending on the route. Private toilet tents may be available on some routes.

  6. How cold does it get on the summit?

    Temperatures can drop well below freezing at the summit, so adequate cold-weather gear is essential.

  7. What about altitude sickness?

    Altitude sickness is a risk. Our itineraries include acclimatization days to minimize this risk.

  8. What should I pack for the trek?

    A comprehensive packing list is provided, including clothing, gear, and personal items.

  9. Is training necessary for Kilimanjaro trekking?

    While no technical skills are required, regular aerobic and cardiovascular training is recommended to enhance your endurance.

  10. Can I charge electronic devices during the trek?

    Charging facilities may be available at some campsites. It's advisable to bring portable chargers and spare batteries.

  11. Are there age restrictions for Kilimanjaro trekking?

    Most operators have age restrictions, and participants should be in good health. Consult with your guide and healthcare professional.

  12. How do I book a Kilimanjaro trekking tour?

    Contact our team to discuss available dates, routes, and booking details. Advance reservations are recommended.

  13. What is the cancellation policy?

    Review our cancellation policy, including refund conditions and any associated fees.

  14. Is travel insurance required?

    Yes, comprehensive travel insurance, including coverage for trekking and medical evacuation, is mandatory.

  15. How can I prepare for high-altitude trekking?

    Research and follow our pre-trek preparation guide, including fitness routines and altitude acclimatization tips.

  16. What is the currency used in Tanzania?

    The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). While major cities may accept U.S. dollars or euros, it's advisable to use local currency for better exchange rates.

  17. Is it necessary to get vaccinated before traveling to Tanzania?

    Yes, certain vaccinations, including yellow fever, are required. Consult with your healthcare provider or a travel clinic well in advance of your trip.

  18. What is the best time to visit Tanzania?

    The best time to visit is during the dry season, from June to October. This is ideal for wildlife viewing and trekking activities.

  19. What languages are spoken in Tanzania?

    Swahili is the official language, and English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. Learning a few Swahili phrases can enhance your travel experience.

  20. What are the must-visit attractions in Tanzania?

    Tanzania is renowned for its wildlife and natural wonders. Key attractions include the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar's beaches, and Mount Kilimanjaro.

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