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Climbing Kilimanjaro

Shira Route

The Kilimanjaro Shira Route is one of the lesser-known and more challenging routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is considered a scenic route, as it approaches the mountain from the west and offers beautiful views of the Shira Plateau.

Here are some key features of the Shira Route:

Starting point: The trail begins at the Londorossi Gate, located on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Altitude: The route starts at a high altitude of around 3,600 meters (11,800 feet), which means climbers may experience altitude-related symptoms earlier than on other routes.

Acclimatization: The Shira Route offers good acclimatization opportunities, as it includes an extra day for climbers to rest and adjust to the altitude at the Shira Camp.

Scenic beauty: This route is known for its stunning views of the Shira Plateau, with its unique landscapes of volcanic ash and rock formations.

Route variation: There are different variations of the Shira Route, depending on the number of days and the level of difficulty preferred by climbers. Some variations merge with other routes, such as the Machame Route or the Lemosho Route, on the later stages of the climb.

Summit attempt: Like other Kilimanjaro routes, the Shira Route leads climbers to the Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the mountain, at an altitude of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet).

Duration: The Shira Route typically takes around 7-8 days to complete, allowing climbers to have more time for acclimatization and a higher chance of reaching the summit successfully.

8 Day Shira Route Itinerary

Day 1: Shira Gate to Simba Camp
– Drive to the Shira Gate (3,600 meters) and complete park formalities.
– Begin the trek through the rainforest to Simba Camp (2,650 meters).
– Enjoy dinner and overnight stay at the camp.

Day 2: Simba Camp to Shira 1 Camp
– Hike from Simba Camp to Shira 1 Camp (3,505 meters).
– Witness beautiful views of the Kibo Massif.
– Spend the night at Shira 1 Camp.

Day 3: Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp
– Hike from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp (3,845 meters).
– Traverse the Shira Plateau, a high-altitude desert plateau.
– Enjoy panoramic views of the mountain.

Day 4: Shira 2 Camp to Barranco Camp
– Trek from Shira 2 Camp to Barranco Camp (3,960 meters).
– Pass through the Lava Tower (4,630 meters) for better acclimatization.
– Descend to Barranco Camp for overnight stay.

Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
– Climb the Barranco Wall, a challenging but exhilarating section.
– Proceed to the Karanga Valley and reach Karanga Camp (4,035 meters).
– Rest and prepare for the summit push.

Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
– Hike from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (4,680 meters).
– Arrive at Barafu Camp and rest in preparation for the summit attempt.
– Have an early dinner and get some sleep before the midnight ascent.

Day 7: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
– Begin the summit attempt around midnight, aiming to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) at dawn.
– Reach the summit, watch the sunrise, and celebrate your achievement.
– Descend to Mweka Camp (3,100 meters) for overnight stay.

Day 8: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
– Trek from Mweka Camp down through the rainforest to Mweka Gate.
– Receive your summit certificates and say goodbye to the mountain.
– Transfer back to Moshi for a celebratory dinner and overnight stay.

It is important to note that the Shira Route is a high-altitude trek and requires good physical fitness and preparation. It is recommended to undertake thorough training before attempting the climb and to consult with a medical professional for advice on high-altitude trekking.